More ‘Hands’ needed: Volunteer group seeks local help

Published 6:20 am Friday, May 27, 2016

If anyone is still looking for something to do this summer, Julie Renaud has some advice.

“Right now we need volunteers to help gut, muck and sanitize homes,” said Renaud, the volunteer coordinator at All Hands. “As of now, we’ve completed 66 guts and we still have 12 more to go. We have 41 assessments in the queue and that can be anything from sanitizing to gutting to removing debris or simply removing furniture.”

Renaud’s group has been in Bogalusa since March 17, less than a week after the March 11 floods. In addition to privately owned homes, the group has helped clean out the Senior Center and Cassidy Park for the city of Bogalusa.

“Those have been our biggest projects so far and we could always use more help for that,” Renaud said.

In total, she estimated the group has saved the community more than $500,000 dollars through their free labor. All Hands will remain in the area until at least June 30, and possibly longer depending on funding.

However, Renaud said she’s had trouble recruiting volunteers.

“It has been a struggle now to get volunteers in,” she said. “We’re working through it.”

Renaud emphasized that anyone can volunteer.

“We’ve had people as young as 16 and as old as 70,” she said.

The work goes six days a week and usually lasts about six hours per day, including a lunch break. Renaud said All Hands provides food and water, as well as training.

“There are no skills required,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve never used a hammer a day in your life. We’ll teach you.”

Volunteers can set their own days to volunteer, and there are half-day positions as well.

To volunteer, call Renaud at 985-605-4908 or email her at