Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Weekend Saturday and Sunday

Want to help this weekend?  We will be working in Allegany on Saturday (leaving Murphy at 10:30) but the work is less than 2 miles from campus so if you come late, not a big worry.

THank Sunday you can go to a free concert and help Japanese recovery efforts.  From Laura Peterson:

"Laura Peterson, a lecturer in piano and music history at St. Bonaventure, will team up with colleague Julia Tunstall from Pitt-Bradford to present a flute and piano concert — Pas De Two: Flute and Piano Duo — inspired by dance forms.

Admission to the concert is free; donations will be collected for relief in Japan.

The program begins at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 1,at St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Olean. The duo will be performing pieces by French composers Faure, Debussy and Godard, “Orchestra Dance Suite in b minor” by Bach, “Hungarian Dances” by Bartok, and songs and dances from the opera “Carmen” by Bizet."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Alabama Trip...A few more details

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 28:  In the aftermath o...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeWhat we know: 

* BonaResponds is going to Alabama to help people recover from the devastating tornadoes that hit the region.  The trip is tentatively planned for May 15th to May 28th BUT we are flexible and people can come and go whenever they want.  (indeed it may not start until the 16th and may get done early if there is not work.)

* We need volunteers. The trip will cost $100 to cover the cost of gas and food.  Several friends have lined up places for us to stay while in and around Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  It is a 15 hour (953 mile) drive from SBU.

* Two weeks in "Tornado time" is a long long time.  So we can not tell specifically where we will be working but it will be in the Tuscaloosa area.

* If you want to fly, fly to Birmingham, AL (BHM-Birmingham Intl.).  Ideally you buy your tickets through GoodShop and list BonaResponds as your charity so a small percentage helps to fund BonaResponds.  We will try to arrange ground transportation for you to and from the airport but can not guarantee zero waiting.

* We will be doing whatever is needed.  Likely this will mean "tree work" but in two weeks much can change and it could be helping to rebuild, build fences for farmers, or whatever is needed to help the people back on their feet.

* We need to have an idea of when people want to go and how many.  There is a sign up here.  To hold a place in a van, we need a $50 non refundable deposit.  Contact if you have further questions.

* As always, our view is that it is better to go and not be needed, than to not go and leave people who needed our help.  Please bring with you a positive attitude and a willingness to be flexible.  

* Here is a waiver/release that must be signed by all volunteers.

* All BonaResponds events are open to everyone.  So if you would like to help, come help!  If you can stay for a day, a week, or the entire time. GREAT!   All skills are needed.  From drivers, to people who can use chain saws, to people who can put roofs on, to people who can take pictures, to people to cook, and pretty much everything else.   Many hands make light work and you all have something to offer.  So please come and lend a hand!

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BonaResponds is going to Alabama and you can come help!

Details will be coming soon, but we will be going to help in recovery efforts from the recent tornadoes.

We will leave after finals and after graduation on May 15th. Ideally the trip will be 2 weeks but we can help arrange transport for a fraction of the time as well.

Please let us know if you have interest in helping here.

Here is a raw video (from Helicopter) showing some of the damage. Staggering. Sad.  I have responded to several tornadoes and have never seen such damage from any of them.  It reminds me of Greenville Kansas but it hit a much broader area.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Any contacts in the Pulaski VA area?

By no means are we committing to it, but the destruction looks severe and we should consider going...maybe over Easter Break?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Books for Barranco Belize

Where in the world is Barranco?  It is in Belize in Central America.   Here are some pictures of the area.

Why are we sending books there?  Clearly because they are reading them! But also because our former student leader and long time BonaResponds volunteer Laura McDowell is there as part of the Peace Corps.

Here is what she sent yesterday:

Books for Barranco

Buiti binafi from Barranco! My name is Laura McDowell, and I am a 2009 SBU graduate. For the past year I have been serving with Peace Corps Belize, and am working with a small primary school in a Garifuna village.

One of my most effective projects last year was getting each classroom a small bookshelf, and a few books to put on it. The new books have dramatically improved literacy in our school, but our readers are running out of material!

You can help!  Send books and BonaResponds will work with us to get the books to the school.  

*New or gently used*
Picture books
Chapter books
Leveled readers
Teacher textbooks
Reference books

PLEASE do NOT send
Outdated textbooks or reference books
Books about US heroes or holidays   (BR addition: we will send these to US schools if you do give them)
Old books you wouldn’t like to see in a US classroom

Books can be Mailed to or dropped off at Allegany Park and Shop  24 North First St. Allegany NY

Or to BonaResponds, 231 Murphy Building, St. Bonaventure NY 14778
(or drop off there or to Jen Spencer the business assistant upstairs in Murphy building (SE corner of building).

thanks everyone!

(remember we are also collecting school supplies (pencils, crayons, etc) for Haiti and US schools as well as soccer balls, basketballs, and musical instruments for Haiti.)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

BonaResponds' Wishlists: for others and for us.

I had a donor ask me what we needed the other day, so figured I will put up a new wish list, but the biggest thing we always need is More Volunteers. 

Many of the problems/shortages we have can be solved with more volunteers.  We do things most weekends but there is no need to be at every one, or even the majority of them, but come out when you can.  It really will make a difference!
Items for others:
  1. School supplies.  From used pencils, crayons, pens to calculators, notebooks, and even used notebook computers.  We have people both in the US and in Haiti who anxiously await our shipments.  They can be dropped off at any time at 231 Murphy on the SBU campus (or leave with the Business Secretary Jen Spencer upstairs (on the SE corner of the building), or dropped off at the Allegany Park and Shop.
  2. Children's Books.  Again these will be going to both people in the US as well internationally.  The next shipment will be going to a school in Belize where former BonaResponds leader Laura McDowell is now volunteering.
  3. Musical instruments and sheet music.  A Haitian volunteer (Robinson) has started an afterschool program for children in Leogane to learn music.  He is doing it for free so if you have any used musical instruments (he would especially love horns and flutes) or sheet music etc, you can leave them at the 2312 Murphy or the Allegany Park and Shop.
  4. Tarps--sorry to say but many in Haiti are still living in tents and under tarps.  They wear out, so new tarps are always needed there.
  5. Soccer and/or basketballs or other small toys.  We like to include toys with our school supply shipments.  A deflated ball or toy will make a child's day in Haiti. 
  6. Money for shipping or to help  For about $250 a year, they pay for a student in Haiti to go to school.  Zero overhead and a great pay to directly impact those in need while making the future need less.

Items for BonaResponds

  1. An auger: digging post holes for wheel chair ramps is a pain.  This would save much time and allow us to get more ramps done.
  2. A small portable electric generator.
  3. A nail gun.
  4. Tarps--for painting as well as for park and other cleanups.
  5. Step ladders.  Ladders are always in short supply. 
  6. Storage room.  We had our storage space reduced and this is a BIG need.  If you have a space in the Olean/Allegany area, we'd love to use it.
  7. Digital camera--all too often on local service weekends some job sites do not have cameras to capture their work.
  8. Radios--music makes the work go much faster!  They ideally can play on batteries since often electric is at a premium where we are working.
  9. Our biggest expense (other than when we help pay for supplies in cases of emergency) is gas.  We go through about $70 of gas a week.  Would you like to sponsor a week?
  10. Our next biggest expense is food.  It clearly varies but food for volunteers is about $30-$40 a week.  Or donate a pizza etc.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Our last big service weekend of the semester

Jeanie's Wheelchair RampImage by Bona_Responds via FlickrWhile we will be working throughout the summer, a late Easter, Spring Break, Finals, and a trip to Camden NJ/Philly, this Saturday and Sunday will be our last big service weekend when classes are in session.

We have about 10 jobs lined up from finished a wheelchair ramp in Salamanca, to a house clean out in Allegany, Helping spruce up Oak Hill Park in Olean, painting at the SPCA, to a flood clean up job in Portville.  With that many jobs we need many volunteers.  So if you are able, come help either Saturday (10am behind Murphy) or Sunday (10:30 AM behind Murphy). 

Signup at

Also we still have some spots left for our trip to Camden but they will likely fill this week, so if you plan on going, sign up ASAP also at

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