Friday, April 05, 2013

International Service Week starts NOW!

BonaResponds is expanding their International Service Day to an International Service Week and is asking for people to get involved.  

“It is really that simple.  Do a good deed to help others and then share what you did with us online”  said  JIm Mahar the leader of BonaResponds.  “Your actions will help others, but even more than that, the sharing will inspire others to do good too.  Too often we just see the bad in the world.  This is designed to let others know that the good outweighs the bad. That people are really good.”

BonaReponds was founded in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Since then the group has grown to help people in 16 states after disasters as well as having local work days every weekend to help paint, clean up, build wheelchair ramps, or whatever is needed. The group is part of St. Bonaventure University but is open to all who want to help.

“We get all kinds of volunteers.  We get retired people, high school and religious ed class, even some sports teams have worked with us.  Everyone can make a difference” said Greg Faughten a Jr  preMed major at SBU.  

“Our mission statement says it all: we want to help.  It can be big or small.  Locally or in far away states after disasters” according to Nate O’Lay a frequent volunteer who has been to several states after tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes.  

Mahar added “All of our projects are open to all.  We love to work with others and have new volunteers.  And everyone can do something. International Service Week is a great way to get involved.”

For more information and to sign up, see

From the website:

1. To help those who need the help.  And we all are in need of help in some way.  As Sesh (an amazing man who has devoted his life to helping others) says: “love all, serve all.”
2. To show that "people are people" where ever they are and not some group of radicals deserving of hate and criticism that is all too often shown in the media.
3. To show that problems are not insurmountable. Together we can solve them. Alone they are too big for any of us.
4. That there are many many people wanting to do good and help others but that too often their actions are unknown and we each feel like we our own efforts are meaningless (hence the importance of sharing the good deeds after the work is done and not just doing them).
5. To remind everyone that we all have some skills that can be used to help others.
6. To have fun.

It can be big or small. Some of my favorite jobs in the past have been a couple cleaning up the road by their house, another couple baking a birthday cake for a lonely man in a nursing home, to a former student taking her neighbor shopping.

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