Community Development Volunteer Project in the USA - New Orleans
Inspired to be a Community Development volunteer in USA - New Orleans? International Volunteer HQ’s Community Development project enables volunteers to help worthy local initiatives that serve disadvantaged communities in New Orleans. The city is still recovering from the long-term effects of Hurricane Katrina and volunteers can help make sure there is access to food, shelter, clothing and other necessities for those who need them.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from $500 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
- Help provide support and assistance to disadvantaged communities
- Discover the unique, vibrant culture and atmosphere of New Orleans
- Stay with other volunteers in the arty neighborhood of Bywater
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, homeless and poverty skyrocketed in New Orleans, and the long-term effects of this are still being felt today. Volunteers and NGOs help to make sure Katrina survivors and other vulnerable populations are able to receive shelter, food, clothing and support.
Many organizations in New Orleans provide important support to disadvantaged people in a range of ways. Volunteers on the Community Development project boost their resources and enable them to make as big an impact as possible.
As a Community Development volunteer you will assist with a number of different initiatives, depending on where the need is greatest. You could be placed in a warehouse, homeless shelter, food bank, church or farmers’ market to provide targeted support wherever it’s needed. Your tasks may vary but can include:
- Serving meals
- Sorting donated food, clothing or household goods
- Packing grocery boxes
- Helping organizations to clean and beautify their spaces
Why do Community Development volunteering in New Orleans with IVHQ?
When you volunteer to help disadvantaged communities in New Orleans you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving access to basic necessities for vulnerable people
- Supporting local initiatives to help their communities
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining a wide range of volunteer experience
- Learning about community development
- Exploring New Orleans and Louisiana
- Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
”I had a great experience with IVHQ from the beginning to end. Before my trip, I received timely responses whenever I had questions about my program and changes to the duration of my program. During my trip, the accommodation site was clean and safe. The host were excellent and provided great hospitality and food. Overall it was a great learning experience and I definitely will be making more trips as well as telling some friends and family.”
Read reviews from Community Development volunteers in New OrleansSee more reviews
The IVHQ USA volunteer program has volunteer placements located in the neighborhoods around New Orleans, the largest city in the state of Louisiana.
New Orleans is a place like no other. It’s one of the most vibrant cities in the world and famed for its live music, festivals, food, nightlife, friendly locals, blend of cultural influences and buzzing atmosphere.
Whether you are looking for short term volunteer opportunities, or longer volunteer vacations in the USA, the IVHQ New Orleans volunteer program can support you to make a positive difference while experiencing everything that this iconic city has to offer.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins every Monday. Volunteers need to arrive in New Orleans on the Sunday before orientation day.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) in New Orleans. You’ll be greeted at the airport by a representative of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee if you arrive on the Sunday before your program start date. Pickups are made between 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Sunday, and volunteers must arrive during this period. If you are due to arrive after 8:00 PM, you will need to arrange your own accommodation for the night, and make your own way to join orientation on Monday morning.
If you are traveling in New Orleans prior to your volunteer program, our local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel within New Orleans between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Alternatively, you can choose to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation prior to 6:00 PM.
Orientation is hosted by our New Orleans team at the volunteer accommodation. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs all day. It covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in New Orleans. It includes an introduction to New Orleans, reflection on the importance of volunteering, code of conduct and expectations, transportation and safety instructions, and an overview of the week. Volunteers travel to the volunteer project sites and take a tour of the historic French Quarter. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
Your first day of volunteering in the USA is taken up by a program orientation, which includes a visit to your project placement to meet the staff you’ll be working with.
Volunteer schedules vary based on the organization you’re placed with and the time of year. A typical volunteer day may look like:
|6:30 - 7:30 AM||Breakfast served at the volunteer accommodation.|
|8:00 - 9:00 AM||Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.|
|12:00 - 1:00 PM||Lunch break. In New Orleans, a lunch break typically lasts for about an hour, but the timing and length will ultimately depend on the organization that you’re volunteering with.|
|1:00 - 5:00 PM||Work at the project typically ends between these times. Use your free time to either travel back home, sightsee or do some shopping.|
|6:00 - 7:00 PM||Dinner will be served at the volunteer accommodation.|
You’ll have the chance to truly explore New Orleans in your free time. This Louisianian city is the home of all that’s good in life - mouthwatering food, soulful music and fun loving, welcoming people. The fusion of Cajun, Creole, French, and African influences have made this resilient American city a unique place to visit today. Start by exploring the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, famous for its grand architecture and lively street life. Discover Treme, the city’s brass band powerhouse and cultural pulse. Make the most of Crescent Park which stretches 1.4 miles along the riverfront and enjoy the bike lanes which run from the Bywater to the Marigny. Watch the transformation of Bourbon Street at twilight as the home of jazz comes alive and the live music starts up. Or, head further afield and take in the wild backwaters, Mississippi River, and vast sugarcane fields on a swamp tour.
You’ll have worked up quite an appetite by then, so sit back and recharge with a feast of shrimp gumbo, or maybe just a bite of a po’boy sandwich or a spoonful of jambalaya.
And, don’t think Mardi Gras or the Jazz Fest are the only times the city’s in the festival swing. Be ready to make the most of the impromptu, authentic festivals and parades that pop up across the city most weekends. It’s an expression of the strong community spirit and thriving arts community.
But most importantly come to New Orleans with an open mind and ready to embrace the city’s motto, ‘laissez les bon temps rouler’, which translates to ‘let the good times roll’.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer house. This location is a short drive to the colorful Bywater neighborhood and downtown New Orleans with easy access to nearby shopping and food stores.
The volunteer house is situated on an old school ground and has the feel of a school camp. You should expect basic accommodation which can sleep more than 100 volunteers at a time. Rooms are separated by gender and you could be sharing a room with up to 30 other volunteers during busy months. In quieter months, you can expect plenty of space in your dorm.
Bedrooms have bunk beds and bedding is provided but you will need to bring your own towel. All rooms are also equipped with a fan.
The accommodation has shared bathroom facilities equipped with western toilets and showers in a trailer just outside the main building.
Staff clean the accommodation throughout the week. However, volunteers are given some basic cleaning and housekeeping tasks to ensure the accommodation space is kept clean at all times, and you’ll be asked to keep your room tidy.
The accommodation has a basketball court, a volleyball net, a large outdoor field for games, indoor games available and a TV. The accommodation is equipped with WiFi for you to use. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to access the internet.
As one of the culinary capitals of the United States, you’ll quickly fall in love with the unique cuisine of New Orleans that reflects the city’s French, African and American roots. Volunteers are provided three meals per day, Monday to Friday. A light breakfast service and self-prepared packed lunches are provided on Saturday. No meals are provided on Sunday.
Breakfast during the week is usually hot and you will typically be served a variation of eggs, bread, spreads, cereals and fruit. Please note that breakfast is usually served early, at around 6:30am. If you have a later volunteer shift and wish to sleep in then you may miss the hot breakfast, but you will be able to prepare a breakfast of cereal or toast and spreads for yourself later.
Volunteers pack their own lunches at breakfast. You can make your own sandwiches, and can pack a selection of snacks and fresh fruit.
Dinner is provided from Monday to Friday and will feature a wide range of American, Southern and New Orleans foods. While it will vary from week to week, you can expect to see a variety of different dishes including traditional New Orleans meals such as jambalaya or gumbo.
Volunteers are expected to assist with cleaning up the dining hall after each meal so please be prepared and willing to help with this.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||$500 Equivalent to $72/day|
|2 weeks||$880 Equivalent to $63/day|
|3 weeks||$1,215 Equivalent to $58/day|
|4 weeks||$1,565 Equivalent to $56/day|
|5 weeks||$1,905 Equivalent to $55/day|
|6 weeks||$2,165 Equivalent to $52/day|
|8 weeks||$2,805 Equivalent to $51/day|
|10 weeks||$3,365 Equivalent to $49/day|
|12 weeks||$3,955 Equivalent to $48/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, some meals, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in New Orleans generally find US$200 - US$300 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as lunches and dinners, and local tours and activities.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential city information
|Currency||United States Dollar (USD)|
|Time zone||UTC-06:00 (Summer UTC-05:00)|
Weather and climate
New Orleans’ southern location means that the climate is humid subtropical, with short, mild winters and hot, humid summers. July is the hottest month in New Orleans with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and the coldest is January at 13°C (55°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 12 in June. The wettest month is July with an average of 168mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in July when the average sea temperature is 30°C (86°F).