When I first signed up for All Hands, my friend asked me, "Why would you sign up for a month of not getting paid and still working"? My Only response was, "To do something bigger then myself". All Hands gave me the opportunity to see first hand both the physical and emotional effect super storm Sandy had on peoples lives in Long Beach, NY. You would think that after a year since Sandy hit that people would be back on their feet and able to move on, but even after a year, asbestos is still an issue that I personally came across multiple times within a month.
There is something indescribable about being alongside people from around the world that have all come together to help give residence of Long Island hope in reconstructing what was lost.
When i think of All Hands, there is sunshine in my soul!!! First volunteered with them in Haiti and then again in New York! And can't wait until I can volunteer with them again!
Reasons why I love All Hands!
1. Very organized
2. They are very educated on how and what needs to be done to get disaster areas up and going again
3. Very very happy and friendly! when you volunteer you are treated like family!
4. Extremely hard working, but we laugh the whole day through
5. They help wherever they can and whoever they can
6. Your time is used wisely you get to the project and jump in to help!
7. Volunteer with All Hands was a very educational experience! They teach you a lot!
8. They are very appreciative to all the volunteers and create a warm happy environment.
Oh I could write so so much more... All Hands in the best organization i've volunteered with.The funding goes where they say it will go, they are down to earth people just wanting to make a difference in this world!
I was originally dragged unwillingly to the All Hands Volunteers Long Island project with my family. Despite my belief that I would not enjoy my stay at all hands I ended up having a wonderful time. At the end of my family's week I found myself surprisingly disappointed to go home. In the end I decided to take a semester off and spend my time with All Hands for the semester.
My story with All Hands starts in 2009 in the aftermath of the Sumatra 2009 Earthqauke. Whilst only able to give a month of my life over to this fantastic organisation i knew i would be back for more. Fast forward to 2011 and i'm stepping of of a plane in freezing-cold winter, headed for the Tohoku region of Japan, where eventually i became the projects Volunteer Co-ordinator (all 1100+ of them over 6 months)
The work All-Hands does can be tough both mentally and physically, but there's nothing better than an honest days work helping others less fortunate than yourself. All you have to do is get yourself to project, get out of bed on time, get on the truck, work, eat, sleep, repeat. Bliss!!
I've met some amazing people through this organisation who no doubt i'll see again some day, maybe on project, maybe not. I know my outlook on life has certainly changed since my times with these guys, and has definitely opened up career choices and avenues that weren't available to me before.
If you have the time and opportunity, GO!
I have worked with All Hands Volunteers after Hurricane Hanna that hit Gonaives Haiti in 2008 and I became a Project coordinator of a cash-for-work program supported by All Hands Volunteers (Hands on Disaster Response) Following the devastating Haitian Earthquake in 2010, I started as a regular volunteer (in March 2010) by doing rubble removal, well rehabilitation, bio sand filter, community cleaning, and other activities.
After 4 months, I became Crew Leader for an organic garden in the camp. I was responsible to organize teams and train them how to plant trees (and vegetables) care for them – including helping with issue related to soil.
From November 2010 until April 2011, I worked as a project coordinator of a cash-for-work program supported by All Hands Volunteers and financed by United Nations Development Programme. In this program we hired vulnerable family members from the communities and organized them in teams to clear residential homes of rubble. From May 2011 until April 2012, I was Project Coordinator for a “Livelihoods” Business Program. In this program, we trained local businesses about how to improve their business practices and practice social responsibility.
Currently based in Seattle, I am learning about environmental education, restoration, maintenance, and leadership. After I complete my six-month internship with Earthcorps, I hope to apply my skills to a reforestation project back home. Deforestation throughout Haiti has created a severe environmental problem, contributing to erosion and flooding during the rainy season.
“The experience working with All Hands was really great for me. These opportunities helped me grow quickly and I started to see myself as someone who could help Haiti even more. It gave me the opportunity to practice what I learned in university and gain even more leadership skills. It gave me more motivation to think about my education and future plans.”
Our family spent a week on Long Island helping All Hands efforts with Super Storm Sandy. Never had done anything like this before and I was nervous. We were shown where we could bunk, and the daily routine of the house was explained. Before we knew it the white board was up with the choices of homes to work in the next day. We signed up and never looked back. I recommend helping make dinners in the evening too. Great time to get to know the other volunteers. So many wonderful people. Hands down the most awesome experience our family has had. Our son came home with us and then went back for more. We will do this again for sure.
I've worked with All Hands since 2011. This organization has provided me with amazing opportunities to fulfill needs in communities that are rarely met by larger organizations. This kind of flexibility is one of the main reasons I keep coming back, along with meeting and working alongside amazing volunteers and homeowners around the world!
I had my first volunteer experience with All Hands (then Hands On) in Leogane in 2010 and the experience changed my life. Since then, I've volunteered with All Hands in Alabama, North Dakota and Long Island, and each time the organization has exceeded my expectations with their simple, no-frills approach to heiping those who need it the most. I am now a All Hands Lifer, and I'll be working with them until my children lock me in a retirement community, and even then, I'll be rocking my AH shirt while schooling the other seniors in bridge.
I was originally looking to Haiti when I decided to get into volunteering again. The end phase of the job I was working on coincided with the Tsunami in 2011, so I headed that way instead. What I found on the ground was a group of incredibly diverse people who did their best every day to improve the situation in those towns house-by-house and in public spaces.
I'd looked at plenty of opportunities initially and settled on All Hands in large part because of the small amount of the budget that goes into admin and overhead. This means that money and energy are being spent where it should be. Another part was they are a good match for my skill set, and unlike some other places you can show up without tons of prior experience. Some of the most dedicated, interesting people on the projects have never done anything like this before.
It's a powerful thing to be able to show up at someone's house and expend a little effort with a few people for a day or two; then witness them weep because they were feeling like there wasn't an end of the path and they are now around the corner to recovery.
It's some of the most meaningful work I've ever done. A couple times
I have volunteered with All Hands since Katrina in Biloxi, Mississippi in 2005. At first I was nervous about volunteering with an organization I knew nothing about, but loved the experience so much I returned to Biloxi 3 different times to volunteer. I have since volunteered with them on 18 different projects. I KNOW they have a direct impact on the homeowners/people of every community we help in times of recovering from a disaster.
All Hands affords everyone an opportunity to volunteer, no hoops to jump through, just get yourself to a project. They provide volunteers with food and housing, (nothing glamorous), and plenty of hard work for as long as you are able to stay. No cost, and no experience necessary to be able to volunteer.
I will follow this organization for the rest of my life because their projects provide people with the opportunity to impact communities affected by disaster. The focus of the organization is not to make money, nor is it to fulfill the volunteer's ego. They change the lives of those who they work in aid of and, as a result, change the lives of the volunteers who come to help.
Corporate brands all over the world would kill for the kind of customer loyalty All Hands Volunteers have from people such as myself.
It was truly an amazing experience having to work hand-in-hand with other ALL HANDS volunteers in making a difference in other people's lives. A privilege to be under various amazing team leaders and heads who constantly inspire me to do my best, Gutting moldy spaces, basements and attics and the like. Vacuuming, scrubbing and brushing surfaces with anti-fungal soap and then drying them all out with big fans and dehumidifiers. Thank you ALL HANDS for the privilege. Mabuhay!
Volunteered with them in Philippines - the best organization I ever volunteered or work with. I have a chance to learn so much, having no experience with disaster relief before they were great. Patient, make you feel appreciated and we really did some great work.
I worked with All Hands in Haiti in 2010. The experience definitely changed my life, and it was incredible to see how well loved the organization was throughout the community of Leogane.
I am a traveller from New Zealand and heard about the work All Hands was doing in New York with the Sandy relief. The more I read about them, the more interested I became vs a lot of other volunteer organizations out there. They don't charge, they provide the tools, food and a roof over your head as long as you're willing to get to the site. Awesome.
I signed on and went to Colorado to help out following the recent flooding. Their hearts are dedicated to fantastic causes and make working accessible to anyone with the desire to help.
Really enjoyed my time and enjoyed meeting some of the team out there.
I volunteered in August in the Philippines and was incredibly impressed with their organization, valuable work and appreciation of volunteers. I have volunteered with lots of other groups and All Hands definitely surpasses them all! It is one of the only groups that doesn't charge you to volunteer. You find your way to them and then they provide food and somewhere to sleep.
I have volunteered with All Hands 4 times over the last 3 years and every experience has been great! My favorite thing about All Hands is their commitment to the community in which they are working. I think All Hands genuinely trys to understand and meet the communities needs. Not only do they meet the needs of the community, but, they also meet the needs of their volunteers, providing a very meaningful and productive experience!
I heard about All Hands from a few former volunteers in Biloxi, MS and they had nothing but good things to say! After my own experiences volunteering with 1 domestic project and 3 international projects, I know exactly what they were talking about! I love to volunteer, but All Hands has been by far my best volunteer experience. I went into my first international project a little uncertain, but as soon as I arrived I found myself in a house shoveling mud with a group of friendly and welcoming volunteers, and I knew it was going to be a good experience. Then, the first time a home owner brought us coffee and spaghetti I felt like we were really helping people, she wanted us there and we were going to help her get back into her home. They are great at balancing the expectations of the volunteer and the needs of the community. I think this creates projects where everyone can contribute and amazing things get done! This is a great organization that has forever influenced my life. I recommend volunteering at All Hands to anyone who is looking for a chance to help others, work hard, learn something about a community and about themselves, and meet amazing and inspiring people!
I volunteered in Haiti January 2011...3 months later I was on board and working with All Hands. Great organization, does great things with great people. I continue to work with All Hands.
My first encounter with AHV was a year ago when I volunteered in Haiti. Retired and looking for something to do, I found All Hands on internet. It was easy to apply to volunteer and the response time amazing...a month after applying I was in Haiti gutting, removing debris and helping out at a local orphanage. Life changing experience, even after, a lifetime ... and I am no longer retired. The work I have seen and the enthusiasm of volunteers from around the world made it easy to say yes when asked if I would like to work with All Hands.
Never imagined an NGO could do more than feed a man, however, all hands attempts to teach men how to fish.
I volunteered with All Hands first in 2011, when I spent three months working in Haiti. Let me tell you, it was hands down the greatest experience I've ever had abroad. The organization did an amazing job at making me feel comfortable and safe since i was arriving alone and didn't know anyone there. and the work! Not only were we doing incredible things, but we were having the time of our lives doing it. The staff was amazing, the other volunteers were amazing, and all of the locals were AMAZING. overall, well, i'm sure you know how I feel about them. More recently I volunteered with them in the Philippines. This time for a shorter period of time, only a month, but my experience was just as great. Getting to build brand new houses for people who have been stuck in a hot, cramped tent for months after losing their home is a great experience. All Hands is doing wonderful things for even more wonderful people all around the world who definitely need the assistance. I will definitely be back in the future!