Monday, December 31, 2007 - Local

An interesting article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel on what people can do to help! - Local:
"We always think someone else is going to do it,' he said. 'I feel like everyone is so caught up in the American dream of having all the shiny stuff that we don't even know our neighbors. The distractions are always there"

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Short Update from Laura

Rain Rain go away!!

"Considering the monsoon-like weather we've been experiencing, it has been difficult to get any work done. We woke up with intent to work, but Randy advised us that our time would be better spent in New Orleans. We spent the day experiencing cajun foods, seeing the touristy sites, and shopping. We wanted to go on a tour of the city, but either the prices were too high or the companies weren't operating on Sundays. When we tried to go on a Mississippi River boat ride, that ship had (literally) already sailed.

We're all pretty frustrated with our inability to work, and attitudes and tempers are displaying this, but with any luck we'll be over that hurdle tomorrow. I'm sure much of the tension will be broken after we get some food, rest, and some work to keep us busy. Can't wait to see BonaResponds!!

Love and peace from MS,


Report from Laura from Pass Christian MS.

Laura McDowell one of our two main student leaders is already In Pass Christian MS. She went with a group the First Baptist Church of Olean. Here is her report:

I suppose since Mahar isn't here to do the blogging for me I wil have to give it a shot. The First Baptist Church of Olean has been working with BonaResponds to coordinate a trip to the Gluf Coast. On Thursday, December 2nd, 11 volunteers set out for Pass Christian, MS. I can't say much about the first couple hours of the trip because I was asleep, but I hear we ran into a bit of snow. Around 9:30 we stopped for breakfast in Erie.

The drive was more mundane than I care to talk about, and I'm sure than you care to hear about. Around 10:30 we got to Nashville, TN where we rented hotel rooms. The wake-up call came way too early, but by 8AM we had already had breakfast, devotions, and were on the road again. Besides a quick pit-stop for gas and lunch, we drove straight from Nashville to Pass Christian. We pulled into Randy's around 6:30, unpacked, got a quicke tour of the facilities, and headed across the newly finished bridge into Bay St. Loius fr dinner.

Although this is my 3rd time at Randy's I still got excited when we pulled in. It has been amazing to watch the place progress since our first time here a year ago. The kitchen/dining hall now has a pantry added onto it, the walls that Cindy, Mike, Terry and I painted white have now been decorated with inspirational and entertaining sayings and drawings from various groups, there are about 40 signs hanging in front of the camp (where BonaRespond's was the first!), and Randy and Deb's trailer has a garden.

It was nice to see Randy again, but he seems pretty drained. I think he's glad he's getting out. Even though he is a little rough around the edges, there is no denying that the guy does good work and has helped countless "prisoners of Katrina." I hope the camp does so well after he leaves.

After dinner in BSL we got some groceries, and headed back to Randy's for devotionals. The message focused on keeping a servant's heart, an open mind, and being flexible. About half of us are between 17 ad 25 years old, and the rest are between 45 and 65, so the group dynamic is fairly interesting. We have one man who ran a business doing extremely detailed woodworking (about as intricate as building watches) and at least 3 people with virtually no construction experience. However, everyone is very eager to work hard so I'm sure everything will work out.

A trip to the Gulf Coast has yet to be a catstrophy yet, so here's hoping!


Friday, December 28, 2007

What to bring and other details of the trip

Hi all...

29 of us are going to Pass Christian MS this coming week. I have been very remiss in getting details online. So here goes:

We will leave at 10:30 AM on January 2nd from Murphy on the West side of Campus.

We will return on January 12. We are taking 3 vans (4 people will be meeting us there).

What to bring:
  1. A good attitude
  2. Work clothes (jeans, long sleeve tee, short sleeve tee, sweatshirt, workboots (ideally steel toed).
  3. Gloves
  4. Sleeping bag (pillow if you want one--yoga block works great and is smaller)
  5. A pair of shorts would not be a bad idea
  6. Flashlight
  7. cell phone charger
  8. Ipod hookup for van if you have one (we do not have a CD player in vans!)
  9. warm clothes to sleep in
  10. towel
  11. toiletries etc (contacts, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc)
  12. water bottle
A limited amount of money will be needed for when we stop on the trip and if we get a chance to go sightseeing on 1/2 day.

There are shower facilities and a place to do laundry.

Space in vans will be at a premium so please travel as light as possible.

Should have had a tetanus shot within 5 years.

There should be limited internet access, but no guarantees. | 12/25/2007 | Post-tornado gifts overwhelm Greensburg | 12/25/2007 | Post-tornado gifts overwhelm Greensburg:
"A group of young people from Mississippi -- victims of Hurricane Katrina -- drove all the way to Kansas in the summer just to provide a crawfish feed for the folks in Greensburg. On July 4, the PigMasters -- a group of barbecuers from North Carolina -- hosted a reunion for all the displaced residents and roasted 10 pigs for the town.

A high school student from Enterprise, Ala., who survived a tornado that ripped apart his high school and killed eight students, drove to Greensburg with a load of 500 or so books because he read that the Kansas school lost its library. Getting the books for Greensburg was his Eagle Scout project."
Also there was a nice NPR show on Greensburg.

Still feel guilty we didn't go.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More pictures from Franklinville are now online

Jessie Jr.
Originally uploaded by FinanceProfessor.
This is Jessie. He was burned in the fire but is doing much much better :) Yeah!

There are now over 100 pictures of the work to renovate his new home. See the full set here.

Not BonaResponds, but similar benefits

Feeling down? Read this. And while you do, try to think about how similar BonaResponds is. True BonaResponds does not do things for money, but the same idea holds.

In this case church members are given $50 each and asked to double it for charity. In doing so, many of the people found talents they did not know they had and felt good about themselves and had a purpose. It also shows that everyone has some talent that can be shared!

Ohio Congregation Lives Giving Parable -
"But it wasn't the money; everyone said so. It was something else, something far less tangible but yet so very real. For seven weeks an almost magical sense of excitement and energy and camaraderie infused the elegant red-brick church on Bell Street, spilling over into homes and hearts as the parable of the talents came alive.

In her sun-filled studio on Strawberry Lane, Shirley Culbertson felt it _ a joyful sense of purpose that she had rarely experienced since her husband passed two years ago....

Church members who never knew each other have become friends"

Want that same feeling? Join BonaResponds on our next service day or trip!

Jen passed this one along. It is pretty cool.

Update from Franklinville

We just got back from another good day up in Franklinville helping the Krytus family.

We had ten volunteers and worked mainly on the upstairs ceilings. Made good progress!

A few quick points of interest:

* First song on radio when we turned it on this morning: "I will survive", which somehow seemed very fitting.

* The family received a very generous donation of almost $7000 of carpeting, cabinets, tiles, and bathroom furnishings. They will likely allow the house to be completed!

* I purposely drove by the mall on the way home. Being the last Saturday before Christmas it was packed. I actually felt sorry for all of the stressed out shoppers inside. I virtually guarantee they would have been happier and made for a much better Christmas had they opted to come volunteer. I guess we'll just have to show more people how beneficial volunteering can be.

* We took about 12 boxes of donations to the family. From clothes baskets to coffee mugs and plates to pillows. Thanks to those who donated!

* Mark January 18th on your calendars! It is the tentative date for a fund raiser for the family. It will be a snow tubing event (not sure what you call a snow tubing event but an event) in Ellicottville. A BonaResponds half work day and half snow tubing day may be called for!

* Jessie Jr. was there for a bit today. He is doing MUCH better. His father is still under sedation and has a probable infection but is breathing on his own and doing better than a few weeks ago.

* Lynn (Jessie Sr's aunt and one of the main organizers of the efforts) was again very thankful for the help and told us repeatedly that after this is completed, she is joining BonaResponds :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A message from Franklinville

Mary from Franklinville emailed the following to us. Can we help?

I spoke to Lynn and we figured it would cost between $200 – $300 to get the floor done. So whatever anyone would like to contribute towards that would be fantastic. The inspector is coming out tomorrow and we may still need some wiring done in the kitchen. Rob may not be able to come back to finish as he has something to do for a church that he promised would be done before Christmas. I guess he is being spread real thin right now as well. Lynn is picking up the lighting and the countertops for the kitchen this week. Once we get the go ahead on the wiring I can call a guy who will call his friends and they can do the dry wall, mud and taping (if given enough notice). Lynn is still trying to get the family in the house by Christmas as long as it is safe to do so. If the flooring isn’t done, that’s ok as long as they have a fairly decent functioning kitchen. We can work around the rest after Christmas.

Kitchen items is what I am thinking they need.
  • Crock Pots
  • cooking utensils
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • Cheese grater
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Towels
  • Laundry baskets

Things of that nature would be fantastic.

What do you think? I am available this weekend (Saturday or Sunday) and donating would really make a great Christmas present.

If you want to donate, email me. Also feel free to drop off any of the things mentioned (also Christmas lights etc since someone did donate a tree) or presents for the baby (Jessie is 2 years old) just drop off in Murphy--my office is 231 but odds are good I will not be there. Ask the Jenifer Spencer the upstairs Business Administrative Assistant to put in my office.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sunday's work day in Franklinville Postponed

Due to the snow storm, the Sunday 12/15/07 work day in Franklinville has been postponed. It will be made up (TBA).

Stay tuned here to see if we do go out locally to help with down trees and shoveling this weekend.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Art Auction Notice Board

The following was submitted today to teh Notice Board. SInce many of you do not attend SBU, I will include it here as well:
BonaResponds Art Auction

When in Ohio after the flood, Clarence Austin donated some of his paintings to us. The artwork will be auctioned off and the proceeds split between BonaResponds and Mr. Austin.

In addition to teh artwork from Ohio, several local artists and even one who we worked with in Mississippi have donated paintings.

The auction will be at 7pm this Friday in the Hall of Fame Room in the Reilly Center.

It is free and open to all. (While you do not need to, a RSVP would DEFINITELY help us plan food etc. We have ZERO idea how many will attend. Email

You can also see the pictures and bid online (sort of) at


Also remember we are going to work in Franklinville this Sunday. We'd love to have more volunteers there! We will leave the Murphy Parking lot at 10:00. We hope to arrive back home around 3:00. The work is inside so we can go even if it is snowy.

Online Auction

Ok, so this is not the way I had this planned. But since it is the middle of Finals week and I still have to make an exam and correct etc, this will have to suffice.

Rules: If you want one of the paintings and can not come to the auction on Friday in the Hall of Fame in the Reilly Center, email us with the painting Number and the amount of your bid. Minimum Bid for all pictures here is $100. (remember the money is being split between BonaResponds and Clarence Austin who is an 83 year old WW II veteran who painted these pictures. He was flooded in Bucyrus Ohio's August flood. We helped him in October and he donated these pictures. (NOTE OTHERS HAVE DONATED PICTURES AS WELL. I WILL TRY TO GET THEM ONLINE ON THURSDAY)
Picture 1:

A nice Christmas present? The baby giving her bottle to a puppy.

Other pictures and how to bid is available here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BonaResponds adopts a family still struggling after Katrina

Another great article/press release from Emily!

St. Bonaventure University: BonaResponds adopts a family still struggling after Katrina:
"“We hope to raise $25,000. When people tell me it is a lot of money, I have to correct them,” said Mahar. “It is a lot of money if we were asking just one person to pay it, but if we get many people, then it is really a very little amount of money. When we are in the field working, I often remind the volunteers that ‘many hands make light work.’ The same is true with respect to fundraising."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Video from Franklinville

This is also on GoogleVideo, but I will put it here since it will be easier to find for you.

We are going back this coming Sunday. With most of the students gone, we will really need the community's help. So why not give a few hours to help a family in great need.

If you want to see an unedited interview with Lynn the Aunt, it is available here. Remember it is unedited and the pictures are quite graphic, but it is well worth at least listening to and after the first 30 seconds or so, the rest is fine.

BonaResponds: Franklinville - a photoset on Flickr

BonaResponds: Franklinville - a photoset on Flickr: "Helping the Krytus Family; December 2007"

Jen added about 40 pictures from the work day at the Krytus house.

Also look for an announcement soon (maybe later today) that we will be going back next Sunday as well!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Laura holding Carrie up so she can reach the ceiling

BonaResponds worked with this weekend to try and get the Krytus family into a home following their horrible fire. Over sixty pictures are online so far. Coming soon a great video.

Updates on the Krytus family

The first from WGRZ channel 2 from Buffalo:
News - Volunteers Come Together To Help Fire Victims:
"Volunteers are giving a Franklinville family a wonderful gift this holiday season. Complete strangers spent their Saturday fixing up a home for the Krytus family who lost their previous home to a fire the day after Thanksgiving"

Four of the volunteers today were from BonaResponds (more in a second on that), on Sunday we will have many more there.

Then a health update from the Olean Times Herald
"Ms. Krytus said her fiance is still heavily sedated and recently contracted pneumonia and a slight blood infection. He also has had two skin grafts. Little Jesse is also working on his recovery and has a daily whirlpool bath treatment at the hospital. Surgeons are discussing the possibility of a skin graft for his right leg.

In the meantime, Mr. Horbacz's aunt, Lynn Rosinski of Franklinville, has set up a bank account to help the young couple with their expenses."

What is the work like? According to Larry, the renovated house will be pretty nice eventually but definitely needs work. The house seemingly had been abandoned and the whole interior had to be gutted. With donations (the HomeDepot was particularly generous), new wiring, insulation, and drywall will be accomplished. Also the ground floor needs a new floor and the ceiling on the second floor has to be redone as the woodwork bulged due to extreme cold.

Both Larry and Bonnie said it had been a very productive day. Let's hope Sunday is too when we have the larger crew there. I am sure it will be!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Directions to the home in Franklinville

If you are coming with us (or want to meet us there) this Sunday, here is the location:

View Larger Map

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

BonaResponds Meeting this Friday

This Friday. 12:30 Aud C.

  1. Franklinville Trip on Sunday
  2. Art Auction--Dec 14
  3. Family adoption-NOW!!
  4. January Gulf Coast trip
  5. Spring Break Trip
  6. Advanced planning for Spring--Local service weekend (April 19-20?)

BonaResponds in the Bucyrus paper

Telegraph Forum - - Bucyrus, OH:
"During the university's five-day October break, BonaResponds traveled to Bucyrus to aid flood victims. Here, the group met Clarence Austin, an 83-year-old World War II veteran."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

BonaResponds volunteer opportunity this Sunday!!!

BonaResponds will be teaming up with local volunteers to help fix up a home for this family.

WIVB TV: News, Weather, Sports for Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and all of Western New York | Father and Son Severely Burned in Franklinville House Fire:
"There isn't much left of the two-story home on Route 98 South in the Cattaraugus County town of Franklinville where a father and his son were injured in a devastating fire. State police say 29-year-old Jesse Horbacz managed to get out of the house with his two-and-a-half-year-old boy...."
We will be leaving at 10:00 AM on Sunday. We have reserved a University van. Hopefully we we will be back to campus around 3 pm so you can still study.

From Mary who is coordinating this:
"Sharon Krytus owned a house on 98 South in Franklinville. She and her
two boys [and} along with her daughter Sherry were in NYC for the
Thanksgiving weekend.

While they were gone Sherry's future husband Jesse, Sr and their son Jesse,
Jr were in the house when it caught fire. Jesse, Sr. searched to
find his son in the fire. The fire dept said that it looked like he had
gone in and out of the house at least 2 times. They could see where he
came out and rolled in the snow/dirt to get the fire off of him. He did
get his son out.

Jesse, Jr received 15% burns on his body. He was released from
Children's hospital last week and is now going through
whirlpool treatments. Jesse, Sr is at ECMC with 45% burns on
his body and has 2 skin grafts so far. He will be in the hospital for a
long time. Jesse,Sr and Sherry had recently bought a bankruptcy house
on Morgan Hollow and Oliver. Jesse was going to renovate it.

We are trying to get the money and materials [and volunteers] together for this rehab
and are praying daily that God will provide.

Directions: Take 5 mile to rte 16 towards Franklinville. Turn left onto
98 South. Go down 5 or so miles (This is not exact).
Morgan Hollow is shortly after the Town of Humphrey sign on the right
hand side. Turn right. Oliver does not have a street sign, but it is
the first right. We are hoping to get some signs made up. We will be
starting about 9 but what ever time you get there is fine.

Thank you so much for your help.


There was some really good TV coverage on Channel 2, here is a link.
Watch the video!

Stop and imagine this for a second: trapped in a fire but not leaving.
Looking around in the burning heat for your young son. Running out for
air and then rolling around in the snow to put out the fire.

then going BACK in. wow. What a hero!
We have a van etc., but if you want to meet us there, that is fine too. We will have hot chocolate etc but dress warm!

The address is 4558 Oliver Road, Franklinville NY.

St. Bonaventure University: BonaResponds to host art auction to aid victim of Ohio floods

St. Bonaventure University: BonaResponds to host art auction to aid victim of Ohio floods:
"BonaResponds will auction these paintings, along with others from local artists. There will be a total of approximately 20 paintings, with many starting at $100. Interested bidders may also offer sealed bids online in advance. (An online page, with previews of the paintings being auctioned, will be established at a few days before the auction.)....

“Of course we want to help Clarence,” said Jim Mahar, Ph.D., founder and leader of BonaResponds and assistant finance professor at St. Bonaventure. “And we want to help any of the thousands of families still waiting for housing across the Gulf. And we want to help more locally as well. Unfortunately, this all takes money. We have to strike a balance between all of these.”

“One of the hardest things I do is to say, ‘No, I am sorry, we can not help on such and such a project because we can not afford to do it.’ That is not a position I want to be in,” said Mahar. “Events like this are designed to assure that that doesn’t happen.”"

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dinner Impossible: Hands-On version!

Have to confess I have never see this show, but Jerry did and said that has quite a bit on Hands On and footage from Pass Road. The dinner is in Yanqui stadium!

TV : Dinner: Impossible : Mission: Holiday Hope : Food Network:
"Mission: Holiday Hope In this one hour special, Robert will have less than seven hours to cook dinner for 1000 residents and volunteers of Biloxi--but there's more to this mission than just cooking food. This dinner is also a welcome home for one Biloxi resident who has been waiting to see her home for two years!"

Art Auction--December 14

Art Auction
Originally uploaded by FinanceProfessor.
Come help BonaResponds help others!!

It will be a great time and you can buy some art that will help us to help others.

Dec. 14th in the Hall of Fame room in Reilly Center.