Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We can't make things perfect, but we can make them better.

The BonaResponds Local Service weekend was this past weekend. While BonaResponds staked its claim to fame by making repeated trips to the Gulf Coast to help victims of Katrina, we have had made a successful transition to the point of being equally a home and in a far away disaster zone.

So what is a local service weekend? BonaResponds has many local service days, but only a few weekends a year. This is when the group works full days on both Saturday and Sunday helping the local community in a day that is modeled after work done in disaster zones from Iowa to Biloxi. The day begins with a quick meeting, then we break into different groups, work, and then get back together for a meal and to recap the day.

This semester’s work weekend included work at the following jobs:

  • Friendship: We helped Ed and Donna build a home which will replace their camper which has been their home for a year.
  • West Clarksville: Helped Mark build a home after a fire destroyed his home this past January.
  • Family Unity Center in Salamanca: painted room for children.
  • South Union Church: gutted a house that is being converted into a learning center and Vacation Bible School for children.
  • SPCA: cleaned stalls, walked dogs, and fed cats.
  • Olean Parks: Painted a wall to cover graffiti.
  • Olean Water Dept.: painted fire hydrants
  • Mount Ireaneus-cut back trees, cleaned interior logs on ceiling
  • SIMM room on campus: finished painting the Student in Money Management room
  • Bob’s Woods: trail creation and maintenance

Three of four jobs got postponed due to weather and yes we would have loved to have had more volunteers, but we did get much good work done. In fact one of our insider jokes for long has been “we may not make things perfect, but we can make them better.” Which sort of summarizes the weekend too. It was not perfect (Laura our student leader broke her ankle between Saturday and Sunday, many had signed up and did not show up, it rained all day Saturday), but ask those we helped and none of that matters. They are better now than they were at the start of the weekend, and that is all we can ever hope to achieve. So when measured by this important stat, the weekend was an amazing success.

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