Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two Olean groups need some help

Here are two fast ways you can help without even leaving the Olean Area.
  1. On Saturday the Olean Red Cross is having a disaster preparedness program in the Olean Center Mall. BonaResponds is taking part but most of our regular leaders are already spoken for in our big Buffalo service day, so we need your help. If you can devote about 30 minutes on Friday to learn what we want to do and then a few hours on Saturday, it would be really great!
  2. The Olean area SPCA is in the running for a makeover. They need a few more "votes" if you can do it, great. It was actually featured in the Olean Times Herald yesterday and seems legit. You do have to sign in, but seems fairly innocuous
From a friend: "The contest ends on March 31st and we are already
in 33rd place. We only need to move up 13 places to win at
least $5,000 in shelter renovations AND be eligible for a million
dollar shelter makeover. Once you register, you'll get 100 points
for the spca.
Speaking of the SPCA, in a great example of how BonaResponds can work with the local community, Allegany Park and Shop customers donated two large boxes of pet food and cleaning supplies to the SPCA. We will be working there on our local service weekend April 19-20.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BonaResponds Buffalo Service Day THIS SATURDAY

BonaResponds Buffalo Day!!

This Saturday! March 29th from 10 to 4:00 with party to follow.

Work on any of eight (8) sites! We will be painting, cutting trees, boarding up homes, doing a housing assessment, and working various charities and non profits around Buffalo. I've toured the sites and they are good!

This is your chance to give back to the Buffalo area.

There will be a school bus leaving SBU (Murphy Lot) at 8:15 AM on Saturday. Prework meeting at 10:00 at the Valley Center (93 Leddy). Work will begin following.

You can also meet us there. COme and work for a part or the whole day.

Lunch will be provided. Free T-shirts to first 140 volunteers.

Open to all. If you are from the Buffalo area, call your friends and family from home and get them to come out as well. There is plenty of work!

There is a party with food and music afterwards at the Valley Center.

More info at

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Buffalo Day!! Coming soon!! Be Ready!

March 29 (the Saturday after Easter!) is coming fast. Here is a new update from LJ)

BonaResponds Buffalo Day of Service 9:30am - 6pm
Come for as long as you can!
9:30am - Meet at Valley Center in South Buffalo, (near the 190) :

View Larger Map93 Leddy St. Buffalo NY 14210
10-3pm - Volunteers will be break up and work at 7 sites in Buffalo (lunch will be provided)
3-4pm - Clean Up and head back to Valley Center
4-6pm - Party at Valley Center for all participants. FREE FOOD, MUSIC, and time to share about day!
Details of Work Involved (and # of volunteers requested)
- South Buffalo District Councilmen (30 - 100+v) : Michael "Mickey" Kearns, Richard Fontana, and David Franczyk have organized a housing assessment project for south buffalo. Volunteers will be walking a few streets of South Buffalo with a clipboard, marking down info on forms about the houses they see.
- The Bob Lanier Center, 185 Lang Ave (20 - 25v) : Caulking windows, installing frosted contact paper on windows that have no covering, cleaning lockers and washing interior windows.
- Vive La Casa, 50 Wyoming Ave (20v) : floor tiles, painting, priming, and putting in new ceiling covers
- PUSH Buffalo (10 - 20v): painting, or other exterior work on a house tbd. (PUSH is working out all the details, but will have work.)
- The Morlock Foundation, 512 Pearl St. (5 - 15v) : clean, fix things, paint, move some things
- Buffalo Re-Use, 298 N. Hampton (5 - 10v) : boarding up houses at 336 High St., and 109 Woodlawn
- Compass House, 370 Linwood Ave. (4 - 6v) : gardening (weather permitting), or sorting donations
Sponsors: BonaResponds, The Larkin Building at Exchange, First Niagara Financial Group, The Valley Community Association,
South Buffalo District Council Members: Michael "Mickey" Kearns, Richard Fontana, and David Franczyk
Look forward to Brightening up Buffalo with you! Happy Almost Spring!!! It's the perfect time for some Spring Service Day cleaning : )

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Does this sound similar?

Susan Flynn: Working 'vacation' to Mississippi makes an impression -, Salem, MA:
" January, after a friend asked, West took a trip to Biloxi, Miss., to help build houses for families still without them, 21/2 years after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. He had never done something like this before but figured his skills could be of some help.

West returned one week later tired and sore, but also inspired. His wife said he seemed nicer.

'When I came back, I was a little bit different,' he says.

To be inspired is a powerful thing. West decided even before he left Biloxi that he needed to go back,"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Local Service day Notice-Board announcement

BonaResponds Local Days

Want to make the world a better place? Want to have fun doing good? Want to meet new friends? Or just need LAP hours for class? Whatever the reason, BonaResponds has some upcoming opportunities for you!

1. Saturday, March 29, Buffalo Service day! An extension of our successful local service days. We will be working at multiple sites and doing everything from painting, to taking down abandoned buildings, to doing a housing assessment and much more! From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a party after. It is open to all and a great opportunity to network with alumni while helping the community! There will be a bus or you can arrange own transportation. Free and open to all. First 150 get free t-shirts! Would be great for sociology or other classes that want to work on the housing assessment (the Buffalo housing agency will be training us on that day).

2. April 19-20. Local Service Weekend. With so many jobs, we needed two days with a party in between! Weather permitting, we may have bonfire and possibly a camp out. The week before Spring Weekend, we will be recreating a weekend in the Gulf by working at local schools, charities, and local cities and towns. The jobs will be painting, cleaning up, planting trees and more.

For more information on these or other events see

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another new video!

Amanda put together a great collection of pictures and music from her time in Pass Christian over spring break. You will like it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

BonaResponds Survey

We'd all love you to take a second and fill this survey out if you would. It is short. And Emily would really appreciate it! thanks!

Click Here to take survey

Monday, March 10, 2008

More Pictures are online

Moving Boards
Originally uploaded by FinanceProfessor
Almost 600 pictures now online from the Spring break trip!

We still have some more pictures coming from Pass Christian and Gassville, so stay tuned.

BTW I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend using Piclens to view the entire set. It is amazing! Worth the trouble of downloading it. (here is the Internet Explorer version that a few people were asking about.)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

New Video

Jen made the following video to introduce what BonaResponds is and does. It may be updated with the past two trips but otherwise is very good.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Take the Poll!

s many of you may know, recently St. Bonaventure University has begun charging groups (including BonaResponds) 5% of any money we raise through fund raising or donations. This, even to most moderates, seems a bit much. It is one thing to not fund groups while not allowing them to fund raise, but it is quite another to take 5% of the money that is given to them.

So please take the poll on the BV webpage. Or better yet, write to University Officials and ask that they rescind the 5% tax on money raised by service groups UNLESS the money is raised through the advancement office.

(The Poll is on the lower right hand part of the article)

My Turn- BonaResponds - Opinion

My Turn- BonaResponds - Opinion:
"Two and a half years later, Katrina recovery isn't 'sexy' anymore. Cities, towns and victims have been forgotten about. People forgot Pearlington."
"Great article Emily!

SBU organizations fork over cash under new Board of Trustees' policy - News

SBU organizations fork over cash under new Board of Trustees' policy - News:
"A 5 percent gift assessment fee established this year by the Board of Trustees charges on-campus service organizations like BonaResponds, Bona Buddies, Students in Free Enterprise and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for donations it raises on its own."

BonaResponds keeps a positive attitude despite money denial - News

BonaResponds keeps a positive attitude despite money denial - News:
"BonaResponds almost had to leave students behind when it ventured to Pearlington and Pass Christian, Miss., and Gassville, Ark., for a service trip during midterm break.

Jim Mahar, leader of BonaResponds, budgeted for around 40 to 45 people, but when 63 signed up, he realized he would need more money to fund the trip, Mahar said."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Update from Buffalo

Laura Jean sent the following:

"BonaResponds Buffalo Volunteer Day March 29th, 2008
9:30am Doors open for meeting at The Valley Center
People coming up from Olean will probably be showing up around 10am.
Work will begin at 10am. We will start wrapping up the work day around 3pm. After cleaning up, we'll head back to The Larkin at Exchange Building, one block from the Valley Center to have a celebration from 4-6pm with free food, music, and time to share about your experiences from the day. (Lunch will also be provided.) This event is alcohol and drug free.

If you can not participate in the whole day, be there for as long as you can. We appreciate your presence for as much as you can give.

For the work day we will break up into groups, size depending on the site the group is going to, as some sites can use more people than others. We will be working with the following organizations:
- The Valley Center / The Valley Community Association, 93 Leddy St. Bflo NY 14210
- The Bob Lanier Center, 185 Lang Ave, Bflo NY 14210
- The Belle Center, 104 Maryland St. Bflo NY 14201
- PUSH Buffalo
- Buffalo Re-Use
- The Morlock Foundation
- and possibly some community gardens, and street / park clean up, depending on the weather.
Still waiting to hear back from Urban Roots ."

FInal Blog entry from the Gassville Crew

While they have some pictures to upload, this is their final blog entry
March 4, 2008

Well, everyone made it safely back to St. Bonaventure.
The journey was long but well worth it. We'd like to
say thank you to everyone that made our spring break
the best ever. Frankly, none of us knew what to expect
when we first arrived in Gassville. We got there late
at night and none of us had ever seen tornado damage
before. It was quite an eye opener. Gassville has many
great benefits, such as the food and especially the
people. The families from Riverside Church of Christ
know how to cook! We ate like kings and queens everyday
for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thank you everyone
that helped make that possible. I'd hate to have to judge
but I might give the first place meal to the Tuesday
night dinner, BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, pulled pork,
chicken spaghetti, mixed fresh greens and salad. I heard
the desserts were amazing as well, but I had no room
left. The other meals included a full thanksgiving
dinner, homemade beef stew, and sausage gumbo. Some of the
best food we've ever had. Thank you so much!

Thank you to Bill and Beca for allowing us to work
with Hands On Disaster Response. We learned a lot,
especially how important it is to support the people both
physically and mentally by listening to their stories.

Thank you to Gary and Paula Flippin for letting us
stay two free nights at their lodge, Rim Shoals
(, on the White River. The countryside was
beautiful on the River and the change of scenery was
particularly nice. The best perk was our ability to trade
in our air mattresses for real comfortable beds at
the cabin. Thanks again.

We all agreed that overall our trip was perfect
because the people in Gassville made it that way. They
really are the nicest people in the world. It was mind
blowing to all of us how friendly, caring, and supportive
the people in that tight nit community truly are. We
enjoyed hearing their stories.

Finally, Thank you BonaResponds for giving us this
wonderful opportunity and allowing us to venture on our own
through this amazing journey. We all had so much fun
and helped a lot of people at the same time.

Thank you from,
Tyler Drysdale
Mackenzie Edel
Tessa Ocke
Tim Ryan
Ryan Steele
Mike Vieyra
Jared Young
And on behalf of BonaResponds, let me offer you our thanks for a job well done!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hands On Disaster Response » Arkansas

Hands On Disaster Response » Arkansas:
"In appreciation of our volunteers, The HODR colors flew over the City of Gassville, Arkansas on 2/28/08.

From February 12, 2008 to March 3, 2008 HODR volunteers assisted the Gassville, Arkansas community after a tornado cut a diagonal path across the city on February 5, 2008. Gassville, a city of approximately 2,000 suffered a direct hit by a EF2 tornado destroying 79 homes and severely damaged 100. All tolled 267 structures were affected....We hosted volunteer groups from Arkansas State University Nursing Program, Emmanuel Church of Mountain Home, Kimberling City United Methodist Church of MO, BonaResponds, Rocky Ledge Baptist Church of MO, Future Business Leaders of America of Yellville High school, 1st United Methodist Church of Conway AR, Gassville Riverside Church of Christ, Rogers Church of Christ, Fellowship Bible Church of Mountain Home AR, Girdner Community, and Wallis Construction."

If you went on the trip, this one will bring back memories!

Just watch it. If you did not go on the trip, it will not mean much to you.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A look back at a good week

Spring Break is over. The BonaResponds' Spring break trip is completed. All day I have been answering the question "how did it go?". Here are some of my thoughts.

The trip was good. It was not perfect but it was very good. The lack of tools and organization at many sites was annoying and cut into the the amount of work that the volunteers could get done. But as annoying as waiting for supplies was to us, it is just a small small reminder of how annoying waiting two and a half years to move back into your home is.

Most everyone worked hard. Of course there were exceptions, but they were just that, exceptions. To dwell on them misses the bigger picture. Volunteers paid over $200 each to go and drywall, paint, or haul trees to help people they did not know, and in most cases will never see again. The next time you hear that people no longer care, remember these volunteers. They do more than care, they do something positive to help those in need.

In the Gulf, many local residents and long term volunteers just are burned out. This shows up in the extreme cases as suicides, but in every day dealings this burn out shows up in lack of energy, depression, and just a mood of sadness.

Physically things are looking better. Many homes will never be rebuilt and for miles in New Orleans it still is awful, but progress is being made in most places. Biloxi continues to lead the way, but everywhere things are getting better, just at a rate that is much too slow.

Did we help things along? Definitely. From the physical labor to the "just being here" the volunteers should all be proud of how they spent their spring break! In fact, I can't imagine a better way to spend a break.

Volunteer sites

A few people have asked what the web site is for the location we volunteered at so without further adieu:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Suicide rate up dramatically in Harrison Co. | | The Clarion-Ledger

This was a very big topic of conversation last week. The feeling of hope is gone. Whether it is driectly tied to Katrina or to teh loss of jobs in the area, or who knows what, it is a serious problem.

Suicide rate up dramatically in Harrison Co. | | The Clarion-Ledger:
"BILOXI — There have been nearly three times as many suicides in Harrison County this year when compared to the same timeframe last year, but no one knows exactly why."