Often words cannot fully describe a person’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This is certainly the case with BonaResponds and to try to describe the last two years of my life as a leader in the group is almost impossible. I don’t mention that I was a leader in the group because I am looking for any special recognition (I will leave that for James…if you have ever been involved in the group then you know who I am writing about). Rather, I mention my leadership role because it was the jobs that I did behind the scenes as a leader in BonaResponds that made the experience so rewarding for me.
First off, working with James Kane, the same James listed above, and Jim Mahar, the founder of the group, is an experience in and of itself. They are both big picture kind of people and I am without question a details person. Jim liked to say, “We’re not building watches,” when I would get too worried about the details. I didn’t really listen to him and kept “building watches” because who else was going to spend four or five hours at a time updating the contact information in our volunteers database. However, to call the jobs I did with them (or more like for them because there was a lot of stuff they just did not want to do) as work is a bit of an exaggeration. Yes, being a leader in the group kept me busy but more than anything, it was a whole lot of fun.
Going to Home Depot with James to buy supplies/tools for BonaResponds projects was always a great time. Somehow, I always knew that we would be in the store for at least an hour even if it should have only taken around ten minutes. I can’t begin to count the number of times that he would stop and show me the hammer that he thought I should buy. Why he thought this information was important to me I really don’t know but he did. James really loves that store and I don’t think he ever left there without buying at least one tool that only he would think is necessary. I could go on and tell more stories at James and Jim’s expense because there are a lot of stories but I will simply say that some of my favorite memories from college involve these two individuals and I will probably stay in contact with them for the rest of my life (but not by text messaging).
Obviously, only three people do not run BonaResponds. There have been many other leaders in the group and they have all had an important role in making BonaResponds what is. Some have been involved in planning and executing almost every event while others have had less crucial roles and helped out when it was possible for them to do so. People help define their own role in the group and that is one of the most exciting things about BonaResponds. I would mention all of these people by name but there are simply too many. They know who they are.
I know that I haven’t mentioned any of the service trips or local service days yet but I think I will have to save that for another day. For now, I just wanted to give an idea of what BonaResponds is like when not on the trips or volunteering in the community. Most people rarely see this side of BonaResponds even if, in my opinion, it is as much fun as the trips themselves. I hope everyone will give BonaResponds a try at least once no matter how big or small of a role a person wants to play. I understand volunteering is not for everyone but in the end you can help a lot of people and maybe make the world a little bit better. There really is no down side to seeing if it something that you want to be involved in. Moreover, for the people that do decide to be leaders I just want to say check your email…frequently.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Anthony reflecting on the management of BonaResponds
All well said, and true, but he should get text messaging! ;)