What type of volunteer opportunities are available?
Construction consists of working to help build or rehab homes in the greater New Orleans area. Volunteers are involved in all phases of construction. Currently we are building and working in areas all over New Orleans. You do NOT need experience. Our site managers and AmeriCorps volunteers will teach you everything you need to know – from hammering a nail to framing a house! There is always something for everyone on a work site.
NOAHH ReStore promotes good stewardship of resources by keeping materials from the landfill. The NOAHH ReStore sells donated building materials, furniture and appliances at a discounted price which provides the greater New Orleans area with an affordable source of home repair and maintenance supplies; which in turn provides a self-sustaining source of funding for the affiliate. The ReStore helps Habitat build homes! Volunteering at the ReStore is a dynamic experience and consists of many different activities ranging from: assisting with donations pickups, assisting with unloading, processing, and coordinating donations, and helping on the sales floor with customers and merchandising, and being a “handy person” fixing up donations.
When can I volunteer? How long do I need to volunteer?
We ask that our volunteers work for one or more full days. You must be onsite by the time provided:
Habitat Home Build: Tuesday – Saturday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
ReStore Assistance: Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
As of April 16th, 2008, it is the policy of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity that children under the age of 16 are not allowed to volunteer or be present on the worksite while there is any construction in progress. Minors 16 and 17 years of age are allowed to participate in general construction; however, activities such as the use of power tools, excavation, demolition, and working at heights above 12 feet are not permitted. It is further the policy of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity that every minor must be accompanied by a responsible adult of 21 years of age or more. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have an Individual Waiver signed by a parent. For those volunteering in the ReStore, volunteers may be as young as 14 years old, but must be accompanied by a responsible adult of 21 years of age or more and have an Individual Waiver signed by a parent.
Do I need experience?
No. Volunteers with all levels of experience are invited to volunteer with us. If you have construction experience, please let our construction staff know when you arrive on site.
May I work even though I have some physical limitations? What if I have allergies/asthma?
Yes. There are a number of tasks that do not involve strenuous labor. Please advise the Habitat staff you are working with of your limitations. You should take into account the humidity, heat and abundance of plant life as we build our homes outdoors. Bring your medication with you and be sure to take breaks when necessary.
Where do I report to in the morning?
You will receive an email three weeks prior to your work date to reconfirm your date and your total volunteer number. You must respond to this email. You will be emailed your meeting site address one week prior to your volunteer date.
If I volunteer with a group, will we all be able to work together?
You may have a group of any size. To ensure a quality experience for our volunteers we will assign no more than 20 volunteers to a specific house. Groups with more than 20 members should anticipate working on multiple houses and/or sites. We will do our best to keep your group as close as possible.
What goes on at the worksite?
NOAHH is working on new construction, as well as repairing homes and rehabbing homes. New construction homes are at all stages of the construction process. We build houses from the ground up. Tasks on the construction site fluctuate depending on need, weather, etc. You will be assigned to a task every morning.
Does New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity provide transportation and lodging?
No. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to arrange their own travel, food, and housing accommodations. Check out our Resource Guide for Volunteers for information on hotels, travel, and dining options.
Where should I stay?
The French Quarter and Central Business district are convenient, central locations for visitors. In addition, the Quarter is home to numerous restaurants and hotels where you can experience New Orleans culture.
Should I bring food or water?
Yes. You must bring your own lunch to the site. Water will be provided on site but you must bring a water bottle with you to fill up during the day. Check out our Resource Guide for Volunteers for information on hotels, travel, and dining options.
Should I bring my own tools?
It is not necessary to bring any tools; however, if you wish to bring your own tools you are welcome to. Items that are especially useful are a tool belt, hammer, measuring tape, pencil, razor knife, cat/bear claw, etc. Please clearly label all tools.
What should I wear?
Footwear needs to be a sturdy, closed-toe, and closed-heel shoe. Boots or sneakers are both considered appropriate footwear. Please prepare for the weather by checking the forecast before you arrive at the work site. If it is sunny, please bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. If it is raining, please bring a jacket, raincoat, and/or rain boots. Please ensure that your clothing is modest. T-shirts and shorts are acceptable but please ensure that they are not too tight and/or too short.
What if the weather is bad?
Work will continue on-site unless determined otherwise by the staff. It is very rare that a work day is cancelled. If a work day is cancelled, it will be announced on the morning of at the worksite.
Is it safe?
People should use their best judgment and use their instincts. Please keep valuable items at home and lock your car when you are on site.
Do I have to go to an orientation/training?
No. You will receive a short 15 minute orientation and safety talk once you arrive on the work site. In addition, you will receive on-site training/tutorials on tasks that you are assigned to for the day. Your assigned meeting place for this safety briefing may not be your worksite location, although it will be in the same neighborhood as the worksite. Please be prepared to drive to your worksite after the briefing.
Is there any paperwork?
Yes. All volunteers will need to sign a waiver form and bring it to the work site. If there is anyone under 18, parents/guardians must sign the waiver as well.
What if I need to cancel my work dates?
Contact the Volunteer Services Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I have trouble registering on the website or additional questions?
Please call our Volunteer Services Office at (504) 861-4121 and we will assist you.