Friday, July 13, 2012

What's going on with BonaResponds? Mid summer update

Hi everyone,

I had someone ask what BR has been doing so I figured an update for all is called for:

Olean Storm

Last Saturday a short, but violent storm hit the Olean area.  Within an hour BonaResponds volunteers were out helping clean up downed trees.  So far volunteers have cleaned up 9 jobs throughout Olean.  These include a park, 7 private properties, and a tree that was blocking the Allegheny River Trail.   We still have some more to go on the trails through Bob's Woods, but the majority of the clean up is done.  Here are pictures from the days. 

Thank you to the volunteers who responded swiftly and effectively.

Ramp jobs

Ramps have not been quite as much in demand this summer as last summer, but we have done a couple: one in Olean and one in Randolph.  In addition we have three more ramp jobs scheduled in the coming weeks (Allegany, Olean, and S of Warren PA). 

Other local jobs

BonaResponds has made several trips to the local SPCA to help with the facilities (and walk some dogs!).  Also done a trailer ceiling and floor was done in Hinsdale, grab bars to prevent falls were installed in Franklinville, a trailer roof was repaired in Portville, as well as trail maintenance on trails through Bob's Woods on the St. Bonaventure campus.  And of course we continue to pack supplies for Haiti.  Pics of these jobs are here.


Collections of school supplies continue for Haiti.  The next shipment will be this coming week.  (I think, the date as been changed several times).  People often ask how we ship the supplies.  We ship through Brooklyn to Haiti.  It takes from two to five weeks for the supplies to get to their final destination in Haiti. It costs about  $140 per barrel.  We estimate each barrel has about $850-$1000 worth of school supplies.  So far we have shipped about 55 pallets to Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake.

HaitiScholarships -our goal is at least 20 scholarships this semester!  Can you help?  It is a great program: We pay the school, and a Haitian Student can go to school in Haiti.  See for more information or to donate online. 

We are happy to announce a new program in Haiti where we will be working with students in an after-school tutoring program to help with their classes as well as to teach both English and business practices (finance, accounting, marketing, etc.)  This will be a great way to make a lasting difference in the lives of many in Haiti. 

Coming in the fall

As you know, we will be doing something every weekend, but we are pointing at a few special events:

1. September 21-22.  If we can raise $50 per volunteer to go, we will be helping our friends at VillaVolunteers with their food packing event. This is what we did 2 years ago and lost too much money to redo.  Villa is better at fund raising than we are so they are having their second annual event. (yeah I know it it Family Weekend)

2. September 29th --WarmSnugglyBlanket-- was started to keep the wish of Margaret Mahar to help people with cancer alive.  What we do is to make blankets that will serve to remind the people that they are not alone as they go through the difficult cancer journey.   On September 29th as part of Livestrong Days we will be doing a large blanket making day.  We hope to make at least 150 blankets on that day.  Our plan is reserve Reilly Center and have over 200 volunteers, a DJ, and more. 

As part of the September 29th blanket building day, we will also be collecting school supplies and clothing for children both locally as well as in and around Harlingen Texas (we stayed with Loaves and Fishes when we were in Harlingen). 

Other Collections that day:
 * pet supplies, blankets, food for the SPCA
 * Character band-aids.  Yes band-aids.  It is a cool project started by a 6 year old to collect boxes of character band-aids for 2 Pediatric Hematology Oncology Departments.  The Cohens Childrens Medical Center in New Hyde Park NY and Hemby Childrens Hospital in Charlotte NC.
The overall goal is at least 4000 boxes (2000 for each hospital) and we'd like to contribute to this worthy cause.  (if we get extras will send to local WNY hospitals too).

 3. Working with BonaSIMM on a micro-loan program to help people who can not afford to make repairs or get their business off the ground.  This is an exciting new venture where we will be working with the University of Alabama (and others that I cannot say yet, but you have heard of them!).

4. Fall break trip.  Not sure where yet, but the dates are October 5 to 9.

of course we will be working on MANY other local events, but these are some of the key dates to plan for.



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