Community Support

Visitors from around the world come to New Orleans for the incomparable food and electrifying music, but they return because of the people. These groups will allow you to give back to the people that make New Orleans an unforgettable city.

Arc of Greater New Orleans

Contact: Volunteer Coordinator 

Arc of Greater New Orleans is a United Way partner agency with the mission of serving people with intellectual disabilities and delays, such as Down syndrome and palsy, from birth through adulthood. A unique aspect of Arc is the operation of several social enterprises, which are non-profit businesses. By running these businesses, Arc then employs those with intellectual disabilities. Arc currently operates five social enterprises, two of which offer great volunteer opportunities for small and large groups: the Vintage Garden Farm and the Mardi Gras Recycling Center. The Vintage Garden Farm has three locations, smaller farms in Orleans and Jefferson parishes and then a three-acre farm in Chalmette, which is a 20-minute drive from downtown New Orleans. Team building and group volunteer opportunities are available year-round at the farms and include: tilling, row building, harvesting, planting, and mulching. If you are into organic gardening or farming and don't mind getting a little dirty, this is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. The Mardi Gras Recycling Center is where we celebrate carnival year-round. Arc receives tens of thousands of pounds of recycled Mardi Gras beads and trinkets every year and with help from volunteer groups, we sort and repackage the beads that are then sold to float riders during Mardi Gras. This indoor activity definitely gets you into the Mardi Gras spirit no matter what time of year and promotes the local philosophy: "Laissez les bon temp rouler," - let the goods time roll!

To make your volunteer opportunity as easy as possible, please note that those volunteering at Arc's Metairie location can have lunch provide lunches from the Vintage Garden Kitchen for a small fee.

City Park, New Orleans

Contact: Earl Sires, Volunteer Manager

New Orleans City Park is one of the largest urban parks in the USA. We have 1,200 acres of
land and 22 miles of shorelines. This huge green oasis in the midst of the Big Easy has captured
the hearts of locals and visitors for over 150 years. Our volunteers play a key role in maintaining
and developing a stronger park. With our budget recently cut by the State of Louisiana by over
50 percent and our current staff still reduced to 85 full-time employees (before Hurricane Katrina
we had 115 full- time employees), volunteers are essential for the Park to take its place in the
cultural and recreational rebirth of New Orleans.

What you need to know:

  • City Park is prepared to welcome groups of all sizes.
  • The Park will assign at least one employee to work with the volunteers on the day of service.
  • Given their financial situation, they ask convention and corporate groups to make a financial contribution to the park that will, at a minimum, cover the cost of supplies and materials used on their volunteer day. Supplies and materials can include plants, soil, mulch, paint... contributions vary but they tend to average between $25 and $50 per person. Most companies send them a check and then they purchase supplies. They also have a large inventory of in house supplies that will be used for the volunteer projects.
  • The Park has found that most groups' projects are best planned within 3 hours of service, although this can be adjusted.
  • Volunteers are encouraged to dress appropriately (no open-toed sandals, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen.)
  • Volunteers are responsible for providing any beverages they wish to drink and food they wish to consume. Bring plenty of liquids year round, but particularly during the summer months.
  • They have many different projects at the park that will vary depending on the financial contribution, number of people in your group, and the level of difficulty of work that the group is willing to embrace.
  • The work is rewarding: Groups come to the park and tackle an area that needs work. After an investment of three hours, the area is much improved and the volunteers leave with a great sense of accomplishment!

City Park Attractions: 

  • The Arbor Room at Popp Fountain -venue space
  • Pavilion of the Two Sisters-venue space
  • New Orleans Botanical Garden
  • Carousel Gardens Amusement Park (18 rides including an antique carousel)
  • Parkview Terrace - venue space
  • Storyland
  • The largest collection of mature live oaks in the world
  • Boat rentals at Boat House on Big Lake
  • Bike rentals at Boat House on Big Lake
  • City Putt (two 18-hole miniature golf courses)
  • Big Lake walking and bike path (3/4 of a mile long)
  • Festival Grounds walking and bike path (1 mile long)
  • New Orleans Museum of Art
  • LA Nature Trail at Big Lake
  • The Singing Oak
  • Morning Call
  • Wetland area at Festival Grounds
  • NOLA City Bark
  • Peristyle - venue space
  • North Course Golf Facility and driving range
  • Equest Farm
  • Popp's Bandstand - venue space
  • Popp Fountain - venue space
  • Shelters (including the new Reunion Shelter) - venue space
  • Tad Gormely Stadium, Pan American Stadium, various sports fields
  • Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  • 21 Hole Disc Golf Course
  • Wisner Bike Path (double lane, runs parallel to Bayou St. John up to Lake Pontchartrain)
  • 2018 Master Plan including the current construction of a 36 hole miniature golf course and the new Festival Grounds area.
  • City Park Pepsi Tennis Center
  • LOOP (Louisiana Outdoors Outreach Program)
  • Couturie Forest/Scout Island nature trails (60 acres of forest and trails, 100% volunteer maintained) including:

               Laborde Lookout Observation Deck (highest point in New Orleans-45ft)
               Ongoing hardwood forest restoration
               Invasive species removal
               Wetland grass planting
               Example of Coastal Prairie

Dress for Success - New Orleans Chapter

Contact: Diane B. Lyons, Dress for Success Board Member

The New Orleans Chapter of Dress for Success's mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a support network and career development tools to help them thrive in work and life! Through job preparation, employment retention and career development programs, Dress for Success New Orleans addresses the needs of low income women by promoting economic security and self-sufficiency to break the chains of generational poverty. It's true that giving back builds better communities, but it doesn't always have to involve heavy lifting! There are numerous volunteer opportunities - be a personal shopper assisting with clothes choices; sort clothes donations or host a suit drive or have a unique interactive teambuilding exercise for your group....a "Project Runway" style event is fun and fabulous! Encourage your attendees to participate and support this amazing program.

Friends of the Jefferson Animal Shelter

Contact: Julie Bowen

Friends of the Jefferson Animal Shelter is a non-profit all- volunteer organization whose mission is to assist the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter. We need volunteers for Pet Adoption Days, the Shelter Dog Socialization Program, our Kitten Fostering Program, and to help out at the Purr Pad, our offsite cat adoption center at Jefferson Feed. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

Friends in Need Foundation

Contact: LisaJo Hienz

The Friends in Need Foundation is a small, non-profit organization formed in July 1997 to provide financial assistance to Southeastern Louisiana families in need as a result of medical crisis.

We are a group of people helping people; friends of like mind and spirit who believe that sometimes crises are too big to be managed alone. We are people just like you, who have been galvanized by the needs of others in the community and motivated to respond. Among us, we possess a range of skills, but we can always use more. Together we are more than the sum of the individuals. We understand that a medical crisis can happen to anyone, at any time-without warning or time for preparation.

That is where FIN comes in. This is who we are and what we do.

Homes for Our Troops

Contact: Ashley Twigg
(508) 823-3300;

Homes for Our Troops, is a national non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2004. We are strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001. It is our duty and our honor to assist severely injured Veterans and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor and to coordinate the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.

The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans we serve.

An eligible Veteran or service member may receive a Veterans Administration Specially Adapted Housing Grant up to a maximum amount of $63,780. Homes for Our Troops' assistance covers all costs over and above this grant to ensure that the home is provided at no cost to the recipient.

Contact: Emily Steiber
504-278-1240; is dedicated to training residents and volunteers in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the numerous skills necessary to bring this century-old historic neighborhood back to life in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These skills run the gamut from basic to advanced house construction and rebuilding. Don't worry, even if you've never held a hammer, the crew can teach you the skills you'll need to positively contribute to bringing families home.

The work day goes from 8:15-4:30. All volunteers should bring lunch and water, and provide transportation to our main office site in the Lower Ninth Ward. We do ask for a small volunteer fee to help cover the cost of tools, materials and transportation. 

NOLA Green Roots

Contact: Joe Brock

NOLA Green Roots is a membership based nonprofit whose mission is to build sustainable communities through gardens. NGR's mission strongly supports the belief that community gardening systemically improves the quality of community life by providing a catalyst for employment, education, recreation, and exercise.  Our gardens provide the nutrients for neighborhood and community development. We train and employ youth, eliminate food deserts, stimulate social interaction, reduce obesity, encourage self-reliance, decrease urban blight, produce nutritious food, control family food expenditures and conserve resources.

Click here for an informational brochure on NOLA Green Roots.

NOLA Tree Project

Contact : Connie Uddo, Merri Kay Graves

NOLA Tree Project (formerly Hike for KaTREEna) is a local, environmental nonprofit dedicated to growing stronger, healthier communities through tree plantings and community service projects. We were founded in 2006 to replant the over 100,000 trees lost to Hurricane Katrina. With the help of over 65,000 volunteers we have planted and given away over 35,000 trees since the storm. Our innovative programs include:

  • GreauxHealthyKids Schoolyard & Community Orchard Program: Planting fruit tree orchards in schools, on vacant lots, and at community centers across the city. With childhood diabetes and obesity on the rise, there has never been a more important time to introduce our children the importance of eating fresh, healthy food.
  • Urban Forestry Program: Increasing our urban canopy by planting trees on public greenspaces, in parks, and neighborhoods across the city.
  • Big TREEsy Giveaways: 4,000 - 5,000 trees given away annually to homeowners across the city.
  • Community Service Projects: Volunteer projects in the community, from painting and repairs in schools and community centers to rebuilding houses ... if it improves the quality of life for our neighbors and community then we do it!


Together we can grow stronger, healthier communities!

We also specialize in creating and managing custom, meaningful service projects for corporate groups. Spend an afternoon planting an orchard, or building park benches, filling school supply backpacks, or writing thank you letters to Military Service members, and much more. Let us create a team-building experience that your group will never forget, that leaves a lasting legacy in the community!  

Second Harvest Food Bank

Contact: Michelle Rosamond

Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana is leading the fight against hunger and building food security  in south Louisiana through food access, advocacy, education and disaster response.  We reach those in need by providing food to more than 300 partner agencies and direct food access to community members across 23 parishes from the Mississippi border to the Texas state line. Together, we make up the largest anti-hunger network in the state.  Our community programs and services are valued at approximately $50 million annually.  The essence of our work depends on public-private partnership with local and state government as well as private investment from corporations, foundations, employers and fellow neighbors and friends.  Community support has never been more important and donations to Second Harvest make a big difference in the lives of those struggling with hunger.  Every $10 donation helps provide 28 meals to those in need. Click here to view our fact sheet.

Stop Hunger Now

Contact: Pat Ware

Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 12 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world. Stop Hunger Now's meal packaging program is a fun, hands-on international mission project for everyone that encourages team building and provides the opportunity to have an exponential and sustainable international impact. Our assembly process combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packages. These meal packages are shipped around the world to support school feeding programs and crisis relief.

St. Margaret's at Mercy

Contact: Marianna Roppolo 

St. Margaret's mission is to assure that everyone - even the most vulnerable of populations - has access to quality healthcare in a homelike, dignified setting.The New Orleans Mission

An organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless individuals.

The New Orleans Mission

Contact: Kirk LaGrange

The New Orleans Mission is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless individuals.
The Sharing and Caring Community Outreach Experience 
The Outreach Experience can accommodate groups of 20 to 200 and allows your company or organization the opportunity to participate in a unique experience that gives back to the community and changes lives.

Instructions prior to Outreach:
Each participant comes with a greeting card or personal letter that they will share with someone in the community that they do not know. The message should be personal and uplifting so that the person receiving the card or letter is moved and inspired.

Example of a 3 Hour Outreach Experience:
(Every outreach is customized for each individual group or organization)

  • 9:00am: Participants are picked up by buses at a designated location and brought to the New Orleans Mission.
  • 9:20am: Buses arrive at the Mission and everyone is escorted into the Mission dining hall. (Coffee is served).
  • 9:30am: Mission Director David Bottner greets everyone and tells the story of the Mission. (Brief tour of Mission).
  • 10:00am: Everyone meets at the Mission Food truck to gather food and supplies. Participants put together a personalized box/bag filled with groceries. Once the participant receives their groceries the personal card or letter is inserted at the top of the box/bag with the participant's name, title, city and state on the envelope.
  • 10:30am: The buses depart for outreach locations in the community. Upon boarding, each person will receive an index card or small note pad with a pen.
  • 10:45am: The buses arrive at the outreach location where people in need are waiting. Each person departs the bus with their personalized grocery bag and is introduced to a family or individual to share the groceries with. Everyone will have approximately 30 minutes for sharing, conversation, photos...whatever. The index card or note pad is used to take notes and write down the family or person's name and any other info that's shared during the half hour. At the end of the sharing time everyone is asked to take at least one selfie with their smart phones. (People can get as creative as they want and can also shoot a short video clip if desired, however photos are required as long as the family or individual approves).
  • 11:30am: Everyone boards the buses and transported back to the Mission for lunch and informative debrief about what was learned from this experience. Following lunch and debrief the participants are transported back to the drop off location.

NOTE - Mission Media Productions will photograph the event for all participating groups and organizations. For an additional fee a short documentary of the Outreach Experience will be produced by our Mission Media staff.


The NOCCA Institute

Contact: Harrison Bass, Volunteer Specialist

The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Institute is the nonprofit community support and advocacy organization for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).
The NOCCA Institute provides supplemental funding for NOCCA and advocacy for NOCCA's world-class program. With the support of corporations, foundations, and individuals across Louisiana and the globe, the Institute has helped turn NOCCA into a flagship professional arts training facility.

A major program of the NOCCA Institute is the Press Street Gardens, which is a half-acre urban farm and outdoor applied learning laboratory serving the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts as well as the Faubourg Marigny, Bywater, and Ninth Ward neighborhoods. Press Street Gardens provides fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs for NOCCA's Culinary Arts Department to use in classroom training, for The Boxcar food truck, and for local residents and businesses. It supports innovative, integrated, hands-on learning for NOCCA students by incorporating garden space into arts, sciences, humanities, and health education curricula.

What you need to know:

The maximum number of volunteers that the NOCCA Institute can accommodate is fifty.

The NOCCA Institute will assign at least one employee to work with volunteers on the day of service.
The NOCCA Institute asks that convention and corporate groups make a financial contribution that will, at a minimum, cover the cost of supplies and materials used on their volunteer day. Contributions vary, but they tend to average between $25 and $50 per person.

Volunteers are encouraged to dress appropriately (no open-toed sandals, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen).