Friday, December 01, 2006


Gift Donations

Mission Volunteers and Friends:
Our mission is only 11 days away and we are all getting very excited about the trip. I wanted to let you know about an opportunity for everyone to to participate in the mission - even if you won't be flying down to build homes with us.

On Wednesday December 13, volunteers from our mission will be visiting and handing out holiday gifts to the children at the Methodist Home, a halfway home in New Orleans for children who are no longer not safe living in their own homes or have been abandoned by their families. Please check out their website at

Our goal is to head down to NoLa with a duffel bag full of gifts for these kids. Of course, I would love for the bag to be full of Redskins paraphernalia, but at this point any type of gift would be great. That's where you guys can really help out:

If you would like to send a present down for one of these kids, please drop it off by me before 12/12 or send it to me at:
1400 20th Street, NW
Apt. 616
Washington, DC 20036

If you can't drop something off or won't be able to send anything but still would like to contribute somehow, please be in touch with me and we can figure something out. Also, if you know people with a surplus of children's gifts, please send them my way.

Thanks so much

Friday, November 17, 2006


Free Skins Tickets for Mission Volunteers

It is less than one month until we are headed down to New Orleans, and I wanted to make one last appeal for you all to join us. This is an awesome opportunity to do some good work and have an amazing time down in the Big Easy. Our mission leaves Tuesday December 12th and returns Sunday December 17th. You can still get reasonable airfare down to New Orleans, and once you're down there, accommodations are fairly cheap. The first 3 nights of the mission we will be staying at Habitat for Humanity's Camp Hope, which is only 20 dollars per day with food included. For the weekend, we have secured a group rate at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel downtown for 115 dollars per night (great rate for a French Quarter hotel).

I have also found out in the last two days (those already attending, please read), that the Redskins will most likely be providing a dozen free tickets to our mission volunteers. That means that if you pay your way down and work for a couple of days, you don't need to be worried about getting into the game - we have that covered for you. I hope for those of you who were still on the fence about coming this will move you towards committing to the trip.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Important Hotel Information

Mission Volunteers:
Thanks to our good friends at Redskins Road Trips (, we have been invited to secure hotel reservations under the group rate they received. The block of rooms will be at the Bourbon Orleans hotel in New Orleans French Quarter. The rate of the room is $115 dollars per night - and if you bunk with a friend you can split the cost two ways ($115 per person for the weekend). This is an amazing rate and the rooms are going fast, so please make your reservations ASAP. The block of hotel rooms is is reserved under Halter Travel - you must mention this group rate in order to get the discount. The hotel looks very nice and is in the heart of downtown, a perfect spot to be in for the weekend. I urge everyone to call the hotel ASAP and make reservations. The number is (504) 523-2222.

Also - if you still haven't made flight reservations or if you want to rent a car, you might want to check out Halter Travel's web site at

Also make sure to check out the Bourbon Orleans hotel web site at

Please be in touch if you have any questions.



Airfare to New Orleans

Hey Volunteers:

Now is about that time that airfares start jumping, so I really recommend you all book your flights as soon as possible. United has a very good deal right now from Dulles down to New Orleans - the roundtrip cost is $233, which is very reasonable. Here is the link to that roundtrip fare:*itn%2Ford%3DNEWREC,itn/air/united&airline=United&persons=1&air_avail=10&air_class=coach+%28lowest+avail.%29&depart=iad&dest.0=new+orleans&mon_abbr.0=Dec&date.0=12&hour_ampm.0=6+pm&mon_abbr.1=Dec&date.1=17&hour_ampm.1=6+pm&ecert_num=&rt_ow=Round+Trip&best_itins=2&return_to=best_itins&searchby=itins
The flight leaves Dulles Tuesday evening, December 12, around 530 and leaves New Orleans Sunday evening about 530. The Redskins/Saints game should end about 3PM - which leaves us enough time to hustle over to the airport. Its about a 20 minute ride from the Superdome.

I am working with the folks at Redskins Road trips to get us all in on there group rate at the hotel they'll be staying at in downtown New Orleans. Once I have that info, I will pass it along to you so you can book your room for Friday and Saturday night. The folks at Redskins Roadtrips ( are bringing a huge group down to the game, and have invited all the mission volunteers to their huge pre-game tailgate party at the Superdome. Last year they had 600 people on their big road trip, so expect to be in great company all weekend long!!!!

I also have one favor to ask of you all: can you please send me your names, phone number and basic contact info so I can compile a spreadsheet of all the mission volunteers. Please let me know if you have any questions and i'll do my best to help you out.


Monday, November 06, 2006


Mission Update

Volunteers and Potential Volunteers:
Redskins Fans Mission to New Orleans has secured a reservation to build homes at the Musicians Village from Wednesday December 13 through Friday December 15. The mission has also secured a reservation for mission volunteers to stay at Habitat for Humanity's Camp Hope the nights of December 12 through 14. Potential volunteers may now register to attend through me and do not have to go through the New Orleans Habitat office. Now that reservations have been secured, here are some next steps that need to be considered for volunteers:
1) Securing a flight - Because we do not have finalized numbers yet, it’s imperative that mission volunteers begin reserving their own flights down to NoLa. I think we will be too late if we wait before trying to make a group reservation. In terms of flight times, please look for an evening flight that will get you into New Orleans on Tuesday evening December 12. As for the return flight - please make sure you find a flight that will enable you to attend the Redskins/Saints game on Sunday - the game kicks off at noon local time and should end by 3PM. New Orleans Armstrong International Airport is 14.2 miles from the Superdome (about a 20 minute drive).
2) Hotel Reservation - We still might be able to secure a group discount at a downtown New Orleans hotel for the weekend, so I will begin looking into that possibility this week.
3) Rental Car - For those interested in renting cars, Habitat provides discounts at certain rental car companies. If you would like to discuss splitting a rental car for the week of the trip, please contact me over email. Camp Hope is about 20 minutes from Downtown, so a car might be helpful for those who want to go out on the town on Wednesday or Thursday evening - it might also be cheaper to split cab fares in those cases.
4) Camp Hope Forms - In order to stay at Camp Hope there are a few forms that need to be filled out by those attending the mission. I will be sending these forms to the volunteers over email in the coming days.
5) Securing Donations and Tickets - Now that the mission is set, it is time to start thinking about ways to raise money to subsidize the cost of the trip and pushing the Redskins to throw us free tickets for the big game on the 17th. I will also be following up this week with some ideas on how we can use the next month to help raise money to defray our costs.

I think that is it for now, please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006



If you have decided you are seriously committed to going down to New Orleans to build homes, it is time to sign up!!! I am working with Melissa Manuselis of New Orleans Habitat to begin the group registration process and secure reservations at Camp Home the nights of December 12-14. In order to begin registration I need everyone to be in touch with me ( and Melissa ( to let us know you’re ready to volunteer.

Once we have a finalized number and have made plans with Habitat, I will begin researching group rates for flights and hotels in New Orleans over the Weekend.

Once we have a set group, we can all begin marketing our Mission and soliciting donations for our cause.

Looking forward to an amazing experience,

Thursday, October 26, 2006


NoLa Habitat/Mission FAQ

I just received a great email this morning from Melissa Manuselis of New Orleans Habitat for Humanity. She is so excited about the idea of some football fans coming down to volunteer the week of the game. Melissa is going to be helping us coordinate the trip for whoever wants to go and will be a great point of contact for all of us who are interested.

Melissa provided me with an FAQ about volunteering which I have pasted below. This should give you a good idea about what we will be doing and address the usual concerns of people who volunteer.

Once I get a count of how many folks are committed to going down, Melissa will begin the group registration process for us.

Also, if you have other specific questions for Melissa, feel free to email her at

Thanks again!!



Q-When can I volunteer? How long do I need to volunteer?
A-Currently we are working Monday through Saturday, 7:15 am to about 2:30 or 3 pm.
We start so early to avoid the afternoon sun, yes people must be there at that time for sign-in, the safety orientation and this is when they assign the projects for the day. A person may sign up to volunteer any number of days; we just ask that they work the full day for which they are signed up.

Q-How do I volunteer?
A- Please visit and click on “Musicians Village” to get more information on the project. To complete the online volunteer training and registration, click on “Volunteer” and you may choose to volunteer as an individual or as a group (more than 5 people). After you complete the online volunteer registration and training, our Volunteer Coordinator, Melissa Manuselis, will confirm the dates you will be here, the number in your group and your contact information via e-mail. She will also give you all the details about the worksite.

Q-What does it cost?
A-Certain large groups, associations, schools, and corporations may need to pay per person. College groups coming around Fall Break and Spring Break need to sign up through Habitat International’s Collegiate Challenge, and there may me additional costs associated through that process. Student groups that come at other times of the year can sign up through us, and do not have to pay to volunteer, though they are fully responsible for their accommodations, etc.

Q-Can I come for free?
A-No, it is the responsibility of the volunteer to arrange their own travel, food and housing accommodations. We offer hotel and rental car discounts for the convenience of volunteers traveling from out of town.

Q-Can children volunteer?
A-Yes, volunteers aged 16 and 17 may work without parental supervision after having presented the waiver signed by their guardian. 14 and 15 year olds may also work onsite but are somewhat more limited in the tasks that they can perform and must be supervised at all times by someone of 25 years or more.

Q-Do I need to be an expert?
A-No, no experience whatsoever is required. All the instruction that you need will be given onsite.

Q-Can I work even though I have some physical limitations?
A-Yes, there are a number of tasks that can be performed that do not require serious lifting such as painting, hammering or finish work. For more serious limitations there may be opportunities to work at the restore or the office

Q-What goes on at the worksite?
A-Homes are at all stages of the construction process, foundations, framing, to finish. You will not know what you will be working on until the day that you work. Assignments depend on what needs to get done that day, weather conditions, etc.

Q-What do I wear?
A-Footwear needs to be sturdy and closed-toe and closed-heel. Boots or sneakers are both considered appropriate footwear, however boots are preferable. Wear weather appropriate clothing dependent upon the season. Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses may also be a good idea.

Q-Should I bring food or water?
A-Yes, you should bring your own lunch to the site, however, water will be provided onsite.

Q-Should I bring my own tools?
A-It is not necessary to bring any tools, though you may bring your own if you wish. Labeling is not a bad idea for your tools.

Q-Where should I stay?
A-The French Quarter is a great, central place for out-of-towners to stay in addition to being stocked with restaurants and hotels. Additionally, there is Camp Hope, an elementary school turned into modest volunteer accommodations. At $100 per week (or $20/day) including meals, it is a great value for our volunteers.

Q-Is it safe?
A-New Orleans is like any other city. People should use their best judgment and use their instincts. No serious crimes have been reported on or near the worksite, possibly due to the great rapport between Habitat and the local precinct, located just two blocks away. Additionally, the local police and the National Guard patrol the area.

Q-What if I have allergies/asthma?
A-Our worksites in New Orleans are new construction, and therefore pose little risk for mold allergies to get irritated. You should, however, take into account the humidity, heat and abundance of plant life. Bring your medication with you and be sure to take breaks when necessary.


Redskins Fans Mission to Nola, December 12-17, 2006

Welcome to our Blog!
I am going to use this forum to keep everyone updated about our plans to head down to New Orleans the week of December 12-17 to build homes at the Musicians Village leading up to the Redskins week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

Thanks to Jason LaCanfora, I have received great feedback about getting a group of Redskins Fans together to head down to NoLa from DC to build homes through Habitat for Humanity. Ideally, everyone who participates in the trip will fly down on Tuesday, December 12th (in the evening) and build homes with Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday December 13th through Friday December 15th. Volunteers will take Saturday to tour the city and then attend the Redskins/Saints game on Sunday December 17th before heading back to DC. Volunteers will stay at Habitat's Camp Hope before moving to a downtown New Orleans hotel for the weekend.

Plans for the mission are still being made, so please use this blog as an opportunity to share ideas, offer help and let me know if you're interested in being part of this great cause. If we get enough fans to volunteer in the coming days, I will begin organzing a group flight and group hotel for the weekend.

Here are some helpful links to give you an idea of what the mission will be doing:

I am going to keep the blog updated as often as I can.
Thanks for all your great feedback and please use this forum as a way to contact me and give me your ideas and plans.


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