Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Update
What COVID-19 safety measures are you implementing on program?
Please review our COVID-19 Safety page to learn about the new operational standards we’re implementing on program to safeguard our community and help you have a safe and healthy volunteer experience. The page features COVID-19 specific FAQs.
Before You Go
Are there any health requirements?
We strongly advise that anyone at a higher risk of severe illness do not join our programs and we are unable to invite anyone over the age of 65 to join us as a residential volunteer, at this time.. If you are 65 or over and do not have underlying health conditions, you are welcome to join as a non-residential volunteer (joining our team on the worksite each day and then returning to your own accommodation after the work day).

We require volunteers to be up-to-date with their tetanus vaccination. As other recommendations depend on your personal circumstances, you should check with a medical professional regarding all other possible vaccines and preventative medicines. We expect our volunteers to be both physically and mentally fit to take on physical labor in the challenging conditions of working in a disaster-affected area.
What are the requirements to volunteer? What if I’ve never done this before?
A Residential Volunteer is someone who lives at our base in our volunteer housing throughout the duration of their time volunteering. To join us as a residential volunteer you must be over the age of 18. Volunteers age 16 and 17 are welcome to join us on the worksite provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is over the age of 18. Unfortunately we are unable to allow those under the age of 18 the option to stay at our volunteer accommodation and require that they find their own housing in the area. We don’t require any specific experience — just a good attitude! Each site is supervised by a professional staff member or trained Team Leader to ensure volunteers have a safe and positive experience.
Does it cost money?
Volunteering with All Hands and Hearts is free, and we provide accommodation for residential volunteers and meals on work days. Keep in mind, you will be responsible for the cost of your travel both to and from the program, meals on your day(s) off and any costs associated with taking a three day mental health break each month where you are required to stay away from program. Please see our flight incentive FAQs to learn more about how we might be supporting volunteers with travel to specific programs.
How do I sign up?
Visit our current list of active programs here, select a location and follow the ‘next’ link to proceed with your application!
How long is a typical volunteer experience?
There is no minimum amount of time required to volunteer with us. Most volunteers stay for about two weeks, but many stay for less time, and many stay much longer. There is also no set arrival or departure schedule. However, each program has specific days of the week when they accept incoming volunteers due to this being the day off. Please refer to the information packet on the program page to learn when each program accepts new volunteers. We only initially schedule volunteers for two months maximum. However, there is an option to extend your stay if you find you don’t want to leave!
How much money will I need to bring with me?
How much money will be needed depends on the individual. Consider the costs of transport to and from the program, laundry, meals on your days off and breaks every 30 days, as well as what you might spend in your free time. Join our alumni network prior to arrival to ask past volunteers about their budget and experience on your program.
What do I need to know about visas?
It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain the correct visa information prior to their trip. We recommend calling your local embassy for the most up-to-date requirements and steps to obtaining a visa. We are unable to offer any specific support around visas, including visa invitation letters.
Do I have to go on a break every 30 days? Who funds this?
In a disaster relief setting and communal living environment, it is important that we take time away for our physical and, most importantly, mental health. All staff and volunteers are required to take a three day mental health break away from the program every month; all costs associated with this are covered by the individual taking a break.
Will you pick me up from the airport?
We do not arrange any airport pick up or drop off to our programs. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel to and from the program.
Is there any medical coverage?
All Hands and Hearts has organizational medical insurance, allowing all volunteers access to emergency medical coverage when volunteering outside of their country of residence. Given the number of programs in the Carribean, our insurance policy extends to U.S. citizens volunteering in U.S. Territories.
Are there any Terms and Conditions?
Learn more about our Volunteer Terms and Conditions. Please read the “Hold Harmless” and “Code of Conduct” agreements carefully; by checking the boxes on your volunteer waiver, you confirm your understanding and acceptance of these terms.
What’s the difference between a residential volunteer and a day volunteer?
A Residential Volunteer (RV) is a volunteer who lives at our base in our volunteer housing throughout the duration of their time volunteering. To join us as a Residential Volunteer you must be over the age of 18. A Day Volunteer (DV) arranges their own accommodation, transportation and food for the duration of their time volunteering. Volunteers age 16 and 17 are welcome to join us on the worksite as Day Volunteers, provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is over the age of 18. Unfortunately we are unable to allow those under the age of 18 the option to stay at our volunteer accommodation as an RV and require that they find their own housing in the area.
I’m from the local community. Can I still help?
We would love your help!! You’ll still need to apply for the program you would like to volunteer on, but you would join us for the day(s) you are available.
On The Program
What are the accommodations like?
Accommodations vary by program however, it is communal living and often community center spaces, such as churches or schools. Our accommodation is mixed gender housing, and there are always functioning bathrooms and showers. Due to the communal living environment and limited space, we advise packing light. You will find the most updated information of what to pack, what to expect and how to get to the base in the program information packet on the website.
What can I expect on a typical workday?
Each day depends on what the scope of work requires. Typical tasks include mucking and gutting, mold sanitation, insulation and drywall installation, carpentry and painting. Don’t worry if you have never done this before — we will teach you everything you need to know when you get there! The work day is typically from 8 AM-4 PM, however these hours vary depending on the program. After you return to the base from the worksite, you will have a chance to unwind, relax and reflect on your day in our nightly team meeting. Check out our day in the life video to get a feel for life as a volunteer.
What are days off?
Each week, there will be designated day(s) off as an opportunity for volunteers to unwind. In a disaster environment, it is particularly important to take time to reflect and process, as well as have an opportunity to build community. You will be responsible for all meals on your days off, as well as transportation costs and any additional expenses you incur. Volunteers often take the day off as an opportunity to explore the local area.
I received an email asking if I could be a driver for the organization. Does that mean all I’ll do is drive?
Volunteers who sign up to drive are a crucial part of making sure our teams can get to and from the worksite. As a driver, you will be driving one of our vehicles with a team of volunteers. This is in addition to volunteering on site, not instead of.
After The Program
I loved my experience with All Hands and Hearts! What can I do next?
Join our alumni network! This resource is your space to connect and network with other alumni, take humanitarian training, find photos and blogs from other volunteers and continue to support communities impacted by disasters. We post job opportunities on the job board and announce priority sign-ups to new programs, among other alumni-only benefits!
Are there internships or employment opportunities?
For the most up-to-date employment opportunities, visit Our Careers page for a list of our current vacancies.
Can I get a certificate/proof of my volunteer hours?
Yes, just let the Volunteer Relations Coordinator know that you need one and we’ll be happy to provide proof of your volunteer days. Alternatively you can email us with this request at [email protected]
I would like to be a part of the Alumni network! How can I do that?
We would love to have you as part of the alumni network. All you need to do is head to the site and register yourself using your email address, Facebook or LinkedIn account. Then you can start using it immediately. Let us know if you need any help at all.
Complimentary Flights
Flight Incentives
How do the flight incentives work?
We have various airline partners who have made generous donations to our organization. These partners have all donated flights so that travelling to our programs can be more accessible for our volunteers. We use these donated resources to support our volunteers which means they are subject to availability and can only be used in certain locations.
Program eligibility
Which programs are currently offering complimentary flights?
We are currently able to offer complimentary flights for our Coastal Bend program in Texas for volunteers who can stay for more than 2 weeks. You need to be travelling within the continental US and volunteering for at least 2 weeks. Complimentary flights are subject to availability.
Are complimentary flights available for any other programs other than those mentioned above?
We are not offering complimentary flights for any other programs at this time.
General information
Am I eligible for a complimentary flight?
To be eligible for a flight, there are several requirements:
  • Commit to at least two weeks on our Coastal Bend program
  • Depart from an eligible airport in the continental U.S.
  • Apply for our programs via the online application
How long is this promotion running for?
Our resources to support volunteer travel are donated by our airline partners. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.
Do I have to be a US citizen to be eligible to receive a flight?
There is no requirement to be a U.S. citizen to use this offer.
Can I get reimbursed for car travel OR if I’ve already purchased my flight?
We are unable to provide reimbursements for already purchased flights or for fuel/car rental costs.
How does it all work?
If you meet the travel criteria, we will contact you with regards to next steps for your travel once you complete the volunteer application.
Can I fly from any airport?
You must depart from an eligible airport in the continental U.S.
How do I arrange my flight?
Please ensure you have selected your travel plan carefully. To arrange your flight, you will need to complete the following:
  1. Complete your online waiver to confirm your volunteer place
  2. We will contact you in the run-up to your departure to confirm details and book your travel
  3. Once booked, we will email you your travel confirmation detail
We will do our best to book you on your preferred flight, but please be aware that this is subject to seat availability. Once we have booked your flights, it will be difficult to make any changes to them.
Are there any additional costs to me?
Our offer is strictly limited to covering the flights that we have agreed to provide. You can expect to incur baggage fees which volunteers are responsible for covering.
I leave in 3 weeks and I still haven’t heard from anyone, what should I do?
Please check that the email with your flight information has not ended up in your spam/junk mail. If you still have not received anything, please email us directly at [email protected]
Ways to give
Can I give monthly?
Yes! Monthly donations help us to plan for the future. In a world where disasters are unfortunately increasingly common, recurring funding enables us to assess more communities impacted by severe weather and to commit more resources to help them onto the long road to recovery.
Will I get a receipt?
A donation receipt will be sent to you at the email address you provide on this form. Please be sure to keep a copy of your receipt for tax purposes. If you select a recurring donation, you will be sent an individual receipt each month when your donation is processed.
Is this donation tax deductible?
Yes. All Hands and Hearts is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We'll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.
Want to wire funds from a US bank?
Please contact our development team
Want to wire funds but live outside the US?
Please contact our development team
Want to make a stock donation?
Please contact our Finance Manager, development team for details regarding stock transfers.
Can I mail in a check donation?
Absolutely! Please mail check donations to All Hands and Hearts Smart Response ATTN: Engagement Department 6 County Road, STE 6 Mattapoisett, MA 02739
When are the donations from my fundraiser due?
We encourage All Hands and Hearts sponsors to send in their donations as soon as they are collected, but donations should be sent no later than 30 days from the time your fundraiser has ended. Please use our Mail-In Donation form.
Can I accept the bulk of the donations and write All Hands and Hearts one check?
Checks should be made out to All Hands and Hearts Smart Response, Inc., with “Your Fundraiser Name” written in the memo line. If the check is from your account, you, and not your donors, will receive a tax receipt from All Hands and Hearts.
Hosting an event
Where can I find photos, videos and other materials to use for my event?
Please refer to the Events Toolkit that includes several approved assets for your use. If you have any additional questions, please email [email protected]
Online fundraising
When I create a fundraising page, is my information or my donors’ information shared with anyone?
When you create a personal fundraising page, your registration information is shared with All Hands and Hearts. All Hands and Hearts will also have access to the information of people who make donations through your page (unless they donate anonymously).
How do I receive a refund for my donation?
If you made a donation by accident, or accidentally donated multiple times and would like a refund, please contact us directly at [email protected]
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