Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BonaResponds Hurricane Sandy Sign up form

BonaResponds will be going to the NYC/NJ area THIS WEEKEND.   While many details are still being worked out, we will be giving priority to those from SBU (current students and alumni) whose homes were damaged by the hurricane.  Current plans are that one van will leave Thursday (late evening) and head to NYC, on Friday late afternoon a second van will head to New Jersey.  (again details and specifics still being worked out)  The work will be pretty hard and dirty.  The cost of the trip is $20 paid to Jen Spencer on the second floor of Murphy.  The money covers food while in camp and on the job, gas, and a t-shirt.  Also the waiver must be signed and given to her then (she has copies).    To sign up YOU MUST fill out this form:

For those who have never been to a disaster zone before, here are some things you should bring:

    A good attitude
    Work clothes (jeans, long sleeve tee, short sleeve tee, sweatshirt, workboots (ideally steel toed).
    Gloves--leather is best IMO (we will provide some, but our are not as good as the leather ones.)
    Sun glasses/safety goggles-needed for gutting houses and tree work.
    Sleeping bag (pillow/yoga block/etc)
    cell phone charger
    warm clothes to sleep in
    toiletries etc (contacts, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc)
    water bottle and snack food. (there will likely be no stores in the areas we will be working).

We will be taking portable generators so will have at least the ability to charge cell phones if there is no power. 

Two important reminders: 1. you must have a GPA of over 2.0 to attend.  2. Please do not skip classes to leave early.

for more information please follow our twitter account @BonaResponds and/or like our Facebook page.  Updates will be forthcoming during the next few days as uncertainties resolve themselves. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Top 9 update

Hi everyone,

Just a fast update on multiple topics:

  1. While hoping for the best, we are preparing to respond if needed to Sandy.  Look for a possible Friday to Sunday response this week.   It will be a challenge given classes and overall busyness (school and work really can be inconvenient at times).  Stay tuned.
  2. BonaResponds aims always to make lasting impacts.  That is why it is always encouraging to go by a ramp that we built being used, or hearing from a family that was able to move back into their house as a result of our actions.  This weekend we started another of these far reaching jobs with the creation new dog play areas/runs at the SPCA (Enchanted Mountain Adoption Center) just North of Olean.  When we are done,  five more dogs will be able to be outside at any given time.  To someone who has not been there, it may be small, but seriously this is huge: every day, when we are out doing other things, many more dogs will be able to get out of their small kennels and be outside.  Yes it is a costly project (when this portion is complete it will have cost BonaResponds between $1000-$1500), but I have a tough time thinking of a more lasting job. (if you want to help support this by volunteering and/or donating, we'd LOVE the help!!)
  3. Ramp update: we have finished 4 ramps so far in October (5 if you count a small one we did in Camden).  This is great news as it means more people can get in and out of their house.  As with all things there is a learning curve and we are getting much better at the ramps: what used to take us 3 or 4 days is often down to one day.  This of course adds to our expenses (and another reason we need monetary donations).  Cost of ramp is about $18 per inch of height (so for a typical 5 step porch, the ramp costs about $650 or so (throw in volunteer food and gas and it is about $700).  We were again reminded of the importance of the ramps however as an upcoming ramp recipient told us she is stuck in her house until we can build it but when that happens she is going to get a motorized wheelchair that will allow her to leave the house. 
  4. The SPCA work has been going very well under the leadership of Matt O'Connell.  From walking dogs to painting to installing new fences, BonaResponds volunteers (with the Help of Cuba-Rushford's Teen Leadership program) have really come to the aid of the animals.   We are looking for a used minivan to further this new division of BonaResponds.  You can like the FB page devoted to BonaResponds for SPCA in Cattauragus County here
  5. A possible winter break trip is in the works, but much depends on a. volunteers-we had very few sign up for our Fall Break trip  b. Sandy c. Finances (we are getting too low for comfort).
  6. The shipments of school supplies, medical equipment, etc have arrived in Haiti.  Over 64 pallets have now been shipped!
  7. The winter coats we collected on Warm SnugglyBlanket day (September 29th) have been taken to the Little Portion Homeless Shelter in Buffalo.
  8. International Service Day has become International Service WEEK!  Why?  Because many people who wanted to be involved had plans on the specific day.  So we expended it to a full 8 day week!  From April 6- April 14th: all we ask is that you help others and then report back in with what you did.  BonaResponds' alumni, SBU alumni, or whoever you are.  Just plan on doing something to help!
  9.  As you may be able to tell from reading this, we are getting very low on money.  It has never been a worry of mine, but of late it is troubling.  I have personally put in several thousand dollars since summer and am not sure how long I can continue that.  So if you are interesting in making a profound difference in the lives of many people, please consider donating. 

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Location for Camden trip

Departure time: 3:45 from lot near Maintenance. We will be staying at the Francis House at St. Anthony of Padua • 2818 River Ave, Camden, NJ 08105

Work will vary but includes a ramp, moving a storage shed, and more.