Sunday, April 29, 2012

West Liberty Kentucky

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Third stop on the BonaResponds Relief Tour will be near West Liberty Kentucky. We expect to be there from May 27 to May 31st. As the pictures from last weekend show, the region was hit by a tornado.

Ralph (who we have volunteered with in Haiti and Alabama) will be helping to organize the work.  If you can't make it for the whole trip, Kentucky is much closer and we'd love to have you along.
Map of Kentucky highlighting Morgan County
Map of Kentucky highlighting Morgan County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

What is a Colonia?

I accidentally posted this on FinanceProfessor's blog last night...oops...

We will be working in Colonias and some volunteers did not know what a colonia is, so here you go.  I am sure you will see the need for help:

A Home in the Colonias | The New York Times

This video is about 5 years old, but it shows some the living conditions where we will be working in South Texas.    The New York Times

Here is some more:
Border Communities: The Case of Colonias in Texas by Cecilia Giusti

"Education levels are very low there. In El Cenizo, one established colonia in Webb County, only 15 per cent of people older than 25 are high-school graduates, a lower figure than the 76 per cent in the state of Texas and 80 per cent in the US as a whole. The median age of El Cenizo residents is 18.5, much younger than 32 years for Texas.  
Low income levels. Income levels are very low in these settlements. About 60 per cent of the colonia population lives below the official poverty line. In El Cenizo about 68 per cent are under the poverty threshold, much higher than in Texas (15 per cent) and the United States (12 per cent).
Incremental construction patterns. Construction in small steps is common. Colonia residents often work on their homes as schedules and finances permit. Houses are constantly improved and, as families grow, they expand accordingly. During construction, families continue to live in the houses and the building pace is generally slow."

I will update this more in the near future

Update:  Kristin sent the following:
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Week + National Volunteer week = Great River Clean up!

What great timing!  It's National Volunteer Week and Earth Week.  So let's combine the two!  And voila, we volunteer to clean up the environment!

This Saturday (April 21) BonaResponds will be cleaning along the Allegheny River and Olean Creek.  Why?  Not only does garbage in the river and along the banks look bad, it also gets into the oceans and can cause major health problems to wildlife.

Here is a great presentation that Melissa put together on the River Clean up:

Get the Litter Out of the River!

and here is a video (a few years old) that shows the problems of plastics reaching the ocean:

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Monday, April 16, 2012

BonaResponds Summer Tour

BonaResponds will be making a summer relief tour from May 15th to June 1. While the exact locations are not yet known, we do know we will be in Dallas and Harlingen Texas (near Brownsville). The work will be both tornado clean up as well as fixing up homes in colonias (rural slums) near Harlingen. (Some of these homes still have dirt floors and no plumbing). Additional stops are dependent on drivers and need. (the tornadoes this weekend have convinced us to wait before saying for sure where we will be going.

Likely stops are in Kansas, Alabama or Kentucky. Space is limited (have I mentioned we REALLY need drivers?)

Here is the form:

Update: Here is a very tentative schedule:

For planning purposes (airports noted) here are approximate dates:

MAy 15 Leave Olean for Dallas
May 16 Drive. Arrive and get settled (DFW airport)
May 17 Tornado work (probably S of Dallas)
May 18 Tornado work (probably S of Dallas)
Mau 19 Tornado work (probably S of Dallas)
May 20 Tornado work (reflection/good by meeting)
May 21 Drive to Harlingen (Stop in Austin, San Antonio)
May 22 Work in Harlingen (Harlingen, McAllen, Brownsville airports)
May 23 Work in Harlingen
May 24 Work in Harlingen
May 25 Work in Harlingen (ideally leave about 7pm to get to Houston area at night)
may 26 Drive to Memphis TN (15 hours from Harlingen)
May 27 Drive to West Liberty (9:30 hours from Memphis)
May 28 West Liberty Kentucky Area
May 29 West Liberty Kentucky Area
May 30 West Liberty Kentucky Area
May 31 West Liberty Kentucky Area
June 1 Back to SBU (9 hour drive)
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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Upcoming events


I know, I know, I never plan too much nor announce dates in advance, but I have had so many requests in past few days, here we go, a VERY tentative calendar.  (I will say that we will be working on these days, what is tentative is the exact job list). 

  • Friday  April 6: Trail clean up in Bob's Woods.
  • Saturday April 7: Likely ramp (waiting for homeowner consent etc)
  • Sunday April 8: Happy Easter.  (if anyone wants to do a short day let me know)
  • Monday April 9th: transport barrels to shipper day! (Barrels going to Haiti with School supplies)
  • Saturday April 14: painting at Every Woman's Opportunity Center in Downtown Olean (and a small roofing job if weather permits)
  • Sunday April 15th: wheel chair ramp build
  • Friday April 20th: "My first day in College" and "No Child Left inside" days at SBU; 40 "at risk" Olean High Students will be visiting  SBU for a day of tours, classes, and play.
  • Saturday April 21: Clean the Allegany River and local trails (part of Earth Week)

Look for a BonaResponds "tour": stops in ?? Dallas Texas, Harlingen Texas, ??  Maybe Alabama, aybe Illinois, maybe Florida, maybe Kentucky, maybe Missouri) for the 2-3 weeks after graduation.  Come for as long as you want/can. We will pick you up at airports etc.  Guaranteed to be tons of good work and fun!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

International Service Day -- Orange County, CA

Annie, Dan, Kevin & Angela making their area look good!Paul taking care of businessGetting instructions from the park ranger, then getting to workMikey and Sarah pulling out some serious weedsIMG_1883
Group photo!  Thanks for all your hard work!

Here are some pictures and a video from Orange County California! Great job everyone! :) Thanks to you all! (and especially Alex for organizing it!)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Some of the voices of International Service Day

A few of the many voices of International Service Day

Bill from Dallas:

Several people from Olean shared calls:

and two more:

Becky also worked at the Mental Health Association job in Olean:

Lauren was one of many who called from VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

more to come....