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