Saturday, August 21, 2010

From the BonaResponds Newsletter

From The late Summer BonaResponds Newsletter:

On August 28th, as part of Welcome Days various service groups (The Warming House, Center for Community Engagement, BonaBuddies, and others on the St. Bonaventure Campus)  will be working in the local community to make a difference. It is a great opportunity to see what college is like while meeting new friends in a safe, fun environment. But more importantly it is a chance to make the world just a bit better.

We need volunteers and drivers.  Even if you can only drive for a couple of hours (all local), we'd really appreciate it. 

This year will almost assuredly be the largest ever with a high degree of participation expected (400 volunteers for some part of the day would not be surprising.).

We currently have about twenty jobs lined up in the Olean/Allegany area. That part is similar to most of our service weekends.

How can you help? We'd LOVE to have you volunteer. Rarely in life is does such a golden opportunity to be a role model and make a positive difference present itself. Not only can you help the local community by painting, cleaning, etc, but just by coming out you are setting an example for new students and showing that helping others is what we do at St. Bonaventure.

For more information and to sign up see Welcome Day posts on our blog.

Why BonaResponds is...

I confess that sometimes I get so fed up with administrative and managerial things associated with BonaResponds, the marketing to get volunteers, and the constant emails and (much worse) meetings dealing with SBU politics, policies, and who knows what else, that I am tempted to forget why we do all of it and to think of it as a chore.

Then I get an email like the following which I received less than an hour ago:

3 weeks ago, there was a wind storm here in the trailer court that our trailer is located in. A big branch broke off the tree and fell on our back room, the damage was extensive. I just went on disability from work with a lung disease. My girlfriend only works 10 hours a week at an elementary school during school season.

I went to the Red Cross last Friday and asked them if there was anything that they could do. They gave me your e-mail address, so I write you now. We have go out of town for 1 week, due a terminally ill cancer family member. I am not sure if you are able to help us, but if you can it would be greatly appreciated. If not, I do understand. Thanks for taking the time to read this."

I just spoke with him.  He literally has a hole in his trailer.  The family lives less than a mile from SBU.  It has been almost a month since the storm.  They can not help themselves and have fallen through the cracks.

Of course we are going to help.  I am not sure how yet, but when I said I would stop by, he was VERY relieved. 
I know sometimes we try to do too much and have too many events going on.  I know some of you are worried about money issues (will we have enough?), about whether enough volunteers will show up, etc.  or whatever else is the issue today, and they are all very valid concerns, but I personally (not from BonaResponds, but from me) want to remind you all why BonaResponds is around and not to worry too much about petty side issues that take valuable time.

If we stay true to the idea of helping others (whether near or far), BonaResponds will be fine.   And if we have 1 volunteer or 1000 volunteers we can and do make a difference. 

So thank you.  You are the volunteers and the leaders of.  Thank you for letting me say "Yes, we can help you" when asked.

Thank you!!!

Every donation is deeply cherished and helps us do what we do, but I particularly want to single out one very generous donation from Persevere Volunteers and the Driscolls that allowed us to buy a used van.

It is a 2000 GMC Savana Extended Van that will fit our needs perfectly.  It has a trailer hitch and a ladder rack on it that will allow us to respond more conveniently both near and far. 

We are still looking for a small trailer for it, so if you know of one that is cheap or would like to donate one to us, please let Jim know.

To read the entire newsletter (and see the pictures)  click here!

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