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 while being further impacted by Hurricane Ida, 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 £382 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 near the historic French Quarter
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, homelessness and poverty skyrocketed in New Orleans, and the long-term effects of this are still being felt today. Now New Orleans has been further devastated by Hurricane Ida. Volunteers and NGOs help to make sure the Hurricane survivors and other vulnerable populations are able to receive shelter, food, clothing and support.
Many organisations 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 organisations 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.
United States photo gallery
”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 find your own way to the accommodation.
If you are travelling 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.
Orientation is hosted by our New Orleans team at a venue near the 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 socialising.
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 organisation you’re placed with and the time of year. A typical volunteer day may look like:
|6:30 - 7:30 AM||Self-serve breakfast 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 organisation 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.|
|Evenings:||Free to use as you wish. Most volunteers head out together to get dinner and enjoy the city.|
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 public hostel in a recently renovated historic building. The hostel is located close to the historic French Quarter, with easy access to live music, restaurants, shopping and food stores.
You should expect dormitory-style rooms. The dorms are mixed gender and you could share a room with up to 7 other volunteers. Gender segregated dorms may be available on request. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with privacy curtains, personal charging outlets and lockers. Sheets and towels are provided and air conditioning is available.
The accommodation has a guest kitchen, laundry, game room and an on-site bar and cafe.
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.
The accommodation has shared bathroom facilities equipped with western toilets and showers. Cleaning staff clean the accommodation throughout the week. However, volunteers are required to do their own dishes and to keep their rooms tidy.
Private rooms, if desired, can be booked after you have registered for the program, subject to availability and an additional cost.
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.
While daily breakfast is provided as part of the program, you’ll be able to treat yourself to many local delicacies for lunch and dinner.
Volunteers are provided with breakfast supplies delivered to the hostel. Volunteers will be able to choose from foods including cereal, granola, toast, eggs, fresh fruit.
Volunteers are responsible for their own lunches and dinners, but with no shortage of delightful food options in New Orleans, you’re sure to find a wide range of food to suit your personal taste. You may also prepare your own meals using the kitchenette at the hostel.
Volunteers are expected to do their own dishes after each meal so please be prepared and willing to do 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||£382 Equivalent to £55/day|
|2 weeks||£673 Equivalent to £49/day|
|3 weeks||£930 Equivalent to £45/day|
|4 weeks||£1198 Equivalent to £43/day|
|5 weeks||£1458 Equivalent to £42/day|
|6 weeks||£1657 Equivalent to £40/day|
|8 weeks||£2147 Equivalent to £39/day|
|10 weeks||£2576 Equivalent to £37/day|
|12 weeks||£3028 Equivalent to £37/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 £228 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
- 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.
Check what's required to visit United States
Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for United States, based on your country of residence.
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).