Thursday, August 19, 2010

What BonaResponds Board members are talking about

Earlier this week I sent a summer report to the BonaResponds Advisory Board. In it I laid out what we have been doing as well as what we have planned for the coming school year.

The report set off a plethora of calls and follow-up emails on various topics. I thought you, the volunteers, might like to see some of the topics.

  1. Van-- A couple of board members suggested we get a "better" van than we planned. One suggested using our recent donation as seed money for a nicer van. In the end it was decided that since we use the van in a very hard manner (mud, chain saws, tools, lumber, etc) and the vast majority of our events are reasonably local (within 100 miles), we would be better off getting a cheaper, older, van.
  2. Shipping to Haiti--this is still a concern. We THINK we have it solved, but was reminded of the difficulty of getting things through customs.
  3. Fund raising. A few were worried (as I am) that we still are short many thousands of dollars on our fund raising to feed 100,000 people in Haiti. (See We hope the August 28th Car wash and Clothing Sale makes a big impact. Other ideas are being accepted. So if you have any ideas, let us know!
  4. Welcome Days (August 28th) and our Fall Service Weekend (Sept 10-12) were discussed. These will be two of the largest events we have ever run. Concern over whether 400 volunteers would turn out. I said yes. So PLEASE volunteer!
  5. Several board members expressed concern with low participation of faculty and staff on campus. We have agreed to try to get this up but I confess I am not sure what else to do. Students, tell your teachers how fun it it and invite them out!
  6. A more prompt payment system is needed. Hopefully the new administrative assistant that we will have a few hours access to each week will help in this regard. Too many checks are not getting paid on time and we do not have current financial data as we should.
  7. Drinking was again addressed by several of the board members. We all think this is a big problem. All too often people (when sober and rational) sign up to come volunteer but then fail to show up after a night of drinking. We all agreed this is a big risk for BonaResponds. When you can not depend on people showing up, it makes planning very difficult. Unlike on a post disaster trip, we cannot just "send the person home." We are VERY open to any and all ideas on this one. We did think that more faculty and community participation in these events would give the students better role models and show them that "Drinking" does not mean "getting plastered".
  8. A couple of board members want to start a conference call every couple of months to better keep in touch. A meeting is probably too expensive as we have board members spread all over the world.
  9. The one thing that every board member did stress was what a great job the volunteers are doing. They are very proud of the work you all do be it locally, nationally, or internationally! Many of them said they missed you and to say hi to everyone!

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