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:

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!
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: