Volunteer FAQ

Does YRNO have an age requirement for volunteers?

No; although most of our volunteers are typically in high school we do allow younger students to participate with proper supervision. All volunteers must sign a waiver and those under 18 must have it signed by a parent or guardian. Younger student groups are evaluated on a case by case basis.

How large of a volunteer group can YRNO host?

Right now we can only have a maximum of 12 volunteers. Please contact us for additional information.

Does YRNO require a volunteer fee?

Volunteering with YRNO DOES require a fee. We ask volunteers to make a one-time tax-deductible donation to support our mission of $20 per person the first day, and $15 per person per day of volunteering every subsequent day. This money is used to cover the costs associated with coordinating your trip, training and supervising your volunteer group, purchasing the materials, and maintaining our tool inventory. With the first day donation, it covers receiving YRNO shirts for the entire volunteer group. To complete your volunteer donation, please visit our DONATION page.

Does YRNO provide housing accommodations?

YRNO has a bunkhouse that is particularly suitable for groups up to 30. Contact us for availability and cost. We can also refer you to several of our community housing partners.  Accommodations range from $15 to $35/person/night, and availability varies by housing facility.

What about lunch?

YRNO also asks that volunteer groups provide their own lunches. However, lunches can be provided if scheduled in advance (for a small fee).

What should a YRNO volunteer wear to a work site?

Paint, sheet-rock mud, and other messy jobs can permanently ruin clothing so please wear clothing that you are not afraid to get dirty or damaged. Closed-toed shoes are mandatory and long pants and sleeves are recommended. Most importantly, volunteers are required to wear masks and gloves. We will provide gloves, and any masks if need be.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Children under the age of 15 are not permitted at a worksite while construction is ongoing without being accompanied by an adult that is at least 21 years of age. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 are allowed to participate in construction work, including general carpentry, but will not be allowed to participate in excavation, demolition, use of power tools, or work at heights above 12 feet. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have their “Volunteer Agreement and Release” 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 YRNO 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 prior to your work date to reconfirm your date and your total volunteer number. You must respond to this email.

If I volunteer with a group, will we all be able to work together?

To ensure a quality experience for our volunteers we will assign no more than 12 volunteers to a specific house. Groups with more than 12 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?

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 Youth Rebuilding New Orleans provide transportation, food, and lodging?

It is the responsibility of the volunteer to arrange their own travel, food, and housing accommodation; however we can recommend options to groups looking for services, including our bunkhouse.

Other than the bunkhouse, where else 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. Contact us for our recommendations.

Should I bring food or water?

Yes. You must bring your own lunch to the site, or make similar arrangements. Water will be provided on site but you must bring a water bottle with you to fill up during the day.

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 do 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 insure that they are not too tight and/or too short. Bring your own personal face mask. If you need a mask we will provide one, just inform us ahead of time.

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 that morning at the worksite.

Is it safe?

People should use their best judgment and use their instincts. Please keep valuable items at home.

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 or submit online a waiver, “Volunteer Agreement and Release,” and bring it with you to the work site. For anyone under 18, parents/guardians must sign it.

What if I need to cancel my work dates?

If for some reason you need to cancel your volunteer commitment, please contact us as soon as possible, at yrno@yrno.com.

What if I have trouble registering on the website or additional questions?

Please call us at 504-264-3344 and we will assist you.

Interested in learning more?  Take a look at our

Volunteer Handbook