Thursday, April 23, 2009

BonaResponds' Newsletter

The following was mailed to all on our mailing list. Since many of you are not on that list, I will post it as well:

Hi everyone!
Lots of news!
By far the most pressing news is that The Spring 2009 BonaResponds Local Service Weekend is almost here! We have about 20 jobs sites lined up in and around the area. From Allegany to Friendship, Portville to Randolph. And from Mount Ireanous to Olean, from campus to Carrolton, we have work!
It is our first ever three day service weekend (in the past we had two day and one day events), so we need many more volunteers than in the past.
Want to volunteer without knowing anyone, then by all means please do so! See the help page on our website:
That said, it seems like some of you may want to know a bit more about the work. So here are some of the jobs: Putting in a new fence, cleaning up debris, cutting downed trees, helping with a roof, painting an elementary school, helping out at the SPCA, trail work at the Pfeiffer Nature Center, helping at a local church, several street clean ups, painting fire hydrants and street signs, moving an 85 year old woman, and much much more.
In addition this year we will be working with Liberty Partners to bring 35 at risk high school students to campus from the Olean area. They will spend the day in part seeing what college is like (a college experience component) and in part being outside. This latter part is modeled after the No Child Left Inside ( nationwide program.

Why volunteer? There are as many reasons as there are volunteers, but a few that may interest you: You can make a positive difference in the world, you can meet new friends, you can get LAP hours, you can learn new skills. You can have fun! Note, that while we are helping others, it is far from a sacrifice: ask the volunteers, they will tell you. You get out as much if not more than you put in!

This is our first local three day event. So we need many volunteers.

Friday we still need volunteers from 4 to 7.
Saturday we have positions all day from 10:30 to 4:30
and Sunday from 11-5:00.

We will be having a free BBQ after Saturday's and Sunday's work days for all volunteers.

Lunch will be provided.

Please come dressed to work. Ideally you have work gloves. If you want to work on a tree team, trail team, or construction crew I recommend jeans. And the weather is supposed to be nice, so don't forget sunblock.

And a special note to people with cars. We still need drivers! And if anyone wants to help cook for the BBQ it would be greatly appreciated!

Also bring cameras, we love pictures! Will be putting together a slide show/video to play for Sunday's closing ceremonies.

To find out more and to volunteer please see the help page on
our website:

That is the most pressing news. We really need volunteers. Of all skill levels. From driving to cooking (no Brother Ed this time, so who will do the BBQ?), to roofing, to doing an inventory of new supplies, to working the desk so that late arrivals will know where to go. Lots of work and remember many hands make light work. Volunteer! Change the world!
Other important news:
  1. Randy May from Randy's Rangers will be driving up with a trailer of tools for us. As many of you know he and his wife Debbie worked tirelessly in Pass Christian Mississippi for two years following Katrina. He is stepping down from the Day to Day operations of Randy's Rangers. As such he will be splitting his resources in three areas. A portion will be held in MS for future storms. A portion will be held in NC at another group that had worked with Randy's Rangers in Pass Christian. And finally a large portion will be brought here so that we can have access to the supplies. They will belong to the Rangers, but we can use them. This will dramatically increase our ability to respond to disasters in our area as well as help in our now almost normal local activities.
  2. A group of Chicago area Bonaventure Alumni are starting a BonaResponds-Chicago division. They will be modeled after what we do already. As such they will have various local days in Chicago and hope to take part in our future trips as well. This is really exciting! Thanks to Tom Cullen and his group for being the lead. We'd love to see the same idea take hold in other part of the country.
  3. We have continued to work closely with Hands On Disaster Response ( While they are now in deployed in Arkansas and we can not help them this trip, we would encourage anyone who has the ability to do so, to please go work with them. Tell them BonaResponds sent you ;) ! WRT to HODR, three more quick points: 1. This semester their founder and Chairman David Campbell came to SBU and gave two talks to students. Videos of the speeches are available here: and 2. They have an anonymous donor who will match any donation. Can't say enough that we are modeled after them and if you could help them out, I am sure some of it will help us too when we work with them next time! 3. Bill Driscoll Jr. who is their domestic operations director, has agreed to be on our board of advisors.
  4. We have a totally redone web site! Jen scraped what we had and the new one came out amazingly good. Be sure to check out the timelines and pictures from all of the past events. see:
  5. Bill Hammond of Bridge City and Galveston fame will be here this weekend. If you want to meet the nicest guy in the world (he was so voted after each of the last two trips), be sure to come this weekend. He will also be giving a presentation to the school of Business on Risk Management on Monday. (open to all)

All of this and I have barely mentioned our trips to Galveston, Bridge City, our Buffalo Day which was held last week in partnership with Villa Maria, or any of our almost weekly local work days. (You can, however, read about all of these at

Clearly this amount of work could not be done without some amazing volunteer leaders. This year BonaResponds has had a team of them who have been active almost every week. Steve Gearhart, Laura McDowell, Rob Ryer, Jen Mahar, and Pat Power have gone above and beyond what is expected; they have worked through winter's cold and summer's heat and from Buffalo to Texas. Thank you all for the great work!!

Remember BonaResponds is open to everyone. You need not have any tie to the University. You do however need to be willing to work, have fun, and help people make the world better.

PS..While we would love you to sign up before you volunteer, we would love even more that you volunteer. So if for some reason you do not sign up now, still please do come this weekend. (but signing up does make our lives much easier :) ) So sign up now! Please?
PPS. Feel obligated to forward this to others! Come on do it! :)

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