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 operational standards we’ve implemented on program to safeguard our community and help you have a safe and healthy volunteer experience. The page features COVID-19 specific FAQs.
Is there any medical coverage?
We have an organizational travel insurance policy that covers anyone who is under the age of 80 and volunteering outside of their country of residence in the event of any injury or illness while on our program. This includes medical evacuation in the unlikely event of a serious incident. All Hands and Hearts can not provide insurance for anyone volunteering with us in the country in which they reside.
Are there any vaccination requirements?
Due to the downgrading of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the reduction of severe cases worldwide, we’ve decided to relax the requirement for volunteers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, effective immediately. We no longer require volunteers to undertake a COVID-19 test on arrival at our bases. However, testing schedules and other COVID-19-related precautions will be determined by each program team in full consideration of locally relevant factors. Standard preventative measures, including proper hygiene and sanitation practices, will continue to be strongly emphasized across all programs.
Are there any health requirements?
If you suffer from an underlying health condition we strongly recommend you consult a medical professional before committing to join. You should consider the impact of living and working in challenging conditions for a prolonged duration of time. It's important to note, outside of emergencies, access to medical assistance may be limited while you are on the program. We also cannot guarantee access to other resources you may need for certain medical conditions, such as storage for personal medication, or a consistent power supply for charging medical devices. You are responsible for ensuring you will have access to everything you need in relation to any medical conditions or illnesses you have.
Do you require a background check?
Everyone who stays overnight on our base of operations is required to have completed a check through Sterling Volunteers. If volunteers do not stay residentially, then they are not required to have completed a check. Once you submit an application to volunteer, we’ll send you information on the background check process to get you started. For more information about background checks please reach out to [email protected].
Do you require any specific experience?
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. Curious if this is right for you? Head here to learn why you should volunteer!
How much does it cost to volunteer?
Volunteering with All Hands and Hearts is free. We provide accommodation for the duration of your stay and meals on workdays. Keep in mind, you will be responsible for the cost of your background check, 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.
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.
Do you provide travel?
Volunteers are responsible for arranging their travel to and from the program, and covering all costs associated. Occasionally, we offer travel incentives to volunteers who commit to two weeks or more. This travel incentive is limited to availability. Take a look at the “Travel to Program” section of the Volunteer Info Hub for specific program travel information.
Will you pick me up from the airport?
Typically, 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. However, in locations with limited transport options, we occasionally arrange a scheduled pick up. For more information take a look at the Volunteer Info Hub for the program you’re interested in.
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.
Volunteer Application
How do I apply to volunteer?
We currently have multiple volunteering opportunities available all around the world. Head over to our Volunteer Page to find more information about individual programs through our Volunteer Info Hubs and links to our volunteer applications to apply today! If you still have questions don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected].
How long is a typical volunteer experience?
You’re welcome to join for whatever length of time suits you best. Typically, volunteers join from two weeks to a month, and the longer you stay, the more rewarding the experience! Some international programs require a minimum commitment of one week. We initially schedule volunteers for a maximum of two months. However, providing there is availability, there is an option to extend your stay if you find you don’t want to leave!
What’s the difference between a residential volunteer and a day volunteer?
A Residential Volunteer 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 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.
On The Program
What are the accommodations like?
Accommodations vary by program. It is communal living, often located in community center spaces, such as churches or schools. Typically, our accommodation is mixed gender housing, and there are always functioning bathrooms and showers. You will find specific details about accommodation and facilities, along with pictures and videos in the Volunteer Info Hub for each program.
What kind of work will I be doing while volunteering?
Each program has a unique scope of work. Some programs focus on debris removal, muck and gut and mold sanitation, while others focus roof repairs and interior home repairs. In some locations the work will focus on the complete construction of a ground-up school build, where you’ll do everything from digging trenches for a foundation to pouring concrete to building the walls and roof to finishing touches needed to be completed before turning a school over to a community. 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 is hard and dirty, but also extremely rewarding! To find out specific program information, please refer to the Volunteer Info Hubs found on the Volunteer Page of our website.
What can I expect on a typical workday?
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.
Do I have to go on a break every 30 days? Who funds this?
In a disaster relief setting and communal living environment, it’s 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.
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 employment opportunities, visit Our Careers page for a list of our current vacancies.
Can I get a certificate/proof of my time as a volunteer?
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 Alumni Network 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.
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 at [email protected].
Want to wire funds but live outside the US?
Please contact our development team at [email protected].
Want to make a stock donation?
Please contact our Finance Manager at [email protected] 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 82 County Road, PMB 79, 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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