Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Update on many fronts

My top ten list for the week:

In this relative lull in the post snow cleanup, a fast update on other fronts:

1. A huge THANK YOU to all who helped in Buffalo!  The snow was truly breathtaking.  To see the community come together was encouraging and heart warming.  We made three trips up and had almost 50 volunteers.  We helped to clear 29 driveways, about 15 fire hydrants,  several roofs, doors, and walkways.  We now wait and hope the flooding is not too bad.

2. Haiti continues to be a source of both our great successes and bitter frustration.  First the bad news:  key parts of the solar system we donated to a school in Leogane were stolen and the one in Gonaives burned up. Because of this, we have placed the VERY needed system on hold until we can figure out how to stop the crime.    It is mindboggling frustrating and humbling.  On the positive side, we have heard great successes at schools and orphanages in Lascambas and Gonaives.  (GREAT JOB Jean and Djemson and the others)

3. Instead of solar in Haiti we will fund a few composting toilets as a test.  (At least they are tougher to steal or break!).  They will make things safer in many ways and reduce disease.   Additionally, the waste can be composted into fertilizer.  The program has the added benefit of being cheaper too!  Only $320.  We will be paying $270 on at least a couple to start.  Why $270?  A condition of one of the donors was that the Haitians raise at least some of the money as well so that they would truly see its worth and not just as another throw-away NGO handout.

4.  Also in Haiti as part of our efforts to improve education, we will be working with @Haitischolarships, some people from the St Bonaventure School of Education, as well as schools in Haiti to create better standards and on teacher training.  This will include better reporting from Haitian schools and tracking of attendance (teacher and student) and tracking improvement.  This is a BIG WIN!

5. Today the last of the money raised in the #EndEbola leaf raking campaign will go out.  If anyone wants to continue to help in a very impoverished area, we sure would love the help!  Today the CYC crew is back in Monrovia.  Their Kids Camp starts soon.  (Dec 10)

6. Our book collection has gone VERY slowly, so we will extend it until Dec 8th. Remember these are for local families with children from pre K to grade 12.  Books can be left off in 104 Swan Building on the SBU campus.

7. On Saturday night, our van suffered a broken window while parked on campus.  If anyone wants to confess to the vandalism and pay for a new window, we will NOT take it to the police nor security.

8. We will be working this weekend.  Best guess is in Olean, but we may go to Buffalo again if the needs look great still.  Stay tuned.  

9. THANK YOU to those of you who donated this past week! Denise, Todd, Sean, Pat, Ryan, Gary, Patricia, and those who helped with food this weekend.  We have said many times, but it deserves repeating "Without you, BonaResponds is just a good idea."

10. Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!  We all have so many things to be thankful for.  We often forget that when we see all misfortune and sometimes pure evil that happens.  The good is much more common even though it tries to hide itself.  Be good!  Be Safe!  Volunteer and Change the world!

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