I know, I know. I ask too much. :) sorry. and these have not been vetted by anyone, so here goes....thanks and sorry in advance:
First a few success stories:
- Thank you to everyone who helped SIMM out! We raised almost double our goal (with some money still coming in), qualified for the $16,250 match (so about $48,000 raised), and brought many "younger" alumni back into the donor universe (which will make advancement and alumni relations very happy). It was a good project and advancement worked very hard (great job Janet and crew!) THANK YOU!
- Pending the dispersal of the funds we (PositiveRipples) transferred last week, we will have Bishop Nelson's Ebola orphans in school!! HUGE success. Thank you to everyone, but Joe (and Pat) Coate deserve a special thank you on that! That area has a LONG ways to go (getting about 50 students through high-school (college?) is a big endeavor, but 3 years in, and they are still going! :) Next there will be more sustainable farming programs to raise money for the kids to attend school next year while also learning a life-skill. (We are largely modeling this on what we already do in Haiti and our newest large garden program in Sierre Leone which is JUST starting but with local variations--for instance we also are planning on planting 1000 rubber trees in Liberia in addition to a garden for food).
THANK YOU! :)
Now, the "if you want to get involved" and other updates:
- PenPal program: we have started a pen pal program (Largely led by Enactus) that will help tie together people from around the world. (personal commentary-I think too often the world becomes "us" vs "them". The biggest guiding principle at the foundation of BonaResponds is that we are all the same. We just need to get to know "our neighbors". We would love to have you (or your family) or others you know involved. here is a video on how it will work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zg8xiTGIUk&feature=youtu.be
- Houston spring break trip: this is a definite go! Fly down, fly back. Our scouting trip over fall break went well and I am sure that we can make a big impact. It is of course way off of everyone's radar so I do not see any way to get 200 people (or the money to buy supplies for 200 people working), but I do hope to take 100 or more. Here are the words of a volunteer leader there: "- the lack of media coverage has resulted in a rapid decrease in donations and contributions. People will be rebuilding for the next two years. Your help will help individuals and families get a real jump start on recovery. You are needed more now than ever." We'd love to have you along! there is a signup form at BonaResponds.org or just ask me :)
- EASIEST: Thursday as part of the president's inauguration celebrations, we hope to make over 100 WarmSnugglyBlankets. We have multiple rooms reserved from 11:30 to 1:00. We will start in Swan101-103 and go from there. The impact of the blankets is one of the biggest surprises to me. For instance (slightly edited to assure privacy) here is an email I got today: "I just wanted to say that this is a wonderful gift for cancer patients. You may not know, but my daughter is currently on her fifth and final cycle of chemo...at Roswell....These blankets help her as she is always cold when getting chemo...just wanted you to know how great these blankets are and, hopefully, once she is on the road to recovery from her treatment, we will be able to join BonaResponds in helping to make these blankets." Come out and help make the blankets. If nothing else, you can come out and hear me fight back tears as I describe the project. It happens every single time. (FYI we have given out over 1300 of them now).