Saturday, March 03, 2012

Jim's Thanks and BonaResponds' updates:

Here is the link to the whole thing:

First let me say this is part BonaResponds' update/newsletter and part Jim's observations on various things that have BonaResponds ties:

Jim's Musings:

I feel remarkably fortunate to have as many family, friends and acquaintances who have asked about, prayed for, and sent emails, cards, and even flowers to my mom.  She would love to thank you each personally but right now it is too much.

How is she?  She is doing better! :)   Her strength is improving (indeed I had her lifting and even doing modified push-ups today!) and she is eating like a champion (must be the cooking!) Her lung capacity is getting better but not as fast as we'd like, but as she would teach (she is a Latin Teacher)" Rome was not built in a day".  Her mantra has not changed one bit: "Pray, Fight, Win!" and win she will!

And I will add for her: Thank you to each and every one of you.  Your support means more than you will ever know.

Along those lines, a few observations:

1. My mom’s cancer made me even more sure that BonaResponds is important, indeed more important than we can easily measure.  Intuitively at first and by almost constant empirical reminders since, I am reminded that the most important thing that Bona Responds does is not the physical work, not the ramp building, not the storm clean up, or even rebuilding.  The most important thing that the volunteers do is to bring hope and a reminder that people care.  I have no way of valuing that, but going through this has made me more convinced than ever that BonaResponds plays a very important role.

2. While the physical work that BonaResponds does may be less important than the hope it brings, the work is still often critically important.  Something that is almost an afterthought can make a huge difference in the quality of life for others.  A personal example?  The hand rail that we put up at my mom's made getting upstairs much easier in the first week when she really needed it.  It was hugely important to her.  It took us about 10 minutes to install.  Never confuse value with time or money spent.  They are often very different.

3. "Walk a mile in my shoes" should be stressed more.  I will work on it for future BonaResponds' events.  I do not know how yet, but getting volunteers (and myself as well) to see the project through the eyes of those being helped will make even seemingly unimportant jobs, difference makers.

Other observations:

* Jobs are lining up nicely for International Service Day (March 31)...I heard today from Rob Ryer who is planning an event in Baltimore.  In recent days I have also heard from Bill Hammond in Dallas, Laura McDowell in Belize, and Carrie Jackling in Burkino Faso.  There will be events in Chicago, DC, Rochester, Buffalo, Seattle, Orange County California, Alabama, New Jersey, Ireland, and many many other places.  Plan on being involved.  Even a small project will help make the world a better place.  (jobs in Olean include working at the Olean-Bradford Area YMCA, the  SPCA, and the MentalHealth CattaraugusCounty.  And maybe more.  Stay tuned.  The big group of us will be working with Kim and Villa Volunteers in Buffalo.


Here is the link to the whole thing:

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