Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Giving Tuesday request

From our FB account:

In the year since Sandy hit we Bona Responds) have made 12 trips to the NYC/NJ area, and a trip to Oklahoma after their devastating tornadoes there. We have built over 20 ramps (lost count), and sent 10 pallets of supplies to Haiti (soon to be 11). We have helped start a new BR branch in the Philippines, had countless local work days where we did everything from clean streets to paint homes, work on trails, clean homes, and just about anything you can think of. We have spent roughly $4000 at the SPCA for fences etc, We have given out WarmSnugglyBlankets to people with cancer. The list goes on.

BUT we have spent almost no time on fundraising. (actually we tried twice and made less than $100 per attempt). These trends can not continue. Where do we cut? How do we say no?

I am getting very concerned we will have to scale back the food packing event. Our first payment of $15,000 is due in 2 weeks. Help?!? You can donate at BonaResponds.org (http://bonaresponds.org/donate.html)

One of our efforts that has really taken a hit this year is HaitiScholarships. Today however, we have an "anonymous" donor who will match donations today. (See below). But frankly BonaResponds has so many needs right now, any donation to any of them would be very much appreciated: Haiti, local, Bona Responds Philippines, our huge food packing day for 200,000 meals in March-at 22 cents per meal it will cost $45k, WarmSnugglyBlanket, and of course HaitiScholarships. ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ ‪#‎Bonas‬ ‪#‎Volunteers‬

Don't forget: it's Giving Tuesday! And your dollar counts as two with a donor matching all donations up to $1,000. We're having trouble with our website but you can donate via Paypal: haitischolarships@gmail.com. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Today's update from the Philippines

Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Executive summary:

Things are going well. If in Philippines, we'd love you to volunteer with us. If in the US, a donation goes a long ways to helping those in need."

Longer update:

 From Facebook (like the BonaResponds-Philippines page)

 * BonaResponds reaffirmed our intent of making this a long term program that is working long after the current disasters (earthquake and flood) have faded from the news. Totally expect this to be a permanent part of BonaResponds.

* Discussed their upcoming volunteer plans. From Shamae: we will be taking food to "Pilar Camotes this weekend [where] we will work on feeding in the evacuation centers and maybe start working with Gawad Kalinga."

* Are you in the Philippines? Want to volunteer, they have a ton of work to do and could really use some more volunteers. Leave us a message. 

* We have no plans on going from the USA. We have looked into it, but the cost of one plane ticket is about 12,000 meals. That tradeoff is not worth it in our opinion at the present.

* If you want to help and are in the US or elsewhere, we will gladly accept donations and make sure that 100% of what we get (credit card fees are still credit card fees) is used for the Philippines if you explain where you want the money to go.

* BIG NEWS: Rather than spending money on shipping, we have found a large hardware/home improvement store in Cebu where we will be buying gift cards to set up the tool "library". This is actually HUGE news. It cuts costs, reduces lead times, increases flexibility, and helps the local economy.

* Jen and Shamae's father (who has been drafted to help with the tool library) having been having computer and internet problems, but that is expected and hopefully getting better as Jen is back online today.

* Personal note: BonaResponds volunteers have never ceased to amaze me from the first trip. Bringing hard work, ingenuity, and a willingness to work with others to all jobs. BR-PH and especially Shamae and Jen are truly living up to this high standard. From identifying jobs, working in the field, and looking for ways to partner with other groups to help as many as possible, they are doing a great job!!

Salamat, Jim

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Fast update from the Philippines

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, Shamae and Jen have been having internet and electricity "issues". They are ok and will distribute more food as soon as they can.

Many have been evacuated to Cebu. Here is a picture that Shamae sent late yesterday (US east coast time) [I should stress I do not know if she took it or not]   "of some of the evacuees from TaclobanLeyte in one of the evacuation centers here in Cebu (Brgy. Tinago, Cebu City)"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An update from our friends/volunteers in the Philippines

Provinces and regions of the Philippines
Provinces and regions of the Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As many of you know about 2 months ago Jen and Shamae founded a BonaResponds arm in Cebu City in the Philippines.  Their plan was to help in the slums of Cebu City and elsewhere.  

Fate has intervened twice since that humble beginning and the first response was after the eathquake that rocked the Philipines on October 15.  And now the typhoon that wrecked havoc over much of the nation.  

I heard from Shamae and Jen tonight  Here is a recap of what is happening in the Philippines through Shamae's eyes:

"Hello Jim, we are experiencing rotating brownout because of the power shortage. Most of the electricity towers in Leyte were destroyed. I have heard from my relatives in Pilar Camotes Island, an island in the extreme Northern Cebu, that our house was totally damaged. Pilar Camotes is the hometown of my mother.

We're very lucky that my parents are here with us during the typhoon. I have a proposal if it's ok with you and Jen that we will have relief goods distribution in Pilar Camotes. They are experiencing food shortage already. Most of the properties are totally damaged. Most of the relief goods from Cebu will just pass by the island going directly through Leyte and Samar. Pilar Camotes is just 30-40 minutes away from Ormoc, Leyte. I hope we could help them.
I have also another proposal if it's ok that we will have feeding in the evacuation centers in Northern Cebu, maybe we could go to Bogo, Sogod or Daanbantayan. Most properties are also totally damaged.

The immediate need now is food/water/medicines...as you can see in the news others are already stealing in stores."

BonaResponds just sent $500 to help the immediate need for food. (this is after the money sent after the earthquake that brought meals for 130 families).   We will be sending more.  You can help!  Please donate here.   Also see Hands.org the group we were modeled after and with whom we have worked many times.  They do great work!

Once the immediate emergency is over, the work will begin to change and we hope  
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Want a friend? Want to help Haiti? Now you can do both!

Map of Haiti
Map of Haiti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We are very happy to announce our penpal program with schools in Haiti!  It is a great opportunity to meet people in another country while also helping teach English to those in Haiti.

So far we have 8 schools signed up in Haiti (in Leogane and Gonaivies).  This is very exciting and something EVERYONE can do.  It takes only a few minutes and will bring much joy to both you and the person you are writing to!

If the below "embed" does not work, the actual document is here: http://bit.ly/1ds1cSZ

to sign up:

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Getting ready for the trip

Rob playing with the Boys
Rob playing with the Boys (Photo credit: FinanceProfessor)
As you know BonaResponds is heading back to Breezy Point this weekend.  We have had many requests about what to bring etc (more than any trip since 2006 I would guess--not sure why).  So here is my guide to a BonaResponds trip.

Thank you for coming to help others with BonaResponds.  This is a fast guide to what to expect, what to bring, etc.

First of all, there will be very little “schedule”.  We are going to help.  That is often all we know.  But it will work out.  There will be many smart people and we are flexible so we can respond to changes and unforeseen events.  (Trust us, planning for these trips is close to impossible.  Too many unknowns.  The only known things is that we will help.  You will help.  And it will be a great trip.)

While every trip is different, the following is a pretty good guide to the “What Should I bring” question:

  1. A good attitude--far and away the most important.  Preplanning is next to impossible (number of volunteers change, jobs change, work changes) so go with it.  We are going to help.  That won’t change.
  2. Work clothes (jeans, long sleeve tee, short sleeve tee, sweatshirt, work boots (ideally steel toed).
  3. Gloves--leather is best IMO (we do provide lightweight gloves, but you may want to bring your own.
  4. Sun glasses/safety goggles--again we have some, but not “most fashionable”  lol.  
  5. Sleeping bag  (We do have 3 or 4 sleeping bags available on a first come, first serve basis--and we have cots.  A pillow maybe too-yoga block works great and is smaller)
  6. Flashlight, GPS (we seemingly never have ours!)
  7. cell phone charger
  8. digital camera (Phones often run out of battery!)
  9. Towel
  10. toiletries etc (contacts, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc)
  11. water bottle
  12. Sun block
  13. granola bars, fruit, etc.  

We will have tools and cots.  Food is included once we are working, but honestly, you probably want to bring food you like too and maybe some spending money as we will stop in stores etc.

Other tips:

Be Safe. We want to get much work done, but staying safe is incredibly important (if for no other reason, you can't help others if you are hurt, so be safe!)

The normal legal disclaimers apply. As volunteers you are on your own. We are suggesting you go and help others, but you are all assuming risk on your own behalf. Which means you can not sue St. Bonaventure, BonaResponds, or anyone else involved with this project/trip.  You must fill out this form: http://bonaresponds.org/forms/Participant%20Waiver2.pdf

Often times we are working in the homes of people who just lost everything.  Be respectful.  Be kind.  Please no swearing around those we are helping.   Imagine others going through your house. 

Step right in and get involved.  Unlike some organizations, we do not have mandatory classes on volunteering before you start helping.  It is largely on the job training (exceptions for power tools and chain saws etc).  So jump in, work with others, and make a difference.  You do not need to be asked.  Get going! :)

If the trip is longer than a few days, we will TRY to find a place to do laundry, BUT no guarantees and expect to wear dirty clothes to work in. 

Make new friends.  If you only hang out with those you knew before the trip, you are missing out on much of the fun/learning.  So work with others.  

Talk to others. Don't just work. It is supposed to be fun. Play music.  But Talk AND work at the same time :) 

The days will be long.  We are there to work not to go sightseeing, engage in Volutourism, or just to be somewhere different.  We are there to work.  We generally start between 8-9 and work until dark. 

Whenever possible, get others involved. Especially those you are helping. This is great for their mental outlook and makes it much more meaningful for the volunteers as well. (invite them back to "camp" for a meal if at all possible").

Things will go wrong. Don't sweat it too much. Remember better not perfect.

Be prepared to clean and pack the van before going.  This is not a large organization.  We all work as well as volunteer.  So it will not be done in advance.   

You don't need to stay with us (You can get a hotel or sleep at home etc) but again, you will miss out on some of the adventure and bonding.  Many great memories are made on late night bonfires, trips to a grocery store (or Walgreens!), or just hanging out. 

Be flexible. If you start out to do job A and job B gets done instead, oh well. Often these things happen for the best.

Have fun! We are not paying you. So you better have some fun!

Be Safe! 

It will be fun!
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Monday, October 07, 2013

A BonaResponds Update

Fast updates:

Weould love to have you work with us this weekend in NYC area:

 BonaResponds will be going to Breezy Point and the Rockaway (NY) area and working with Habitat on rebuilding after Sandy. We will be leaving approximately 5:30 on Fri (Oct 11) and returning LATE on Monday (leaving Breezy about 6:30 PM). The cost is $20 to pay for gas and a tee shirt.

Local jobs have been going well.  Since the end of August: We've shipped 14 barrels and 5 pallets of supplies to Haiti, we've have done several ramps (depending on definition we've done 3-5, but 3 complete new ones), painted a house, mowed the Bob's Woods trails, taken down a ramp, and are working on getting a gentleman a new hot water heater.  All since start of the school year.

Alas many many more jobs are waiting.  There is ALWAYS a need for leaders and volunteers.  Specific leader positions that are open: 

1. BR for SPCA leader (responsibilities include taking volunteers to walk dogs, working with SPCA on meeting other needs).

2.  WarmSnugglyBlanket leader--identifying people who could use a blanket and getting the blankets (we have about 100 now) distributed.  Also growing the program. (can be done online)

3. Haiti coordinator--tracking shipments, giving updates (social media), managing penpal program, working on money transfers to solar power installers, FUND RAISING for HaitiScholarships, school supply collections. (can be done online with some local help)

4. Helping Jen and Shamae launch their programs in the slums of Cerbu City in the Philippines. (can be done online with some local help)

5. Tool and supply maintenance for us locally--includes getting oil changes, repairing and cleaning tools, etc.  (Must be done locally)

6. Help for Jen to keep website up to date and to Reed&Sarah on newsletter. (can be done online)

Some of these are local (ie. tool repair) but others can be done online.  ANd many hands make light work, so we'd love to have your help! 

But first, we'd really love you to help in NYC this coming weekend.  Sign up below :)

thanks everyone! 


Listen to Jim's recent interviews

the BonaResponds Moment from WGWE (aired 10/3/2013) A longer one from WPIG (aired 10/6/2013)

Hey, it's better than watching his videos!

Sign up for fall break trip

We will be leaving late on Friday (Oct 11) and returning VERY late on Monday/Tuesday AM.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Happy to announce a new program whereby BonaResponds will be helping in the Phillipines

I do not know where does randomness end and "this was meant to be" starts.

This summer I hired Jen as an assistant from Odesk.  She lives in the Phillipines and was a great worker.  In our almost daily emails, a friendship was formed and she learned of BonaResponds (BR) (usually first thing I explain to anyone).  Conversations soon turned to how could BR help make things better in the Philippines. 

Well it is now 5 months later and I am happy to announce it to the public.  Well sort of. :) 

Let me start by saying, I do not know how we can help.  It is not our job to know exactly what we are going to do.  Instead we are going to support Jen and her friend Shamae in their efforts to make the world a little bit better.  Maybe through education, maybe through a reading program, or who knows.  But they are committed to helping and we are willing to help.  So if you want to get involved, let us know.

Want to see how much of need there is?  Watch this BBC documentary on the slums where millions live:



We will be working with CYC (Christian Youth Corps) in Delevan NY.  There are two ramp projects as well as a new door installation and more!

We will be leaving SBU at 10 on Saturday and 10:30 on Sunday.  Please come with us :)

No really, please come.  We are up against a few events on campus (notably the notorious Keg Clash) which always hurt our turnout.  So please come out to help.  Open to all.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Great weekend of helping in Salamanca

It was a great weekend of helping in Salamanca.  We built a ramp for Jen who has been unable to get out of her house due to MS.  Thanks to a donation from the MS society we were able to build a ramp that now allows her to leave the house!  BIG BIG win!!! :)

Saturday:  Volunteers moved concrete steps, cut out bushes, built a deck and framed ramp to the ground.   Weather was not very fun as it poured and then got pretty cold.  (a wet cold that caught some unprepared.  Sorry!)

Sunday:  smaller crew listened to the Bills lose to the Patriots and finished the ramp!  We still have to build new steps for the family and install two metal plates inside to smooth out the thresholds.  Great day as the neighbors helped and the family fed us. 

For many more pictures, check out our new shared FB album.

PS when there a neighbor who lost a leg in a motorcycle asked us to install handrails on his steps.  We will do that next weekend (if we get enough volunteers!--so it is up to you).

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hurricane Katrina - NOLA.com

Hurricane Katrina making its second landfall i...
Hurricane Katrina making its second landfall in Louisiana, as seen by NWS New Orleans radar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hard to believe it has been 8 years.  I could guess it was 20 years or 20 days.  The anniversary brings so many memories.  about the best I can say for it is this is how BonaResponds got its start.  But it came at such a high cost.

Please take a few minutes and go through the reports on Katrina then and how the region has come back. 

Hurricane Katrina - NOLA.com:
"August 29, 2005. New Orleans will forever exist as two cities: The one that existed before that date, and the one after. From this page, access the latest news of the recovery effort. Browse through the extraordinary archive of The Times-Picayune's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage. And join the thousands of voices by sharing your Katrina story."

 I remember scouring Nola.com for any and all news, looking for lost pets, dreading the news updates but addicted to hearing what was happening.  And then going.  People said it would be a life changing trip.  I laughed, but they were right.
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Pictures from this weekend

Great weekend of helping others!  Here are many more pictures.

  1. 13 barrels of school supplies filled
  2. Our truck body storage trailer was painted
  3. A first layer of paint was put on the observation deck on the Bonaventure campus near the "Observatory"
  4. The trails through Bob's Woods were mowed and clipped.
  5. Drywall was hung on the ceiling at Ed and Donna's in Friendship.  
  6. Brother Ed's group made 20 blankets for WarmSnugglyBlanket

Remember to "Like us" on Facebook!  and Follow us on Twitter

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Helping in Haiti

School Supplies for Haiti
School Supplies for Haiti (Photo credit: Bona_Responds)
Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned we needed to refocus our efforts in Haiti as they were becoming forgotten in the Post Sandy, Post Oklahoma general business.  So, we did.  Here is a fast update.

* We are having a supply backing event on August 24 to mail barrels of school supplies and a pallet of shoes.  So if you have school supplies or lightly used shoes, please bring them in!

* We are happy to announce that CMJ will be getting a solar power system.  We'd LOVE to be able to do more, so we have also announced a fund raising effort along with HaitiScholarships.  It is our first time using GoFundMe.com so let us know what you think.  (You can also give via HaitiScholarships or to BonaResponds for shipping of supplies).


 *  Haiti was also the theme of the BonaResponds Moment this week on WGWE.  (THANKS TO AKT Combative Academy for their sponsorship of the weekly interview!)

* This school year we really really want to start a pen pal program with classes in Haiti.  I spoke with the post office this week and there is now regular mail to and from Haiti.  So let's do this.  Want to write letters to students/classes?  It sounds fun!  Email me (Jimmahar@yahoo.com) to be part of this program.  Once we get the solar system up, we will likely be looking for tutors and English teachers as well. 

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Monday, August 05, 2013

Weekend recap

What a great BR weekend!  Thank you to those who came and helped!

On Saturday we worked in Angelica.  We had volunteers who did plumbing, painting, and built this handrail to help Dave get around his house.  Dave is a 79 year old Korean War Vet who has had very very limited water in his house for several years. It was a really fun day with the family and neighbors lending a hand (and food) and making a big impact.  We hope to go back when the students are back to do some more: Painting, roofing the garage, and fixing some broken windows.  More pictures of it are here.

On Sunday, as Ed continued plumbing in Angelica, others of us went to Arcade and built a deck for Ken (a Vietnam Vet with MS who can not longer safely get around on the grass.  The deck (off of the existing ramp the VA paid for) will allow him and Denise (who helped immensely with the construction) have a place to sit and a BBQ.

After the Arcade deck job we picked up barrels in Buffalo that will be used for our next packing event for Haiti on August 24.  Be sure to donate school supplies in advance so they can be shipped in time for schools in Haiti to get before their start of class in Late Sept/Early October.

Friday, August 02, 2013

This weekend

Saturday:   BonaResponds in Angelica
BonaResponds will be working in Angelica, N.Y., at the home of a 79 year old Korean War veteran who has had almost no interior plumbing for years. We will be replumbing the house, installing hand rails and grab bars, fixing the siding, repairing windows, and painting. We'd love your help. We are leaving at 10:30 a.m. Saturday from the truck body behind the SBU maintenance building.   

Also with back to school sales starting, it's a great time pick up some supplies for Haiti. Pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, backpacks, calculators, crayons, scissors, and more all in high demand.  

Sunday: to be determined.   We expect to be in Arcade, but the trailer park owner has yet to approve the plans. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Marines on Deck to Welcome Devil Dog Displaced Since Sandy Back into Home | the Ocean Signal

Hey, I recognize that ramp!  We built it back over "spring" break in late February.  VERY glad to see they made it back into their house!

Marines on Deck to Welcome Devil Dog Displaced Since Sandy Back into Home | the Ocean Signal:

"Some of the many volunteer groups involved in the effort included Bona Responds, Calvary Chapel Relief, Calvary Chapel Teens, Habitat for Humanity, Portlight Strategies, Sandy Weekend Warriors, and Seton Hall Prep.

“My parents are grateful to Paying It Forward and the more than one hundred volunteers that helped rebuild their home and clean up after the storm,” said Denise Gavala, the couple’s daughter. “These volunteers gave of themselves to give back to my parents a home that they loved and thought they would never see again.”"

Want a picture of the day?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BonaResponds' upcoming jobs

Have a few work requests that we need some help with:

1. In Angelica NY: "My father is 79 years old and has a fixed income.....found out that the only running water he has in the kitchen is from his sprayer,he flushes his toilet with a bucket and the only way he can fill his bathtub is by running a hose from his bathroom sink-which doesn't have a drain except for a bucket!My father is way to proud to ask for any kind of help from anybody but I really think he deserves help from somewhere" Any people with Plumbing skills available? WOULD LOVE TO DO THIS THIS WEEKEND!!

2. In Olean: a woman needs some help moving. (From Community Action: "I have a woman who lives in Olean who has been evicted from her apartment. She has three grandchildren that she has custody of. ...I was wondering if you would have any volunteers to assist her in moving this weekend? She is willing to rent a budget truck". and later "She has four beds and a kitchen table" THIS SATURDAY

3. Jo Ann's mother recently died. Not only did they list BonaResponds as a charity to donate to, but now they are donating her ramp to us so that we can use it elsewhere. But it is sort of heavy and Jim is really weak. So if anyone (with a flat bed truck even better) wants to help with that, it would be GREATLY appreciated. And a BIG THANK YOU to Jo Ann! THIS SATURDAY

4. In Arcade we will be teaming up with CYC soon to make a walkway/removable deck for Ken a Vietnam era vet who has MS. Could definitely use a hand there too!

5. In Salamanca we will be joining forces w Team Depot (from Olean's Home Depot) to build a ramp for a woman with MS. Waiting on permits there, but otherwise ready to go! (Thanks Joe and Craig!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

BonaResponds update

  • This past week we built a ramp for Roy and Virginia near Delevan NY.   It turned out very well. Great job Jerry, Jen, Christina, and Raliegh!

  • As back to school specials start, we'd love you to pick up some extra school supplies that we will ship to schools in Haiti.  We'll also donate some domestically (especially the larger items).
  • We will be getting our new office space in the brand new Swan Business Building on the SBU campus.  Look for pictures soon!
  • This coming week we will be working on ramp sections for a job we will be working on with Team Depot (Home Depot) in Salamanca.  Plus a patio in Arcade for a Veteran who has trouble walking on uneven ground.
  • Working hard to get solar power to a school and internet cafe in Haiti.  It is taking MUCH more time than expected.  
  • We need a short presentation put together for the incoming students (i.e. Freshmen in the language we are not supposed to use).  Any takers?
  • Jen P is investigating ways that BonaResponds could help in the Philippines.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

John's Wheelchair ramp: Great timing! Great Story! How it ends depends on you.

There are so many jobs.  Too many jobs.  Trying to determine what job to do is often the hardest part of leading BonaResponds.  Doing job A often means we can not do job B.  It is an impossibly difficult choice: NYC or Herkimer?  Haiti or Texas?  Olean or Oklahoma?  A ramp job or a tree job?

So one day last week after dinner I was writing down all the jobs we wanted to get done before leaving NYC.  There were 6-7 jobs.  We were only in the area for two more days.  Clearly something had to give.

But I kept thinking I was forgetting a job.  We get requests in many formats: from our website submisison form, from many different organizations, from friends, by phone, by text, by facebook message, and sometimes by dumb luck.  I remembered a Facebook message, but could not remember the exact job.  So late that night I checked FB and lo and behold found it!  But what was strange was that the address was already on my list-Two groups had each requested we do the same house.

So I took it as a sign we better bump up its priority.  When we get to the house, there already is a ramp, but it is WAY too steep.  John is sitting in a car trying to figure out how he can get in the house.  Here is the video interview with him:

We built him a temporary ramp to allow him in and out of the house, but the story is not done!  We are teaming up with Portlight Strategies, Habitat for Humanity of Westchester County, RespondandRebuild, and others to get him a permanent wheelchair lift that will allow him to a degree of independence that is absent today.  If you want to help (write a grant, make a donation, help install, etc), PLEASE let us know!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An unusual appeal to save a dog...it is 100% legit and in Olean.

UPDATE:  the surgery was a success!  THE LEG WAS SAVED!  The below was edited at the request of the University.

Hi everyone,

Ok, so I try VERY hard to not ask for money but this one is pretty pressing and a bit unusual.  The other day I got a call from a friend in Olean who had reported a dog to the SPCA (and the owner to the local police).   The dog is named Kimmie and is a 2 year old Shiatsu with a broken leg.  The leg has been broken for about a week. The owner had neglected the dog and now when injured was ready to euthanize it.  (a fate that seems very harsh for a broken leg!).

For a myriad of reasons there was little the SPCA or police could do.  Thus BonaResponds entered into the discussion and the then owner gave us a health care proxy for the dog.  We then took Kimmie to local vet (Haskell Valley) where it was determined that the dog did indeed have a broken leg (a displaced transverse fracture of the femur) and needed surgery. Upon hearing this the owner surrendered all rights to the animal and lobbied to "put it down".  For a broken leg mind you.   
We will not let the dog be killed for a broken leg.  Thus, there are two options but we need your help to pull them off.


1. A surgery to repair the leg. This will cost about $3000-$4000.  (Yes it seems high, but it can only be done by certain vets--we were recommended to take it to Orchard Park).  

2. Amputation.  This can be done in Olean for about $1000.

  First let me say that no matter what we do the dog will be much better off than had we let it continue down the path to euthanasia.  Moreover,dogs can do very well with three legs.  HOWEVER, when asked, the vet said that the leg is likely saveable and only a lack money should result in the dog losing the leg.





IF YOU WANT YOUR MONEY BACK PLEASE CONTACT Jim Mahar with the amount that you want to donate.  (I can be reached at jimmahar@yahoo.com)

THANKS everyone.  With your help Kimmie will be a healthy dog for years and years to come!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

S. Tier native helps Moore, Okla., recover - Corning, NY - The Corning Leader

S. Tier native helps Moore, Okla., recover - Corning, NY - The Corning Leader:

"Metcalfe and other members of a volunteer organization associated with the university, known as “BonaResponds,” worked 10-hour plus days, doing various jobs to aid in the recovery. Their efforts included much clearing of fallen trees and debris to make way for rebuilding, as well as building a ramp at the home of a disabled veteran".

WAY TO GO SARAH! (and everyone else too!) 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BonaResponds Mantras/Guiding thoughts

An unopened fortune cookie
An unopened fortune cookie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What guides your thinking?  I got thinking this morning about that question upon seeing a fortune cookie picture on facebook.  The fortune (which was posted by Make-a-Wish of Western New York) said:

"Look for someone's strength instead of weakness". 

So, here is a list of items (call them mantras, sayings, thoughts, or views) that guide my thinking and planning for BonaResponds on an almost daily basis. 
  1. Everyone has something to offer. 
  2. It is better to go and not be needed than to not go and be needed.
  3. Better not perfect.
  4. The intended job is often the least important thing we do.
  5. Walking in others' shoes not enough, we need to see things through their eyes.
  6. People handle stress in various ways: some get busy, some get lost, and some overwhelmed.
  7. Ignoring a problem is not always laziness, it can be a means of coping as well. 
  8. Even the best cars need help around some roadblocks.  The same with people.
  9. Bumpy patches of road can be followed by many miles of smooth sailing.
  10. Prepare for the unexpected, but act before all is certain. 
  11. Bureaucracy kills (spirit and sometimes people). 
  12. We can't do everything, but we can do something.  
  13. There are always a million reasons not to help, help anyway.
  14. A small job to society is often an enormous help to those helped. 
  15. Much can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit. 
  16. Many hands make light(er) work. 
  17. All voluntary activities must be "win-win". 
  18. What type of group would we be if we only helped when it was convenient?
  19. At the end of the day, it is all economics.  But the measuring stick is not merely dollars and cents, but utility and well being.
  20. Make a positive difference
  21. Some people are especially tough to please.  There is probably a reason.  
  22. Showing up is not enough, but it beats the alternative.
  23. Have a positive value added (EVA in finance, WAR in baseball, plus in hockey). 
  24. Don't forget opportunity costs. The cost of one job, is another.
  25. Life is filled with randomness.   Your position at the top or at the bottom is in part random.
  26. Little things matter.  Ripples (both positive and negative) can start with a little splash.  
  27. People are good. Conditions and circumstances can hide this but the truth eventually shines through.
  28. Take care of the big things and the small things will take care of themselves.  Money is a small thing.
  29. Helping some, is better than helping none.
  30. We are all neighbors in universe space. 
  31. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a kind word.
  32. Everyone is a role model.
  33. No one is perfect.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

BonaResponds' moment (3 min audio interview) on WGWE

The audio of this week's BonaResponds' Moment on WGWE! This week Greg, Ashish, and Nick speak with Jesse

Friday, May 03, 2013

BR News of the week--Finals week!

BR News of the week--short one this week with finals (I used to like finals much better as a student than I do now as a professor!)

Wow that week went fast!

Quick recap:

1. We are working this Sunday.  Come out and help.  Since only one day (not Saturday as well) we will leave at 10:30 on Sunday from Murphy.  Also look for BR work days during Senior week.  Several graduating students have asked for a final work day before they go.

Also Next weekend is Graduation.  We will work a bit after graduation on Sunday and probably a short day on Saturday as well.

2.   Margaret Mahar Service Scholarship

Congratulations to Greg on winning the first ever Margaret Mahar Service Scholarship. (he also won this week's feats of Strength for which he is pictured here)

Greg has been our most active volunteer this year, is a great leader, and truly “gets it”.  Helping others is not about signing some form for a class or other requirement, it is helping because you can.  Because it is the right thing to do.  Here is an excerpt from the blog article on his award:

I received so much from the time I have spent volunteering BonaResponds. It has taught me that I do have the ability to change the world...one ramp at a time or one hurricane help day at a time.

It has been so rewarding to see the gratitude on the Sandy victims faces when we take a little time to help clean our after the storm or help them to start to rebuild. I have spent time almost every weekend this school year volunteering with BonaResponds”

the entire article is here:

3.  The New Trailer/Truck body is here!   All the volunteers who have seen it (true a limited sample) are thrilled and are convinced it will make our work much easier/better organized. 

The next steps include painting it (brown), building a ramp and steps to allow us to get into it, and building shelves inside.  Also moving the larger tools (lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc) and supplies from our existing storage. 

Thanks to Ed for the generous donation!!

4. Several WarmSnugglyBlankets have gone out this week.  That is both sad and joyous.  I wish there were no need for blankets as cancer had been eliminated.  

Please keep ten year old Bella in your prayers.  She has had a rough week.  (PrayforBella.com

5. GREAT news from Wesley in Haiti!  HaitiScholarships winners in Leogane Haiti and others at the CJM school planted hundreds of trees to combat the deforestation that is common in Haiti.  Here is an album of pictures of the event.  (Don't forget to "Like" HaitiScholarships!)

6. Collections were slow this week :(  I will attribute it to final projects etc.  I hope it picks up!  Shoes, school supplies, winter coats, and books. 

7.  Random stuff:

* Thank you to the anonymous donation of material for WarmSnugglyBlanket!

* New deck screws finally arrived!  10 boxes.  Very exciting news!  

* Some of our larger donors will have their names on the walls of the new building.  If you want to have your name on it, let me know ASAP.  I think the pledge has to be in before June 1.

* Anyone want to be in charge of mailing out blankets this summer?  We will pay postage!

8. We will be doing things all summer.  REALLY REALLY REALLY will need volunteers.  Students are gone, most faculty members are not involved, so we are counting on you!  Yes you! :) come out and help change the world!  Whoever you are, you can help!  I PROMISE!


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