Wade on Birmingham

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the requirements? You must be at least 18 years of age. Hands On will provide forms for us to sign.

That’s it!

What if I can’t go this time? We may plan group trips in the future, but you can go any time by reserving a spot at Hands on Gulf Coast or Hands on New Orleans. You can also work with Phoenix of New Orleans and Common Ground Collective in New Orleans.

Also, please consider donating an item on the wish list (available in October) or mailing a check (payable to Hands on Birmingham, with a note for “Magic City Mission”):

Hands on Birmingham
601 19th St. N., Ste. 205
Birmingham, AL 35203

Note: Any money raised above the cost for volunteers will be donated directly to Hands on Gulf Coast and Hands on New Orleans.

What about special skills? It’s great if you have carpentry and other specialized skills, but not required. They’ll teach you everything you need to know for each project. (Trust me, I’m a total novice when it comes to this stuff, and I did just fine.)

Is it safe? Yes. (Hands On suggests — but does not require — tetanus and Hepatitis A/B vaccinations for volunteers in New Orleans and a tetanus vaccination for volununteers in Biloxi.) Safety equipment is provided for hazardous conditions, including goggles, respirators, gloves and plastic suits.

What will we be doing? You sign up for projects the evening before. Each morning, you and your team head out to … demolish houses, remove mold, care for animals, read to children, paint, install steps, whatever’s needed for that day.

Can I go for a few days? For our weeklong mission trip, we ask that everyone who signs up commit to the full week. You’re welcome to arrange your own shorter volunteer trip at your convenience.

How are we getting there? If you know someone who can assist us with transportation, please contact me right away. We’ll arrange for a charter bus to take us round trip and split the costs among all volunteers.

How much will it cost? Transportation: about $50 per person round trip.

Lodging/meals: Hands on New Orleans requires $20 per day per volunteer to help cover costs; Hands on Gulf Coast requires $10 per day per volunteer.

Extras: You can bring extra cash to spend in restaurants and clubs and for souvenirs, an excellent way to help folks working and living in these two cities.

We’ll work on fund-raising in October, which may cover part or all of your basic costs.

What do I need to bring?
The official list:

  • Sleeping bag / air mattress
  • Eye protection
  • Hat or cap
  • Jeans
  • Long-sleeve shirts for protection
  • Personal hygiene items and medications
  • Shorts
  • Short-sleeve T-shirts
  • Sunscreen
  • Sweaters (for colder weather)
  • Towel
  • Work boots (steel toes are ideal)
  • Work clothes (keep in mind they will likely be damaged)
  • Work gear (keep in mind that it will likely be damaged/trashed)
  • Work gloves
  • Your sense of humor!

I’d also suggest:

  • Camera (you’ll want to capture everything)
  • Personal stash of snacks/drinks (which must be stored in the designated food area)
  • Ear plugs (in case your bunkmate snores)

Are we going to have fun? Oh, yeah. We’re going to meet great people, do great things, hang out and help out. Your friends and neighbors will envy your war stories and memories. And check out these inspirational videos.

How do I sign up? Using the contact form, send me some info:

  • Your name;
  • Your e-mail and phone;
  • Which city: Biloxi, New Orleans or either;

Signup deadline is Sept. 28. First come, first served.

Any other questions? Just ask.

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