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Unique Volunteer Opportunities in New Orleans

Superbowl, NOPD, Jazz Fest, Tour Guide, Dog Parade, CASA, Airport, Docent...

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Unusual volunteer opportunities in New Orleans include gigs for the Superbowl in 2013, the world-famous New Orleans Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras Dog Parades, the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts plays and concerts, the Art Museum in City Park and the various Audubon Institute venues, the Zoo, the Aquarium and the Insectarium/Butterfly Garden. The New Orleans Police Department, aka NOPD, even has a volunteer program to help get more cops out of the office and on the street. Walking French Quarter Tours for the Friends of the Cabildo rely on volunteers who attend their course in New Orleans history and architecture nd guided Museum of Art Tours as museum docents. CASA volunteers investigate and appear in court to help an individual abused or neglected child. Plus a link to a list of Christmas Holiday volunteer possibilities.

1. 7 Holiday Volunteer Ideas

If you want to help other or volunteer during the Christmas holidays in New Orleans, here are several options for your consideration. And you don't have to limit this help to the holidays.MNJKNK

2. Superbowl Volunteers

Lots of volunteers for a variety of dutues are needed throughout the entire week when the Superbowl comes to New Orleans in 2013 and you can apply on line for a variety of duties.

3. Jazz Fest

If the price of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a bit pricey for you, consider volunteering. Even some out-of-owners volunteer every year for their vacagtion. There are a variety of volunteer jobs. Check the Jazz Fest website in January for volunteer applications.

4. Mardi Gras Dog Parades

Photo © N. A. Nungesser
Actually all the people in Mardi Gras and Carnival season parades in New Orleans could be considered volunteers that are part of the Greatest Free Show on Earth every year. It may be the most enjoyable volunteer gig ever. But it's not cheap - float riders pay to be krewe-members to ride and buy their own throws. There are all kinds of Mardi Gras Krewes - exclusive, super-expensive, democratic, etc., if you want to experience the parade from the other side of the beads.

There is one type of very popular Mardi Gras parade that needs human volunteers every year - The dog parade. Volunteers are crucial to these parades which benefit various charities. There are dog parades in the French Quarter, the West Bank,the North Shore and sometimes West Jefferson. (And beyond - There's one in Baton Rouge too.) So if you aren't going to be in the parade with you dog, consider volunteering for Barkus, Arfus, Mardi Paws or Pawdi Gras.

5. French Quarter Tour Guide for FOC

As a Volunteer French Quarter Walking Tour Guide for the Friends of the Cabildo, you'll share your knowledge with tourists from around the world as well as locals. If you join Friends of the Cabildo, there are a variety of ways you can help support the Cabildo and other state museums in the French Quarter, but leading tours is the ultimate FOC experience. If you are accepted in to the group's New Orleans Tour Guide Training Class (and pay the tuition), you will learn all about New Orleans fascinating history from experts. In addition to giving volunteer French Quarter Walking Tours for the Friends of the Cabildo, you could get your city tour guide license, which is required to give tours in New Orleans, via the class, and possibly a new career or moonlighting job with a commercial tour company.

6. CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates

CASA Volunteers represent abused and neglected children who are in the court system. They gather information, report and appear in court. CASA volunteers sole objective in the process is the best interest of the child and can be incredibly important to the child's life. CASA trains its volunteers and no special background is required. There are CASA programs in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish, Slidell and elsewhere in Louisiana.

7. Police Volunteers at NOPD

VoCaL@nola.gov VoCaL is the New Orleans Police Department's volunteer program that began in 2011. As of summer 2012, there are 61 volunteers who have donated over 1000 hours. Those volunteer hours free up the police for other work. Volunteers have answered phones, assisted in moving, filed reports, and even helped tourists at front desk of the French Quarter 8th District Station.

8. NOMA Docents

The New Orleans Museum of A has occasional training programs for new volunteer docents who lead tours throughout the museum. This is another volunteer opportunity that is also a learning experience.

9. Airport Ambassadors

Volunteer Ambassadors at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport welcome visitors to the city with Mardi Gras beads and are a source of information and assistance. These friendly and helpful volunteers are the first impression of New Orleans to many visitors. The Ambassador gig has very flexible hours and volunteer can schedule via the internet. The airport provides uniforms for the Ambassadors. Bilingual and Sign Language fluent volunteers are especially encouraged.

10. Performing Arts Center Ushers

The Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts is a New Orleans venue for Broadway shows, opera, concerts and more. And volunteers are there for every performance. Check the website for the occasional volunteer training sessions.

Local theater groups also use volunteers for duties such as ushering.

11. The Zoo and Other Audubon Volunteers

There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities for all ages at the Audubon Zoo, Insectarium/Butterfly Garden and Aquarium in New Orleans. Adult volunteers can work directly with animals, help with horticulture or take on other duties. There are also volunteer programs for kids and many unpaid internships available.
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