Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Updates on March 27, 2010 National BonaResponds Service Day

March 27th is the date of First annual BonaResponds National Service Day.

We are asking past BonaResponds Volunteers and all SBU alumni to volunteer in their own region that day to make the world a better place.

Ideally you get together with other Bona Alumni and share a day of helping and reconnecting with SBU, but if you do not know others in your area, you can simply go volunteer somewhere.

We just announced this last Thursday and already the idea has taken root quickly and we have events being planned in Buffalo, Chicago, Charlotte, Singapore, Northern New Jersey, and NYC.

We also have several possibles around the country. But we'd love to have many many more and if we can help facilitate this in any way, please do not hesitate to ask.

Our website http://BonaResponds.org has some info on the alumni event and it regularly updated.

All BonaResponds events are open to all, so even if you did not go to SBU please take part. We'd love to have yo along! Especially Villa Maria alumni, HODR alums, and any of the thousands of people we have volunteered with in the past.

Thank you very much for any and all assistance you can give :)

If you want to host an event, please let us know. We'd love to have many many more sites where people can volunteer!

It can be something as simple as going to a soup kitchen and "taking a shift" or as complex as running an entire volunteer "day" with hundreds of volunteers.

I realize that you are all busy and that many of you (and your alumni chapters) already have service days planned etc, but please at least consider it before dismissing the idea. :)

A BonaResponds workday follows the general idea given to us on our first trip to Biloxi with HODR. The entire group gets together in the AM (not too early as we sort of have a tradition of not being great "morning" people ;) ), then breaking up into teams that go to various work sites, work for 5-6 hours, then get back together and have a meal/meeting where each team tells the others about the work they did (sort of takes on some reflection characteristics and we have even had volunteers cry when saying the work they accomplished (hey there is a new slogan, "lets go make them cry!")).

DO NOT be concerned with the size of your event, one work site is great, you do not need to shoot for the sky, any help is better than none!). Honestly, one of our sayings is always "better not perfect". If we waited till we got perfect plans, nothing would ever get done.

Ideally this could also get more alumni involved in our trips (trust me, they are absolutely a great experience!).

If your group can not volunteer that day, then feel free to do any other day in the same time frame. My second choice would be in conjunction with our annual Spring Local Service Weekend (3 days of volunteering the week before Spring weekend April 23-25). But really whenever, just please let us know and please send pictures and recaps that we can share with all of the other volunteers.

The reason we chose March 27th was that that is when we are having our 3rd annual BonaResponds-Buffalo Day (FYI the Buffalo alumni also have other service days throughout the year and we'd love to coordinate a bit on those too). In Buffalo we will be working out of Villa Maria for the second year and working at many locations in the Buffalo area. (We have averaged about 100 volunteers a year in each of the first two years we have been there. See

As a means of collecting stories and making it more meaningful for all, I would love to get pictures/videos from all the sites to put on our web as well as a short report (what we did, how many, etc) and any stories/reflection pieces that the volunteers may contribute.

Also we will be selling t-shirts for all the volunteers though the generosity of Michelle Gregg (a SBU Alum) whose UndergroundShirts company will be giving the shirts to us at cost.

So what do you think? Interested? I really think it is going to be cool. Thousands of SBU alumni all helping on the same day and then being able to share the experience. It would also be something that once started will likely grow and become an anticipated event in future years. But you can be in on the ground floor!

If you have any other ideas of how I can (or more generally BonaResponds can) help make it happen, please do not hesitate to let us know.

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