Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Volunteering



  • Do drink water. More water than you ever thought you needed. Before you even feel thirsty, when you still feel quenched from that last sip you took, you should drink water. The more water you drink, the better time you will have working on a home for NOAHH.
  • Do wear sunscreen. I get it. You only wear sunscreen when you are go to the beach. Well, maybe that rule can be revised for when you build with NOAHH? You might be surprised what a bottle of broad spectrum sunscreen can do for you—it can keep that farmer’s tan at bay!
  • Don’t underestimate humidity. Sure, the weather app on your phone says that it will only be 80 degrees out. Honestly, it doesn’t even really matter what your weather app says. If it says 80, assume 100. But, don’t worry about the weather too much and accept the sweat because as long as you drink water, stay in the shade and wear proper clothes, you will have a great time building a home and making friends along the way!
  • Do take breaks. Sit down. Put your feet up. Have a snack. When that heat starts to get to you, take a break. The less tired you are the better job you will do, and isn’t building a quality home the whole point of your volunteer work?
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  • Don’t eat too much at lunch. If you eat too much at lunch, you may end up wanting to sleep through the afternoon under a nice shady oak tree instead of building a beautiful home for a hard working New Orleans family. While both of these options sound enjoyable, one is much more fulfilling.
  • Don’t think that bug spray is optional. It is never optional. If you hardly ever get bug bites. If you are supposed to work in ReStore all day. If you are wearing long sleeves. All of this amounts to the fact that you should still wear bug spray. Working with NOAHH will be a lot happier and less itchy if you spritz some bug spray on yourself.
  • Do play music. When you feel hot, tired and sweaty. Music can help push you through the heat and work hard on the project in front of you.
  • Do double check your ladder’s placement. This is something you will probably hear many times from the site manager or AmeriCorps members, but it is always good to hear this again. Safety is the first priority, and everyone at NOAHH wants you to end your day having had fun and being happy. If you just double check where and how your ladder is placed, you can guarantee your safety.
  • Do make friends. There are nice, caring and community-minded people that volunteer with NOAHH. Why don’t you meet some of them and hang out together?
  • Do go inside when it storms. For all of the heat that New Orleans brings with it, it also brings on afternoon thunderstorms. When these storms come, make sure to go inside. Not only with this keep you from getting soaked, but it will also give you a nice break.
  • Do talk to partner families. It can be easy to forget that a family will live in this home. There is a person that will walk on the deck you built, sit on the wood floor you laid, and hang their clothes in the closet you installed. You made a home that someone will live in. Talking to the partner families can help remind you that you didn’t just hammer nails, paint walls and cut floorboards. You built a home.