Monday, July 02, 2007

A belated reflection from Patrick

I had forgotten this had never been posted. Sorry! It is good!

"After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, last year, St. Bonaventure University responded: Bonaresponds. Three hundred students participated in this relief effort. We were divided into 5 sites in Louisiana and Mississippi. I was the leader in the Bay St. Louis, Mississippi group.

We cleaned, gutted homes, and roofed. We laughed, cried, and comforted those who were devastated by the natural disaster. This was an unparallel experience that I will never forget. We received unsurpassed radiance, gratitude, and hospitality from the victims whom we assisted. The most amazing part of this experience was receiving hugs that were made of gold; seeing priceless smiles; and turning the feeling of tragedy into triumph.

Bonaresponds enabled my peers and I to extend a helping hand to our afflicted brothers and sisters in a distant community. We touched many people and gave them hope. We were called heroes. It felt unbelievably good. I couldn't imagine spending a more constructive and rewarding Spring Break. I was able to do what I love most, helping others. Going down to the Gulf Coast was an amazing outlet that enabled me to contribute to my national community.

When the Gulf cried for help, God sent Bonas to the rescue. Bonaresponds went back to the Gulf Coast this year as well. It was our spring break during the first week of March. It was just as amazing as the first trip, if not more amazing. On way down to Mississippi we made a detour stop to Enterprise, Alabama to help out the school that was struck by a tornado. We were the answer to prayers; we are like the guardian angels people call for when they are struggling and in need of help. We hauled branches and trees off homes, collected the scattered property of those whose homes were affected, and we talked to the victims and gave them our ears to share their devastating stories.

Since our visits to the Gulf Coast, Bonaresponds has expanded beyond reaching to those in the national community but to lending a hand in our local community, as well. We volunteered at Buffalo when they were hit with a horrific snow storm every weekend for 5 weeks. We helped renovate a local school. We express the extra tender, loving, care people do not find in others nowadays. It is my great honor working and volunteering with Bonaresponds. "

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