Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Local Service Weekend April 24-25-26

It will be our biggest ever. Not only is it 3 days (instead of two), but several classes are coming in mass, so we will have more volunteers than in past years.

What we know so far:

* we will be working along the Allegheny River trail, Friendship, SPCA, Olean Schools on Playgrounds, City of Olean painting fire hydrants and street signs. We will also be working on Bob's Woods and planting trees at the Mountain.

Other clean up jobs include Mt Herman and near the Catt County Nursing home (behind Tops). On campus we will be painting the rugby goal posts and working at the Fitness Center for Athletic Dept.

still looking for other jobs... if you have one that you think needs to be done, fill out this form and we will see if we can do it:

Celebrities who are coming:
  • Bill Hammond is coming...he of Texas fame...AKA "Nicest guy in the World"
  • Randy from Randy's Rangers is coming
  • John Zimmer might be coming
Person who is most important to the success of the event?
  • You! Volunteer! Be a leader. Bring your friends. Get involved now and help plan the weekend!

Some pictures from the Buffalo Service day

Pat scraping plaster
Originally uploaded by FinanceProfessor.
BonaResponds and Villa Marie teamed up for a very successful service day on April 28th. Approximately 120 total volunteers worked at 11 sites in the Buffalo area.

More pictures to be uploaded soon!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Directions to Villa Maria site of Buffalo Service Day

Registration 9:30 to 10:00 on Saturday March 28th.

(Route 90-EAST or WEST):
Exit at Walden Ave. West (Exit 52W). Travel approximately 1/6 miles on Walden past Harlem to Pine Ridge Rd. Turn right onto Pine Ridge Rd. Following Doat St., you will see Villa Maria College on the left. Turn at first left after Doat St. into the main entrance of the college.

We are going to start off in the Student Center- so when you come onto campus after Pine Ridge, go past the large building (with the big stairs) and just follow that road to a stop sign. Make a right at the stop sign, and you are there! The building says “Athletic Center”.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meeting on Wednesday

BonaResponds Meeting

BonaResponds will have a SHORT meeting at 5:30 in Murphy's Dresser Aud C on Wednesday March 25th.


1. Discuss this weekend's Buffalo Service Day. (We leave campus at 8:30 on Saturday)
2. Recap local service opportunities
3. Discuss local Service weekend (April 24-26)
4. A quick sneak peak at the NEW BonaResponds.org that will be officially introduced next week.
5. Pass out t-shirts to those who were on the recent spring break trip. (so yes to get t-shirt, come to the meeting)

Open to all! Come and make a difference. Volunteer and change the world!

To those of you making BonaResponds videos

As the late Paul Harvey would say, this is closed-circuit to those of you making the next batch of BonaResponds' videos: You probably do not want to NOT USE any Warner Brother music.

Rights Clash on YouTube, and Videos Vanish - NYTimes.com:
"Countless other amateurs have been ensnared in a dispute between Warner Music and YouTub... The conflict centers on how much Warner should be paid for the use of its copyrighted works — its music videos — but has grown to include other material produced by amateurs that may also run afoul of copyright law.

“Thousands of videos disappeared,” said Fred von Lohmann, staff lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet civil liberties group that asked affected YouTube users to contact it. “Either they turned off the audio, or they pulled the video.”

A spokesman for Warner Music said that YouTube’s system for identifying copyrighted material does not distinguish between professionally made music videos and amateur material that may include copyrighted works. "

Friday, March 20, 2009

The most important thing BonaResponds often brings...

The most important thing that BonaResponds often brings to a disaster is not a chain saw, shovel, or wrecking bar. It is hope.

Of sure we cut trees. We gut homes. We haul debris. We help rebuild. But put all of that aside. Often just being there is the most important thing we do. It reminds those affected by the disaster that others care, that they will recover, that they have a reason to go on.

That hope is needed in Friendship. I spoke with Donna again this week and she said that Ed is getting down due to his health issues. So much so that he does not want to have the surgery that is needed. In a phrase, he is giving up.

She thought (and I agree) that us being around would pick up his mood. Ed did not get hit by Katrina, nor Ike, nor a flood, tornado, or ice storm. But his health issues are no less a cause of suffering.

So even though we had already agreed to send some volunteers to the Mountain this Saturday, we will also be sending some to help Ed and Donna.

What does this mean to you? We need more volunteers. Come volunteer and bring a friend.

With next Saturday being Buffalo Day, and then later next month (April 24-26) being our 3 day Local Service Weekend, I know we ask for volunteers a great deal. But this one is needed and I think we can really make a big impact, even if in only one person.

We will leave Murphy at about 9:30 AM.

(and a side note to Steve, if you come, I will buy you some more Hannah Montana stuff)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good news, and bad news, from New Orleans in Tuesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360" - Walker, TV Ranger - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com

Good news, and bad news, from New Orleans in Tuesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360" - Walker, TV Ranger - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com:

The next time anyone asks why volunteers are needed when FEMA and other government agencies "do so much". From NOLA.com: House count in St. Bernard's Parish
"The contrast was stark: St. Bernard Projects volunteers, 200. State and local governments working with millions of FEMA dollars, 0. Or maybe 1."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BonaResponds Buffalo Day!!

March 28th The Second Annual BonaResponds Buffalo Day!!

This year the work day will be in conjunction with Villa Maria College.

Basic idea of the day: We meet at Villa Maria, have a short meeting, go work at various sites (take lunches), return to VillaMaria for free dinner and all-hands recap meeting.

A partial list of jobs (still waiting to hear from a few others)
  1. Bob Lanier Center-- Caulking Windows, cleaning inside and outside pickup
  2. St. Brigid-Columba Youth Center-- stripping wallpaper, cleaning walls, painting?
  3. Felician Sisters Mother House -- painting several rooms, setting up library
  4. Sr. Josette Food Pantry --- cleaning and organizing on-campus food pantry
  5. Cheektowaga Historical Society -- cleaning basement
  6. CHC Learning Center -- cleaning toys, therapy equipment, classrooms
  7. Kevin Guest House -- cleaning- walls, windows, etc
  8. Moving Miracles -- painting offices, building recital props,
  9. Villa SIFE Big Brothers/Sisters Carnival -- assist with running carnival- games, etc
  10. Nativity Miguel Middle School St. Monica Campus -- cleaning, washing walls and baseboards
  11. New Testament Church Youth Center -- painting, drywalling, patching walls for new youth center and computer lab
Tentative Schedule

Meet at Villa/Registration 9:45-10:00

Work Day 10:30 -4:00

Return to Villa; Clean up 4:15-4:30

End of Day Meeting 4:30 (with slide show from the day)

Dinner 5:00 ish


There will be transportation to VillaMaria from SBU. Details are still being worked out on this (and depend on the number of drivers) but we plan on getting a school bus, have the BonaResponds Van and will try to get other vehicles too. BUT IF YOU CAN DRIVE AND TAKE PEOPLE please indicate that on our sign-up form below.

Open to all. Get your family, your friends, alumni, or people off the street who want to help others.

Sign-Up form
Here is a sign-up form:

Here are liability waiver forms for BonaResponds and we will have ones from VillaMaria up very soon (everyone needs to fill out each).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

From the BV: Bona's responds to Ike's aftermath - Features

Good article from the BV on our trip to Galveston.

Bona's responds to Ike's aftermath - Features

Some highlights:
"BonaResponds spent Feb. 27 to March 7 cleaning two miles of road, hanging drywall, wrapping and insulating houses, rough wiring (doing preliminary electrical work before electricians come in) and gutting homes, which includes knocking water-damaged walls down in order to put new ones up.

The group flew into Houston, stayed in a Galveston church and slept in sleeping bags or on cots."
"The work ethic of the students, especially the women, impressed Hammond.

"The girls worked as hard, if not harder, than the guys, and let me tell you this was hard, dirty work," Hammond wrote. "We're talking nail guns, circular saws, jack hammers and saber saws. The girls were not shy at all about using these power tools and got to be quite good. I think I witnessed some pent-up aggression with these girls using the power tools."

Overall, the dedication of students, alumni and leaders provided a significant contribution in the cleanup process."

Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bob's Poem

One day in March I met a group, they came from
St. Bonaventure was their home, their motto, “Yes We Can”.

They were a young and lively group, just doing a good deed,
The purpose of their trip was clear, some people were in need.

Some students slept in sleeping bags, a few slept on the floor,
And even though the work was hard, they said, “We can do more”.

“Bona Responds” was on the ground, both boys and girls alike,
The hurricane we all recall, its name was simply Ike.

A lot of people needed help, and help was hard to get,
And so the students came to help, people they never met.

When Ike left town it left a mess, with water everywhere,
In every house and every room, it even fouled the air.

They cleaned up trash along the road, for more than several miles,
The natives thanked them one and all, with words and food and smiles.

They tore down homes whose days were done, fixed up many others,
A privilege to know them all, future dads and mothers.

The kids went home late in the week, they wanted no applause,
When asked, “Why did you give so much”?, they answered “just because”.

And so a toast to all involved, “Galveston’s Adventure”,
The team who came to render aid, from St. Bonaventure.

Bob McGrath
Class of 1950
The proud winner of the “Bad A” paper plate award
Galveston, Texas 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Pictures

Uploaded more pictures from the Galveston trip.

Update on Bridge City--Good news

As you know BonaResponds spent two weeks working in Bridge City. We stayed with the Church of Christ Disaster Response Team.

Ike 6-months after:
"Friday, it will be six months since Hurricane Ike blew through and destroyed Bridge City, a good portion of the Cove and other areas of Orange County.

The area was quickly flooded with volunteers and donations. Today, most organizations have left the area, another is planning to leave as others still provide assistance.

The Church of Christ Disaster Response Team set up shop in the Bridge City-Orangefield Community Center soon after the storm....The team’s departure has been set for March 31....They have distributed more than 7,000 sheets of drywall, volunteers coming in now are installing sheetrock, helping paint and installing appliances. From time to time, plumbers and electricians volunteer, but are in shorter supply and greater demand."
"Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte said FEMA has removed 15-20 trailers from Bridge City so far. “A lot of people are getting real close,” he said, referring to citizens returning to their homes. “I’m pretty much done except for cabinets.” Roccaforte said a rough estimate of people back in their homes in Bridge City would be about 30 percent. He expects that number to jump to 60-90 percent in the next six months. “Every month, things are getting better....“I don’t have any doubt we will recover,” said Roccaforte with conviction. “This is a very strong, very close community. They pulled themselves up by their boot straps, never cried, screamed or hollered and never looked back.”

Monday, March 09, 2009

A fast look back at Galveston

We are back from a week of volunteering in and around Galveston Texas with BonaResponds. It was a good trip. While the trip was far from perfect, much work got done and most of the 44 volunteers both helped the victims and grew from the experience.

The work was spotty (especially later in the week) but in parts very good. A partial list (mainly from memory) was that we cleaned over 2 miles of road, gutted about 6 homes, helped drywall a home, helped roof and put up interior walls and ceilings at one home, helped put up siding on one house, helped rough wire a house, wrapped the exterior of one house, installed electric for RV parking, moved a family, painted several interiors, and sandblasted and painted 17 bunk beds.

All in all a productive week.

Galveston was different from most places we have been. Parts of the city looked normal while others looked horrible. Moreover, it was seemingly a ghost town once you got off the main streets. I am not sure what part of this is because it was a vacation area for many, and what portion of it is that people have just given up and moved on.

Galveston was also home to some of the worst housing conditions I have seen rivaling even the poor parts of New Orleans or East Biloxi. Many of the homes were horrible before the storm and are now simply dangerous (indeed gutting was halted in one house as the ceilings and exterior walls seemed to be giving way with every hammer blow).

Did we solve the problems of the residents? No, but for many, we did make things better and that is all we can really hope to do.

I also would be remiss if I did not point out the superb leadership of Steve and Rob. Simply a great job guys. Thanks!

from John on Texas

John Stack Ministries - Weblog:
"Last Monday Bob McGrath, Bill Hammond, & I had lunch with 50 college kids in the yard of a Christian church in San Leon, Texas. Folks, I bring you good news this morning. These kids, from St. Bonaventure U., Buffalo, were dedicating their spring break week to hurricane recovery work in the the Galveston area."

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Removing a nail from a boot

Removing a nail from a boot
Originally uploaded by c_jackling.
Carrie uploaded over 40 pictures from the trip. Here they are.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Early morning painting

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Memory card stuck in computer..

Well, it looks like no more pictures for a while....a memory card got stuck in my computer...so until I get a cord to take the pictures off or the cameras, no pictures tonight. SORRY

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fast updates from Galveston

Hi everyone,

things are going very well for BonaResponds..

I would love to write for hours, but no time, so this will be very fast.

today we worked on a gut job, a roof, painted beds, helped a family move and had time to have one of the best meetings/reflections we had had since Biloxi

I will try to go into them in more detail later.

Great job

Pictures : are available here.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Group shot BonaResponds-Galveston

Group shot-
Originally uploaded by FinanceProfessor.
In spite of camera problems, we did get quite a pictures (and many more to come) online.

They are available here.

College students flock to Galveston over Spring Break to help residents rebuild - 3/02/09 - Houston News - abc13.com

Nice video of a few our volunteers with fairly extensive interview with Steve Gearhart our student leader.

College students flock to Galveston over Spring Break to help residents rebuild - 3/02/09 - Houston News - abc13.com:
"Steve Gearhart is on Spring Break and he's having fun in the sun, even though he's sandblasting and working nearly 10 hours a day. It's all part of the effort to help rebuild Galveston homes.

'People forgot about you. There's still lots to be done. You're still rebuilding, you're still recovering. We're still gutting houses, you're even not to rebuilding yet,' Gearhart said. 'You're still gutting houses that are moldy and just getting worse by the day.'"

From the Olean Times Herald

From the Olean Times Herald: What spring break?
"As St. Bonaventure University students abandon classes for a week during spring break, about 45 of them will embark for Texas together. They won't be lounging around in revelry, though. They will spend their week helping people as members of BonaResponds.....

Volunteers learn many of the skills needed on work sites as they go.

"I really like doing hands-on things," said Carrie Howland"

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lots of dif jobs for

Lots of different jobs for tomorrow. dinner time now then meeting. new volunteers from Spring Tx

teams in san leon got

teams in san leon got 2.1 miles done plus some at two churches and a bit at rehab center.

Cleaning a ditch. for more see twitter

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