Friday, December 04, 2015

Update and Newsletter link.

Sorry it is so long. Have been too busy to post regular updates these past few weeks (10 weeks of our Weekend MBA program MAY end up killing me yet!)

Theme (and my main mantra as I limp into the end of the semester):
We can't do everything, but we can do some things.

Here are a few of the things going on at BonaResponds this week!

1. Sat: 2pm, Sunday 11:30: Ramp build!! Come out. PLEASE :)
2. We have been totally slammed on job requests. I started telling people it will likely be March-April at earliest for local jobs. :(
3. The Solar electric system in our trailer took another step closer to reality as the switches and conduit were installed :) Very excited about this! Thanks Rob for arranging it and everyone involved!
4. The shipment (cost $3000 to ship) of donated items is set to arrive at the orphanage in Liberia tomorrow (Saturday). We look forward to hearing from Bishop Nelson on it.
5. We want to create a council/board of Haitian volunteers (thinking 9 people?, at least 3 female, 3 male at any point) to help oversee and decide on projects we will be working on in Haiti. terms would be staggered at one and two years. If you are interested in joining this project, please let us know. MUST be able to meet and respond online in a timely fashion.
6. The #BonasandBeyond online economics class has been a failure.. Few signed up and fewer still are doing it. It is a great idea but we need to rethink the "how".
7. Be sure to follow our new Instagram account (@BonaResponds).
8. We HOPE to ship the next shipment to Haiti this coming week (hope does not equate to a guarantee). It is much smaller than most of our shipments, but getting the boxes of soccer equipment out of my office will be GREATLY appreciated LOL.) Anyone who wants to help pack this, please speak up :)
9. Our collection of Children's books for local schools is winding down. It turned out to be smaller than last year. I think because it is so difficult to get the word out to people given the decline in FB views and so few shares. (blame me!)
10. We took advantage of Black Friday specials and amazingly generous donations from the Coates (Joe and Pat) and Zimmers (John and Anne) (also a huge thank you to Exxon-Mobil) to buy two new impact drivers and batteries.
11. I know I said it last weekend, but last Saturday's work day (we finished steps and an elevated deck in pitch darkness) will be long remembered as one of the most "BonaRespondsy" days we have ever had.
12. Online shopping? Support BR at the same time: Go to and pick BonaResponds as your charity!
13. Thank you again to Carolyn and Yvonne for our Nov Newsletter: You can see it and much more at out blog or at our main web page: or at
14. Thank you also to anyone who donated on Giving Tuesday. I will get the names of donors this weekend. THANK YOU in advance! Without you BonaResponds is just a good idea.
15. Looked back on goals for 2015. Successes: make a positive difference in all that we do. Help people cope with difficult times. Make the world better. Failures: get more volunteers involved. Get more SBU faculty and staff involved, get solar electric to two more schools in Haiti, start English tutoring program in Haiti. (I guess I better get busy in December!!!)
16. Look for a story on the #BonasandBeyond program inthe SBU Bonaventure magazine (I think it comes out next week)
17. As the world turns its attention on preventing global warming, let me suggest a donation of trees to your family and friends at Christmas time. a $50 donation will allow 25 trees to be planted in Haiti. This will help the Haitian economy, reforest the land (lessening erosion and flooding), AND help reduce co2 in the atmosphere).
18. Make Christmas special for those less fortunate! Two specific opportunities: December 12: in Dallas TX and in Newalla OK.
19. A couple more blankets went out this week. I KNOW a better system can be designed for it. I KNOW it. Also thank you to Kim Palmer for sewing on more patches!
20. Did you see our "wishlist"? Look below on FB or on our blog. You can see where your donations will go.
21. On the horizon: a microloan program ($20-$30 loans) in Les Cayes Haiti and a larger one ($40-$50) in Gonaives Haiti. VERY exciting!
22. As the world seems so violent and kilers and terrorists dominate the news, my only advice: Love all, serve all. We all have tough battles. We can all use a hand from time to time. Be that helping hand. Don't look at the color of skin, the religion of the recipient. Just help.

Newsletter  :

November Newsletter
View this email in your browser
Look at how much we've been up to this semester!
This Fall semester has been busy for our BonaResponds volunteers. We have built three set of steps, took down and cleaned up two garages,  and five ramps for local homes in need. BonaResponds also helped to renovate a home in Allegany by insulating, drywalling, installing a new door, and giving the exterior a
fresh painting. 

Haiti Students

This semester, Bonas and Beyond hosted 13 students from Haiti to experience St. Bonaventure. They attended class, participated in campus events, and took trips around Western New York including seeing Niagara Falls. The students resided in Fourth Loughlen and exchanged their culture with ours. These few weeks were a great success and we hope that this Bonas and Beyond program will continue in years to come!
Our new friends experience one of the Wonders of the World!
Collecting school supplies, clothing, and books is  an on going project for BonaResponds.

The semester women's business clothes that were donated to us by a local fire department were distributed in Olean, Buffalo, Newalla Oklahoma, and Dallas Texas.  Additionally toys and books were given out locally and to children in Newalla OK where we worked with groups that we worked with after the floods this summer (and 2013 tornado)

Internationally, our biggest shipment this semester went to many groups across Haiti.  But our international assistance also included  over a dozen boxes of  school supplies and shoes arrived this past week in Costa Rica and a larger shipment to the orphanage in Monrovia Liberia that we have been working with since the midst of last year's Ebola Crisis when the number of orphans they were helping grew from 26 to 118.

Locally, this year will mark our second annual book giveaway to local school children to help those less fortunate have access to books in their own homes.

We are always accepting donations to help others in need. Things such as school supplies, books, clothing, shoes, and sports equipment are always appreciated!

St. Bonaventure's Students in Money Management (SIMM) awarded BonaResponds $3,000 at the Home Opening Men.s Basketball game during halftime.  We earned the money by getting over 26,000 votes in the SIMM online voting contest.  This money will be used towards funding a number of our future projects in Haiti that grew our of the Bonas and Beyond program.  A big thank you to St. Bonaventure's SIMM club. 

From Jim's messy Desk:

I promised I would keep my part short, so here goes:

  1. THANK YOU to all who continue to donate to allow all of these good programs to be realities.  Without you, BonaResponds is just a good idea and the thousands of people we have helped do not receive our assistance.  From us, and them, THANK YOU!
  2. Please remember BonaResponds on #GivingTuesday!  Also, if you are doing online shopping, please go through and select us as your charity.  So far we have earned about $450 (roughly half of a ramp) :) 
  3. This semester marked the 10th anniversary of our founding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Time sure flies!  We are thinking of doing a spring break reunion trip (spring break is Feb 27-March 6.)  Please reply and let us know if you are interested in attending (not sure where yet).
  4. The Bonas and Beyond program may be the highlight of the semester.  Look for an extended article (even with my first "photo shoot" in the upcoming Bonaventure Magazine.  (I think it is out December 10th). 
  5. We have been very short on volunteers on most weekends.  While we got a great deal done, 3 or 4 more volunteers a weekend would make a HUGE difference.  How about volunteering once a month?  Another idea: get your business, team, club, family, church, class involved!
  6. Thank you to the SBU Business School's Pacioli Scholars Program for their generous donations to help sponsor the Bonas and Beyond program as well as to fund Yvonne's and Carolyn's jobs (without whom this newsletter would not have gotten done!) 
  7. Thank you everyone! The semester has been good.  With your help the next semester can be great!


BonaResponds International SERVICE DAY!

We are bringing the popular International Service Day back!  (ok it is a weekend)  Mark your calendar for April 9th and 10th.  Plan your projects now!  Wherever you are and whoever you are.  Everyone can help make the world a better place! 

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