Friday, August 24, 2012

September 29th Blanket Making and Collection Day

On September 29th BonaResponds will be hosting its first ever Blanket Making and Collection Day.  The day will be done with the help of WarmSnugglyBlanket, LiveStrong, and Soles4Souls.  The goal of the day, like that of all BonaResponds Days, is simple: To help.

WarmSnugglyBlanket is a part of BonaResponds whose main aim is to help people with cancer.  It was started to honor the late Marge Mahar who, previous to losing her battle with Breast Cancer this past spring, had wanted to help those in their own personal battles with cancer.  

The blanket idea came out of an experience that Marge had during her final weeks when she had trouble sleeping.  She shared that, as she sat on her bed coughing and worrying, she thought about all of the people who had reached out to her from all around the world to let her know that they were praying for her. She felt fortunate to have so many people supporting her in her fight, and she decided to pray for all of those people who were praying for her.  Marge later described how, as she did this, she immediately felt warmed and relaxed, as if she were wrapped in a “warm snuggly blanket.”  When talking about this experience, Marge expressed her wish to help others fighting cancer to feel the warmth and support that she did.  Through the work of BonaResponds and Villa Marie’s Villa Volunteers, Marge’s idea of helping people with cancer has been realized.  The blankets will serve as a constant reminder that the recipients are not alone in their struggles against cancer. Already, blankets have been distributed via Roswell’s Kevin Guest House and to individuals across the US who have cancer.  The efforts of volunteers on September 29th will help further this cause.

In addition to making the blankets there will be multiple collections to expand the reach of those who would like to help.  We will be collecting:

  1. Winter coats for homeless shelters in Western New York (Buffalo primarily).
  2. School supplies (partially used notebooks, pens, pencils, calculators, and small toys) that will be distributed in the US as well as in Haiti.  
  3. Musical instruments and sheet music for a school on Gonaives Haiti.  
  4. Lighter coats and sweaters for the Loaves and Fishes homeless shelter in Harlingen Texas where BonaResponds worked this summer.
  5. New or gently worn shoes for the Soles4Souls program that distributes shoes around the world.  
  6. Writing letters and or Christmas cards for both US military personnel overseas as well as local nursing home residents.
  7. Canned food for local food pantries.
  8. Pet supplies (especially cat litter) for the SPCA.  

For those unable to make it to the day but want to help, physical donations (including home made blankets) can be dropped off at 231 Murphy Hall or at the Allegany Park and Shop.  Additionally monetary donations are gladly accepted by Mail (BonaResponds Box BY St. Bonaventure NY 14778) or on the donation tab at

While BonaResponds is a part of St. Bonaventure University, all of its projects are open to the public and you do not need to have a tie to St. Bonaventure to participate.   This project is especially well-suited for families, classes, church groups, and other schools to be involved.

This service day will be held in the San Damiano Room in Francis Hall on the east side of campus.  There are two shifts: 10:00 to 1:00 and 1:30 to 4:30.  Please sign up at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

September 29th WarmSnugglyBlanket/Collection Day

Some previous donations for Haitian Schools (Photo credit: Bona_Responds)
We have a big day scheduled for September 29th and would love your help!!! Come join us in helping others.

The main part of the day is that we are making blankets for people with cancer with WarmSnugglyBlanket!  

But we are also doing several collections to help people around the world:

  1. School supplies for Haiti.
  2. Pet supplies for the SPCA of Cattaraugus County.
  3. Shoes for Soles4Souls.
  4. Winter coats for the homeless of Buffalo (and locally if we can find a place to distribute)
  5. ???  stay tuned

We'd love to get local church groups, high schools,  classes,  families, and individuals involved.


  • Volunteers
  • Organizers to help lead the event.
  • Donations (fleece for blankets, and coats/shoes/supplies for various groups listed above, and of course money to help pay for supplies)
  • Tables and chairs 
When?   Saturday September 29th from 10:00 to 4:30  (two shifts: 10-1:00 and 1:30 to 4:30)
Who?  Open to all!  Come one come all!  Under 18 must have parental permission.
Where?  San Damiano room in Francis Hall on the East side of the St. Bonaventure Campus
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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Our efforts in Haiti

Basic idea:

We want to help improve the Haitian Economy/standard of living through education.  Clearly this is much too big of job for any group.  We will work with many other groups and use a multifaceted approach taking small steps to get there eventually by building incrementally off of what we have and what is in place.

Multi Prong approach

  1. We will continue to send school supplies to schools in Haiti.  The main areas are Leogane, Port-au-Prince, and Gonnaives.  (via BonaResponds existing program that has now shipped over 60 pallets since January 2010)
  2. Scholarships- via HaitiScholarships which is a BonaResponds spinoff.  HaitiScholarships funds scholarships in Haiti for going to school in Haiti.  The average cost is $300 for a year of school.  Awareness and fund raising are the keys to success here.
  3. Tutoring and supporting existing or start up programs-through both donations of supplies and online tutoring, we will encourage and support vocational schools, after school, and summer programs. 
    1. Port au Prince
    2. Leogane
    3. Gonaives
  4. Online school program--This will begin as soon as possible but will be a continual work in progress.  focus on business classes, vocational--example carpentry, nursing, etc.  (see people’s school, voyager academy files)
  5.  Ideally we work on a microfinance program (a 5th prong).  This may be done via BonaSimm or other groups.  The goal would be to provide capital to allow graduates and others the opportunity to start their own businesses.