Friday, December 22, 2006

Randy's Rangers

This is where we are staying/working in Mississippi! There have een many changes in the past few days. I will get out an email tomorrow with details.

Randy's Rangers: "To all the Rangers, past, present and future....

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hands On Disaster Response » HODR Update & Announcements

Hands On Disaster Response » HODR Update & Announcements:
"We gave some consideration to helping out with the tree damage after the blizzard in Buffalo, and after the earthquake in Hawaii. We decided “no” in both case, based on our perception of the level of disaster impact, and the local response capability. Interestingly, Jim Mahar, one of our... HOUSA volunteers and leader of the St Bonaventure teams, has launched BonaResponds, and is leading a volunteer effort in the Buffalo area most weekends. We chipped in some money for some quality chainsaws, and they’ve also linked with a local HON chapter, so there may be more activity forthcoming there."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

BonaResponds makes a trip back to Buffalo - Features

BonaResponds makes a trip back to Buffalo - Features:
"The cleanup mission is not finished. The group plans to return to Buffalo in the spring. At that time, the students plan to do different types of activities like planting trees in the parks.

The organization has cleared 90 residents' yards and 40 acres of Martin Luther King Park, according to ... James Mahar. ....

"The majority of the yards we are clearing are for people who are incapable of clearing the yards for themselves, like handicapped or elderly people," Kane said.

The work was dirty, hard physical labor. However, sophomore Patrick Brutus was willing to sacrifice to help others.

"I sawed branches with a hand saw. I dragged the branches and logs out of the muddy, swampy areas to the cleaner areas, that way my other group members did not have to get as muddy and dirty as I had to," Brutus said. "We then dragged everything to the front yard so that it (could) be picked up.

Students were not the only ones to pitch in for the cleanup effort. Kane said current and former faculty members joined BonaResponds in Buffalo."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Some new pictures of on campus trail cleaning

Flickr: Photos tagged with bonaresponds
Cutting downed treesA couple of us went out to clear the trails on campus. Unfortunately the camera's batteries dies so we did not get many pictures, but a few is better than none.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Buffalo News - Cleanup continues for hundreds

Buffalo News - Cleanup continues for hundreds:
"many branches, measuring more than 4 inches in diameter, are too heavy for her 72-year-old husband to carry. 'I don't know how we'll get all of this out to the front,' he said.

Erie County has assembled a list of up to 600 people - senior citizens, the infirm and others with limited financial means - waiting for volunteers to help trim damaged trees or remove debris, according to Mark Lazzara, who heads the local AmeriCorps office in West Seneca, which is helping to administer volunteer cleanup efforts.....

AmeriCorps has about a dozen volunteers available for the cleanup, in addition to about 30 St. Bonaventure University students working one day a week, Lazzara said.

"We've been doing it every Sunday and are trying to get more volunteers," he said


Bonaresponds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bonaresponds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

We made it to the big time! (Anthony, James, Jerry-- GREAT JOB!!!)

Monday, December 04, 2006

And still more pictures are online!

More pictures from Sunday Dec. 3, BonaResponds working in Buffalo!

Hauling branches

Friday, December 01, 2006

More Buffalo pictures online

Finally got around to uploading some more pictures from Buffalo. (Remember we are going back this Sunday (12/3/06--leaving Murphy lot at 8:45).

Group effort

RedOrbit - Science - Plan May Protect Gulf: Better Storm Tools in Creation

RedOrbit - Science - Plan May Protect Gulf:
Better Storm Tools in Creation: "Federal and state governments are setting into motion plans to protect northern Gulf of Mexico communities from future hazards, policy makers invited to speak at a conference for scientists and coastal natural resource managers said Wednesday.

'The ocean research budget is less now than it was 30 years ago,' said Dr. Frank Muller-Karger, a member of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and a biological oceanographer at the University of South Florida. 'If people like you don't push to fix these problems, they won't be fixed.'

Among the most pressing concerns, Muller-Karger said, are pollution, overfishing, land development and wetland loss, climate change, evolving habitats, red tide and hurricanes."

and then the bombshell:

"Katrina is not the worst-case scenario," said Rob Lowe, who is leading FEMA's efforts to create flood and storm surge maps. "This type of storm comes into the Gulf every 30 or so years. We need to look at a 500-year storm event.""

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thank you from AmeriCorps!

From Mark at Americorps in West Seneca:
"Jim, James, and the Bonaventure Crew:

Thank you for joining the WNY AmeriCorps, The West Seneca Youth Bureau, and Handson Greater Buffalo in serving out community.


Mark Lazzara
Executive Director

Mark will be on campus Dec 7th, 2006 at 4PM to discuss Educational Grants available to volunteers who do 300 hours of service per year.

For more info check out or

News on many fronts

Trying to find time to put a newsletter together but these things are too important to wait, so:

1. A $50 deposit for the January 2-12 trip is due this Friday!! If you are out of town and want to go, please email

2. The Christmas Ornament sale is going very well (we ran out yesterday from a very small batch). If you would like to help sell them or if you want to buy one (they are $5.00 each), please email us at

BonaResponds Christmas Ornaments

3. Had a great discussion with various Americorp representatives and we are going to be able to qualify for education grants of up to $1000 for those who volunteer 300 hours a year! This is great! We are having a mandatoryt meeting on it Thursday Dec. 7th at 4PM with Mark who runs the West Seneca Americorp office. Please take advantage this great opportunity!

4. As for the January trip, we will be taking vans and it looks like we will most likely be in Bay St. Louis but maybe also some in Biloxi.

5. We are going back to Buffalo this weekend but because of so much work this time of year, we are going to try and leave to get back a bit earlier. So we should be back on campus around 6:00-6:30.

5. Many new pictures have been uploaded (and I still have more to upload). Check out the Buffalo "set".

IM003459IM003556Brr...back at base group photo

Monday, November 27, 2006

A thank you from 2 Buffalo Residents

Received the following note over break. It was from the houses we did at the end of the day last Sunday.

I am a senior citizen and a widow. I was deperate to have my branhces cleaned up in my backyard.

I called around and got in touch with your organization and they came to my house. They worked for at least two hours...

I was so thankful for their help. They did a wonderful job cleaning my yard. I couldn't have afforded the money it whould have cost me if someone else did it.

...[the] group [was] so nice and polite that I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated it.

Your truly,


(and her neighbor )


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mississippi Home Again

Mississippi Home Again:
"The Mississippi Home Again Relief Fund is a non-profit organization established to help Mississippi Gulf Coast residents with limited financial resources to resettle in their homes after Katrina, a critical step on the long road back to normal life, independence and dignity. We assist these individuals and families by replacing their most fundamental, most costly household essentials destroyed in the hurricane: typically hot water heaters, stoves, refrigerators and beds. We also aim to replenish their spirits with personal attention, empathy, compassion and humor. "
This site was mentioned on the Nancy Grace show (which was very good--and as a rule I avoid the show!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

BonaResponds Video from Buffalo--By Nate Cornman

Nate is from UB but has been working with BonaResponds for the past 5 weeks. He made a very cool video of what we were doing in the area> Highly recommended!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Ornament

For Immediate Release:



ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2006 – Here’s a switch: BonaResponds is on the receiving end of some help this holiday season.

To support St. Bonaventure University’s on-campus service organization, a marketing class is selling Christmas ornaments for $5 each. Once purchased, the ornament will be hung on a Christmas tree display from Nov. 27 to Dec. 8 in either the Hickey Dining Hall on campus or the Allegany Park ‘N’ Shop store.

The ornaments will bear a gift tag of the sponsor’s name to showcase community support. The ornaments will then be delivered back to the buyer before Christmas.

Students in Dr. Michael Russell’s Event and Sponsorship Marketing class (MKT 310) organized the ornament fundraiser, one of four community-oriented events that have exposed students to real-world event marketing opportunities.

“This is an excellent opportunity to show your support for BonaResponds, which works diligently to provide for those in need, including the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the devastating October winter storm in Buffalo,” said event coordinator Marissa Sciarrino, one of four five-year MBA students taking the marketing class for graduate credit and acting as group leaders.

Three other student groups in the class have already organized a youth hockey camp in October; a wine-and-food pairing event for graduate students at The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts earlier this month; and a UNICEF drive that saw the familiar orange Halloween donation boxes spread across the area.

Ornaments will be available for purchase on campus in the Reilly Center lobby on Monday, Nov. 27, through Wednesday, Nov. 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They can also be bought by contacting Abbey Naples at; Sciarrino at; or Matt Corasanti at Cash and checks payable to St. Bonaventure University will be accepted.

More information about BonaResponds is available at

Hands On Blog » Blog Archive » Fewer Volunteers, Greater Need as Pressure Grows to Gut New Orleans Homes

From the Hands On Blog: Fewer Volunteers, Greater Need as Pressure Grows to Gut New Orleans Homes:
"A rush of volunteers came to New Orleans in the months after the storm hit, in August 2005, and countless more since. But many organizations have reported sharp declines in recent months. And that’s happened just as pressure from the city mounts for homeowners to gut their homes: If they don’t have them cleaned by now or put on a waiting list to be cleaned, they could face possible property seizures or demolition.

The waiting lists for free gutting service offered by a dozen nonprofit groups are months-long. “We try and give priority to the elderly and people with special medical needs, but we’re not turning anyone away,” said Mitchell, who works for Louisiana United Methodist Storm Recovery,"

Monday, November 20, 2006

Buffalo Disaster Relief w/ Bona Responds - a photoset on Flickr

Nate has started uploading some pictures from working in Buffalo. Can say enough good about him. HE is a UB student who worked with us every day (after the first day) in Lancaster and West Seneca.

He also spent his entire summer in Lousiana. Check out his pictures. They are really good!

Buffalo Disaster Relief w/ Bona Responds - a photoset on Flickr: "Buffalo Disaster Relief w/ Bona Responds

Created by Nate Cornman. "

Friday, November 17, 2006

Welcome : GoodSearch : Search the Internet with GoodSearch and support your favorite charity or school.

Welcome : GoodSearch : Search the Internet with GoodSearch and support your favorite charity or school.:

GoodSearch logo

Please use this as your search engine whenever you can. Consider these numbers provided by GoodSearch:

Charity or School Size Number of Supporters Average Searches Per Day Estimated Revenue/Year
Small 100 2 $730
Medium 1,000 2 $7,300
Large 10,000 2 $73,000

All you have to do is enter BonaResponds as the charity.

Powered By Yahoo! Search
Please use this site honestly. Fraudulent searches will result in a charity being de-listed."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another nice note

From a Lancaster Resident:

" Dear Bona Alumnus,
My daughter is a proud Bona 2006 graduate. I do not know the proper

email address to thank the Bona Students for their volunteer service after the

Oct 13 storm in Lancaster,NY. True to the Universities' dedication to service,

I saw many Bona students helping this area's with the huge clean-up. Please pass this on

them & the people responsible for getting them all up here in a timely fashion.

Their presence was much appreciated and noted throughout our community.

It is SO good to see young people helping others unselfishly.
Many Thanks to All,
Kevin Horn

Monday, November 13, 2006

James cutting down a pavilion on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

New pictures from this weekend in Buffalo are now online! From MLK park in East Buffalo and from houses in West Seneca.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another thank you!

From a family we helped this Sunday in West Seneca:

"I would like to thank the students,alumni, faculty who gave of themselves this past sunday, November 12, 2006.

The surprise October storm completely devisated all the trees in my mothers back yard. My mother has a history of heart trouble and is unable to lift heavy things. As much as she would have like to try and clean up some of the small branches and such, it would have been a losing battle. 12 trees with large limbs hanging from above would have only made matters worse if one should have fallen. She called several local agencies and even Mr. Volker but found there wasn't really any help available to her. After contacting Americorp, my mom was at wits ends because they never called back. Contacting her insurance company didn't help because of her deductable.

Finally, on November 12, 2006 jut three days after her eye surgery, the doorbell rang. To our amazement, it was the Bonaresponds group. These people came in and cleaned up our yard leaving all branches neatly, by the curb. These 10 people gave of themselves on a chilly damp day to help someone who didn't know where else to turn. After these people were done, I had time to speak with them. An outstanding group of people who came in, did a great clean up and were heading back out to do as much as they could before darkness. I personally commend there loyality and comment. They are a shining star who made my mom cry because she was so overwhelemed.

I can't express how I feel, I'm disabled with a spinal injury. I can only say, God bless them for the work they did and do. These 10 people probably wouldn't expect a pat on the back as I think there to proud and my heart felt thanks go out to them. You (they) made our day and and when you least expect it, miracles happen. God bless and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you so much..... Mrs. TK West Seneca, NY."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thanks from a family we helped

Ever wonder if the people appreciate the efforts of teh volunteers? Check out this email we recieved today:

"Dear [BonaResponds volunteers].....Where do I Begin to extend our sincere thanks, for all you're volunteer work.....My wife AND I were stunned on Sunday the 8th of November. The doorbell rang, and lo and behold , a terrific bunch of students ( ALL VOLENTEERS) ASKED IF WE WOULD LIKE SOME ASSISTANCE WITH THE CLEAN-UP, after our most recent snow storm. These students spent the next two hours working, chain sawing all the large trees, branches, picking up all the fallen debris, and carrying it all to the road for pick-up.

MY wife and I are eighty years old, and we could not have done any of this work. I would like everyone to realize, this world is a better place with yougsters of this caliber. Again our heartfelt thanks to all who did this splendid job for us. May they all have a very brite future,we are sure they will, GOD BLESS them, and one more time.......THANK YOU....THANK YOU......Regards, Dick and Rose T*******.... Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You

MLK Park in Buffalo

This is the park that we will be working at on Sunday.

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy- MLK park
"In 1977 was renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. The park was originally connected to Delaware Park via the 200' wide Humboldt Parkway similar to Bidwell Parkway on the west side. However in 1960 the parkway was torn up and the 6 rows of stately trees were cut down to make way for the 6 high speed traffic lanes the Kennsington Expressway, ripping out what was the spine of a strong working class community leaving a great divide in its place.

The Science Museum is located in Martin Luther King Jr. park at what would have been the terminal vista of Humboldt Parkway. The parks most significant feature is the five-acre wading pool that once attracted thousands of people from the region. It is unfortunate that a generation of East Side residents has only experienced this feature as a barren, cracked, concrete basin....

This Sunday!!

NEW NEW NEW!! BonaResponds is happy to announce a new phase in our efforts to assist the Buffalo Region reciver from teh October Surprise snow storm. This new phase going be in conjunction with Erie county, the Olmsted Parks, the West Seneca Youth Bureau Americorps. This is a HUGE opportunity for volunteers to not only help Buffalo but also to develop ties with the Americorp program.

This weekend we will be working in areas of South and East Buffalo that have barely been touched since the storm. These jobs will include cleaning up properties of the poor, elderly, and handicapped in the area as well as cleaning up MLK park (.

Our base of operations will be the Charles E. BurchfieldNature & Art Center- 2001 Union Road - West Seneca, NY 14224 between Clinton and Race/Indian church road. MAP

We really need a good showing to start off the new relationships and to show what we can do. So if you can come, PLEASE do and bring some friends! Bring your roommates, team mates, friends, and enemies. The more the merrier! It will be fun and the impact will be immense! (and remember for every time you volunteer for a full day of service, we will take $10 off the cost of a trip to the Gulf).

We will be leaving the Murphy Lot on SUNDAY at 8:50 AM. We will return to campus at about 7:30. Dinner will be provided. We have 2 vans, but be prepared to car-pool (we will pay $10 for gas for any vehicle of 4 or more volunteers).

Dress for the conditions: you should wear boots, clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and a good pair of gloves. It is also recomended that you bring a change of clothes for the ride home.

Come on out, it is going to be a huge day and a great way to kick off several new service relations!

* This looks great on a resume, counts as service hours, and you get to network with some of the best in the area. You will be very glad you came out!!

For more info email

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Update on GoodSearch

Amount Raised : GoodSearch : Search the Internet with GoodSearch and support your favorite charity or school.:
"We estimate that each search will raise $0.01 for your designated charity or school. The more people use GoodSearch, the more money will be directed towards your cause. The sky is the limit!

Here's an example of how much your organization can earn:
Charity or School Size Number of Supporters Average Searches Per Day Estimated Revenue/Year
Small 100 2 $730
Medium 1,000 2 $7,300
Large 10,000 2 $73,000"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Way to support BonaResponds for free and from home!

GoodSearch smaller logo

BonaResponds has started a GoodSearch account whereby the orgianzation gets money for you doing a search! (We get one cent for each search you do.)

The search uses the Yahoo search engine and you can set a button to your toolbar or download a special toolbar that will remember us.

Just remember to select BonaResponds as the charity.

Welcome : GoodSearch : Search the Internet with GoodSearch and support your favorite charity or school.:

"GoodSearch There's no reason not to.
You Search...We Give!"

Monday, November 06, 2006

From a BonaAlum

From an email from MM a 1996 Bona Alum:

"I am always proud to say that I am a Bona's alumni, but now more than ever I am full of admiration for all the volunteers who came to my community (my parents live in Lancaster and I live in Clarence) to help clean up after our "surprise Buffalo snowstorm." Please send all of our thanks from Buffalo to Bonaventure. The help that those volunteers provided was worth more than words can say. Thank you and God Bless!"

75th home!

BonaResponds 75th home update

BonaResponds cleaned its 75th property in the Lancaster area this weekend.

A big THANK-YOU to all of the volunteers on a job well done. 75 homes is HUGE! Consider that most tree clean up services are charging $500-$900 per property and some of the impact that BonaResponds is having is seen. And that approximate $40,000 of services to those hit by the storm says nothing of the benefits that accrued to the volunteers!

We are not done! There is still MUCH MUCH work to be done. And we are going back this weekend. We will probably be having a new headquarters (closer to downtown Buffalo) but we will be back and you will have a great time!

So please join us! Stay tuned for details, but plan on leaving Murphy/Plassmann parking lots at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Also a reminder that a $100 video contest is underway. Submit your BonaResponds video and if our panel of judges picks it as the winner, you get $100!

Do you have pictures from any of the BonaResponds events? Share them at our new photo pool:

for more info on any of these events please e-mail and check out our Web site

Friday, November 03, 2006

Article on BonaResponds

The Bona Venture:
"'We heard the trees breaking and the transformers making noise the night before. One of my thoughts was, 'this would be a great job for BonaResponds.' (I) had no idea that (BonaResponds) was already well ahead of the game,' Hoffmann said. 'Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs are a huge part of the Bonaventure family. The fact that BonaResponds is so proactive in responding to disasters of this nature really makes FEMA and its equivalents look foolish,' she added.

Members of BonaResponds couldn't go to Buffalo last weekend as planned because of weather conditions. Instead, the group went to Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean to finish its improvement project at the school."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Weekend Reminder

Remember we are going back to Buffalo this w/e!

Dress for the weather! Boots, layers of clothes that you do not care if they get dirty, gloves, etc.

We will leave Murphy's parking lot at 9:00.

A thank you from Archbishop Walsh

To everyone from BonaResponds who helped at Walsh Sunday:

A huge thank you to all of you for giving up your Sunday to help us fix up Walsh. We honestly could not have done all of this without you. Not only did we profit from your expertise in painting and cleaning, but you are such wonderful role models for our students that many of them are now looking at Bonas ina different light.

Thank you sincerely for all your help. I hope we can continue this Bona-Walsh relationship.

Thanks again to you all! (Next time we'll have more pizza; I thought our kids had left,
but they came out of the woodwork when the pizza arrived!)

Muchas gracias! Marge Mahar

Friday, October 27, 2006

BonaResponds in the news

From today's BV Article on Volunteering:

Ryan gets the ball rolling:

"BonaResponds leader Ryan Nicole Hasper...She holds volunteering in a special light. "I believe that volunteering is a great way to give back to the community," Hasper said. "Volunteering makes me feel good about helping others
that are in need.""

Well said Ryan!

Tim Then gets in the action and also describes the synergy that can exist among different volunteer groups

""I went on this trip for (the Journey Project), but after the day was over, I decided that I really wanted to join...I plan on going with BonaResponds to Mississippi in the near future. Volunteering gives me a sense of accomplishment
and a sense that I helped someone." "

St. Bonaventure University: BonaResponds returns to Buffalo to assist in clean up

St. Bonaventure University: BonaResponds returns to Buffalo to assist in clean up:
"About five dozen students from BonaResponds, many of whom traveled to the Gulf Coast in March to offer aid to hurricane victims, spent Sunday in suburban Buffalo helping victims of the freak Oct. 12-13 snowstorm clean up their ravaged yards. Another group of BonaResponders will be heading back to the area this Sunday to help storm victims again. "

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More new pictures

Stephanie sent along some pictures from this past weekend's trip. They have been uploaded. My favorite is this one:
from steph-jim hauling tree branches

(Ok, so I am biased!!)

Why help?

I will allow the volunteer to remain nameless (unless she tells me otherwise), but this is very representative of the feeling you get for helping out. Experience it yourself! Come with us this Sunday!
"I went on the 10/22 trip to Buffalo and I thought that it was the most positive and rewarding experience that I have done in a long time. I loved it. Everyone was so sweet and thankful to have relief workers in the area. One woman whose backyard was a complete mess came out to thank us because her husband has been in the hospital because he needs a kidney so that left her and her 86-year-old mother-in-law. There were trees everywhere and there was no way that they could have done the work. She said that having us help out was the best thing that has happened to her all week.
I loved helping out and if you could please put me on the email list for bonaresponds that would be wonderful"

Drive volunteers, get money

As you probably know, BonaResponds is going back to Buffalo this Sunday October 29th! Please come help. Last week we cleared 40 homes. With you we can do even more. Help others and have fun at the same time! It is open to ALL!

Our headquarters will again be at the Lancaster Municipal Building at the corner of Central and Broadway.

Registration at back of Murphy at 9:00 AM Sunday. Dress warmly in clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. Also wear boots and gloves. Plan on car pooling.

As we learned we only have one van, there is a new plan, if you agree to take 4 volunteers (yourself and 3 others) BonaResponds will pay $10 for gas.

RSVP IF POSSIBLE (it helps with lining up jobs if we have some idea how many are coming) to

For more info:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

BonaResponds Newsletter October 2006

BonaResponds Newsletter October 2006
Just realized I never linked to his here. It gives a nice summary of what we have been doing and what we hope to do in the future.

Bonaventure gets honor roll

Bradford Publishing - St. Bonaventure honored for community service projects.:
"St. Bonaventure University has been named to the first President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for distinguished community service.
The award was given in recognition of extraordinary volunteer efforts by the university and its students to serve area neighborhoods and Gulf Coast communities devastated by last year’s Hurricane Katrina.....

“It is a great honor and I think this shows the strength of the Bonaventure community’s caring,” ...said Dr. James Mahar, assistant professor of finance and the first St. Bonaventure faculty member involved with Katrina relief trips. “From the Gulf Coast to the streets of Buffalo after the recent storm, from students to faculty members, to the alumni and the local community, the entire SBU community continues to inspire not only those that they help, but everyone involved.”

Monday, October 23, 2006

From an "interview"

I was just replying to an email and I liked what I wrote, so will share a part of it with you:
"It was just a great day...not only did our volunteers' efforts improve the people's property but also their mood...On a dreary day BonaResponds brought some light to an area that was hit hard. That, more than the tonnage of debris moved or the number of yards cleared is the most important thing we did. People who at the beginning of the day had no hope to get their yards cleaned themselves, were often moved to tears by the volunteers' efforts. That is something you can't put a price tag on. "
and later:
"it was just a blast...not sure the formula, but even in a cold hard rain, the fact that you are helping people really makes you feel good about yourself and the world in general."

From an email

From an email from a volunteer:

"Also I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed yesterday, it felt so rewarding. I would like to go next sunday if possible."

It IS DEFINITELY possible. We will be leaving the Murphy Lot at 9:10 on Sunday October 29th. Come on out!

Update on BonaReponds Buffalo Clean up

Update on BonaResponds Buffalo Storm Cleanup.

What: BonaResponds Buffalo Clean Up Day: over 40 homes were completed!

Where: Base camp was in Lancaster Village Municipal building. Lancaster is a suburb South East of Buffalo.

When: Sunday October 22. We left St. Bonaventure at 9:25 AM. Returned about 7:00 PM.

What: The day went VERY well! Trees and storm debris were removed from over 40 homes (in fact 50 homes were actually completed, but some had been largely done prior to our arrival so those minor jobs will not be counted.)

In spite of wet and cold weather, about 60 volunteers gave up their Sunday to cut and haul tree debris left in the aftermath of the “October Surprise” snow storm that caused much damage across the Buffalo region. The work was done in the Village of Lancaster. The homes that were done were roughly half selected by the Lancaster emergency response program while responses to the Alumni email “blast”, word of mouth, and requests in the field made up the remainder of the jobs.

How: Upon arrival there was a very brief meeting in which we broke into teams cover the ten grids that made up Lancaster. Each team was provided with a map and a list of jobs.

Once at the job site, the work was often challenging as untold thousands of tons of downed limbs and trees had to be cut and hauled to the curb so that trucks could remove the debris to eventually be chipped. With chain saws buzzing constantly, volunteers untiringly dragged branches often larger than they were to the curb and into piles that reached over 8 feet in some cases.

In addition to the jobs previously lined up, many additional jobs were picked up as volunteers spoke with residents and learned of an elderly or disabled person in the neighborhood who needed assistance. It was often these jobs that proved the most rewarding. Indeed, on numerous occasions the residents were so happy that the job (remember it was a job that they simply could not do) that they offered food to the volunteers and even cried for joy.

A pizza and wings dinner was held which served as the nightly meeting at which each team shared their stories. One nice addition to this dinner was that a local resident (whose house we did NOT do) came in and spoke. Fighting back tears, he gave an emotional address in which he told what our work had meant to his neighbors that we had helped.

The Mayor of Lancaster also spoke. He told of the long hours his crews were putting in and how many local residents still needed help.

We will be doing it again this coming Sunday. The work may change slightly as we venture further into different regions. However the impact of the work will remain the same. Please come out if you can and get others to come as well! One of our projects will be Delaware Park and the amount of work there is enormous. We will need all the help we can muster and then some!

Come on out, rain or shine, it will be fun and many people will be helped.

Special thanks to Scott, Terry, Linda and everyone from the Lancaster Emergency Management team. They really made volunteering easy! Also to Wegmans and Park and Shop for donations of food and supplies. And an extra special thanks to David Campbell and Handson Disaster Response for their generous donation of chain saws!


All in all a wonderful day!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Flickr: The October 2006 Buffalo Snowstorm Pool

Flickr: The October 2006 Buffalo Snowstorm Pool-
Many pictures from various photographers on the storm in Buffalo. Once again it shows the need to help out.

If you can make it, please come help BonaResponds!! 11-5 iour HQ is in Lancaster Municipal Building. We will be going all over the area. Come on out! We will help many people and you'll even have fun! (leaving SBU at 9:15 on Sunday).

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Bona Venture

The Bona Venture: "There is so much work to be done. Hundreds of thousands of trees were damaged,' Godbout wrote. 'Just in the Olmstead Parks, it is estimated that over 10,000 were damaged and maybe 4,000 will have to be cut down. And that is just in the parks.'

Similar to the effects residents of New Orleans felt after Katrina, Buffalo residents bonded as well.

'Many of them told us that the storm had brought them together with neighbors that they didn't often interact with,' Godbout wrote.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Buffalo News - Disabled are hit hard

Buffalo News - Disabled are hit hard:
"Dwight Babcock, who is 80 years old and uses a walker to get around, has no electricity, no heat and has used up nearly all of his oxygen supply.

'I don't feel so good,' the Lancaster man said as downed wires hung ominously from the corner of his house."

Now how is he going to move those trees?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Another video...more reason to come volunteer!

Again not our video, but it shows why you should come volunteer to help!

It is basically a "storm chaser" video. Also be forewarned, his language is not G rated! Watch the last minute for the best idea of what it is like.

Can't decide whether to Volunteer?

Can’t decide whether to help out or not? Here is just a sampling of some of the pleas for help we have received.

“If anyone happens to be in the Amherst area at the time, my mom…now lives in a home…in Amherst in a neighborhood that was one of the hardest hit. Luckily she now has power but the issue is downed limbs/trees on the property…. she recently had major surgery so physically cannot do very much”

“…my brother…and his wife…could sure use some help. They will likely be without power and heat until Sunday even if the street gets power. They lost the line to the house. The basement is flooded. They have two small kids at home under age two and he is a NYS Trooper so he has been working a lot and has not had as much time….”

My mother's home was severely affected by the storm. I have been sick and unable to go help her. …I know she sounded very upset on the telephone. My brother was supposed to go and help her, but I am not sure how much help he was to her. Maybe she could get some help from one of the teams, if there is a team that is going to the Amherst/Williamsville area. If possible, could you please call her to see if she needs or would welcome some assistance.

We leave at 9:15 Sunday from the Murphy/Plassman lots at the West side of campus. Be there and bring a car load of friends.

Dress for a hard day of manual labor.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Buffalo Bound

From Today's Notice board:
BonaResponds to Buffalo

Come help the Buffalo area recover from the worst natural disaster to strike the US mainland since Katrina. BonaResponds will again go to Buffalo this Sunday (10/22) and next Sunday (10/29).

We will be working in several sites. Most work is picking up downed branches, but there will be work at base headquarters (logistical and administrative etc.) Added brownie points to anyone with chain saws and chain saw experience.

Headquarters will be the Town Maintenance Garage in Lancaster (Broadway and Center streets). From there we will spread out across the region until regrouping at 5 p.m. for a short meeting and returning shortly after 7 p.m.

We expect to leave the Murphy and Plassmann parking lots at 9:15 a.m. Please car pool. We hope to have a few vans available as well, but no guarantees.

Dress to work: boots, work gloves, and old clothes. And you will want to bring dry clothes and a change of shoes for after (trust us on that ;))

Like all BonaRespond events, this is open to everyone! Help spread the word. Have your friends from other schools meet us.

Having seen it first hand, we can say it is really bad up there and many people have no way to move the downed trees that are on their properties. Additionally, community groups, parks, and schools are in desperate need of help.

As an additional incentive (if more is still needed), BonaResponds will knock $10 off the price of the spring break trips to anyone who works at least 5 hours in Buffalo (and if any donors want to match or add to that please e-mail us!)

While reservations are not required, they will make our planning much easier. Please e-mail
For more information check out


If you can't go but would like to help, we will accept both money or food donations. (Home-made cookies? Brownies? Or even just a loaf of bread for sandwiches would help!)

NewsChannel 9 WSYR - Cleanup Continues in Buffalo, 195,000 Still Without Power

NewsChannel 9 WSYR - Cleanup Continues in Buffalo, 195,000 Still Without Power:
"The death toll from a record-setting fall snowstorm rose by three Monday, while residents waited for word on whether they'll be reimbursed for everything from spoiled food to hotel stays.

About 195,000 homes and businesses remained without power for a fourth day, and Mayor Byron Brown said some community warming centers were still filled to capacity."

Officials disagree on Buffalo guard help

Officials disagree on Buffalo guard help:
"We would like help from the National Guard for debris removal,' said Amherst, N.Y., Police Chief John Moslow. 'It appears to us this will take months rather than weeks.'"

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pictures from the Buffalo trip are online

The longest journey begins with a small step

Not all pictures yet uploaded, but some are here! This is a rough idea of what it looked like when we started. As the capition says (click through, the longest journey begins with a single small step.

Jerry and Stephanie interview

Interview with Jerry and Stephanie on their day in Lancaster helping the residents.

Jason on the aftermath of the storm, how BonaResponds helped, and how little things do make a big difference!

Come out and be the difference!

Email for more information.

Video from Buffalo

We did not film this, but it gives you an idea of what it is like:

Sherry's interview

A conversation with Sherri a Lancaster NY resident on what it was like to help pick up the many many branches that were downed by the "October Surprise" snow storm.

You too can help! Check out

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ann and Jaime speaking on the snow storm damage in the Buffalo region and the recovery. BonaResponds worked with them on 10/15/06

2 On Your Side - News - News On Demand

Watch this, the front of a plane (as in a Jet Plane) is lifted off the ground by the weight of snow!

2 On Your Side - News - News On Demand

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

BonaRersponds to BUFFALO!!


BonaResponds is traveling to Buffalo on Sunday, October 15 to help out with the recent record breaking storm and its aftereffects. Times for this day will be determined soon! Expect most of the day.

We are going to be shoveling snow, moving down trees/branches and much more.

Please dress appropriately (winter hats, heavy coats, snow boots), bring any necessary tool you can (such as snow shovels, chainsaws to name a few) and DON'T FORGET TO BRING A FRIEND!

It will be hard manual labor, so if you are not up for it, please do not take up a spot.

Please email with any questions.

PS We can't take everyone, but if you can make it, please respond to

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This was the first general meeting of the Fall semester. We discuss goals of group, changes, and trips to the Gulf.

Friday, September 29, 2006

BonaResponds delivers locally - News

Some highlights from the BV article on BonaResponds

BonaResponds delivers locally - News:
"'...graduate student James Kane hopes the group can expand and help more places in the area, but said more volunteers are needed to make that idea possible.

"We're doing the best we can do with what we have...but they really are changing people's lives.

We don't want to limit ourselves to hurricane relief. We want to focus on anything that can make the community better.'
and :
"Graduate student Anthony DiMario emphasized the amount of money BonaResponds saved the community through its efforts.

"Both service days cost $250 combined," he said. "We put in $7,000 worth of work....
Anthony also reminded readers that "'We need new student leadership for the future because three of the core students are graduating,'.....
and later:
"Mahar said the group has tentative plans to hold a service day on campus Oct. 29. The group could re-paint the Rathskeller, the scoreboard on the soccer and lacrosse fields as well as the press box, among other tasks in conjunction with national 'Make A Difference Day' Oct. 28.

'We went to the Gulf, we went to Olean, now we're coming home,' Mahar said. 'We'll do whatever needs to be done.'"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Make A Difference Day

Make A Difference Day:
"The National Day of Doing Good
Celebrating extraordinary deeds performed by ordinary people on America's largest day of doing good. The next Make A Difference Day is Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006."


"Plan now to attend the nation’s premier event for volunteering and community service. The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network and the Corporation for National and Community Service invite you to join your colleagues from all corners of the volunteering and service fields to share and learn."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

First Post

This is the first post to the BonaResponds blog! It will be a great way to keep club members up to date on news.

Authors currently include Anthony, James, Jim (me), Josh, and Ryan.