Thank You's and Reflections

Volunteering provides tremendous benefits to those in need - you help them do what they cannot otherwise do, to get back on their feet, to recover from a rough time. But volunteering is often extremely rewarding to the volunteers - sometimes more than they ever expected. Click here to read essays and reflections from BonaResponds volunteers.

Winner: Kris Warters

Winner: Dan Hirt

Thank you so much to Donna from Friendship for making and donating these quilts and to all who supported this fundraiser!!!

A few of the MANY thank-you letters we have received

Mississippi Thank you so much for spreading the Bonaventure spirit all the way down to Mississippi by spending your free time rebuilding this state.  The outpouring of support we received was incredible.   And for those who haven't made the trip, believe me, we needed all the help we could get!
You made these two Bona grads proud.
Don and Jennifer W.  (89 and 91 grads)
Mississippi "...the students of St. Bonaventure University, supported by other university representatives, spent three days of their midterm break working on my property in Mississippi. Words cannot express what their efforts meant to me and to my community.

Eighteen months after Hurricane Katrina, Long Beach remains devastated by its losses. Although we have worked steadily at rebuilding, the undertaking is so enormous that our resources - financial, emotional and spiritual - are sometimes exhausted by the effort.

When a group like BonaResponds comes in fresh, diligent, compassionate and giving, their gift goes far beyond their immediate labors, which in this case were substantial. They accomplished more than I would have thought possible in three days - gutting, sheet-rocking, sawing and removing huge trees and listening to our sad stories. More importantly, they gave us the strength to carry on.

In carrying their sense of community so far from their homes, they not only helped to rebuild an uninsured home for a needy woman displaced by the storm, but also embraced all of us with their faith and optimism.

We will be forever grateful for their contribution and to your university for supporting them in it
Buffalo I am always proud to say that I am a Bona's alumni, but now more than ever I am full of admiration for all the volunteers who came to my community (my parents live in Lancaster and I live in Clarence) to help clean up after our "surprise Buffalo snowstorm."  Please send all of our thanks from Buffalo to Bonaventure.  The help that those volunteers provided was worth more than words can say.  Thank you and God Bless!
Michele M 
1996 grad
Buffalo I would like to thank the students,alumni, faculty who gave of themselves this past sunday, November 12, 2006.
The surprise October storm completely devisated all the trees in my mothers back yard. My mother has a history of heart trouble and is unable to lift heavy things. As much as she would have like to try and clean up some of the small branches and such, it would have been a losing battle. 12 trees with large limbs hanging from above would have only made matters worse if one should have fallen. She called several local agencies and even Mr. Volker but found there wasn't really any help available to her. After contacting Americorp, my mom was at wits ends because they never called back. Contacting her insurance company didn't help because of her deductable.
Finally, on November 12, 2006 jut three days after her eye surgery, the doorbell rang. To our amazement, it was the Bonaresponds group. These people came in and cleaned up our yard leaving all branches neatly, by the curb. These 10 people gave of themselves on a chilly damp day to help someone who didn't know where else to turn. After these people were done, I had time to speak with them. An outstanding group of people who came in, did a great clean up and were heading back out to do as much as they could before darkness. I personally commend there loyality and comment. They are a shining star who made my mom cry because she was so overwhelemed.
I can't express how I feel, I'm disabled with a spinal injury. I can only say, God bless them for the work they did and do. These 10 people probably wouldn't expect a pat on the back as I think there to proud and my heart felt thanks go out to them. You (they) made our day and and when you least expect it, miracles happen. God bless and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you so much..... Mrs. Thomas D. Kinsella
Buffalo BonaResponds,

I am a senior citizen and a widow. I was deperate to have my branches cleaned up in my backyard.

I called around and got in touch with your organization and they came to my house. They worked for at least two hours...

I was so thankful for their help. They did a wonderful job cleaning my yard. I couldn't have afforded the money it would have cost me if someone else did it.

...[the] group [was] so nice and polite that I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated it.

Your truly,


(and her neighbor )

Olean To everyone from BonaResponds who helped at Walsh Sunday:

A huge thank you to all of you for giving up your Sunday to help us fix up Walsh. We honestly could not have done all of this without you. Not only did we profit from your expertise in painting and cleaning, but you are such wonderful role models for our students that many of them are now looking at Bonas ina different light.

Thank you sincerely for all your help. I hope we can continue this Bona-Walsh relationship.

Thanks again to you all! (Next time we'll have more pizza; I thought our kids had left,
but they came out of the woodwork when the pizza arrived!)

Muchas gracias! Marge M

" want to thank you and your volunteers for the excellent job they did on
Saturday at the SPCA. They showed up ready to work and began by filling the
potholes in our driveway. While some were walking dogs (the dogs really loved
the extra attention) others were busy cleaning the perimeter, landscaping, and
anything else that needed attention. As always, they were a great team to work
with and the staff at the shelter thank them from the bottom of our
hearts.Please send our thanks to the crew for a job WELL DONE!!

Kindest Reards,

John Skadowski

Board ChairmanSPCA in Cattaraugus County

Dear BonaResponds,

Thank you very much for all of your hard work at the Nabisco building. You provided a great deal of help toward reaching our vision: a much-needed place for the families in our community. We are so thankful for all the generosity and willingness to jump in and help with this project.

Our team tackled a number of different projects at Community Schools. Everyone was helpful and hardworking – we had a fun day and made a lot of progress! The wall demolition will provide a great space for our early childhood setting. The clean-up and fresh paint was just what the place needed to get us started with our renovations. We will soon be on our way to having a central location for all family literacy activities.

Thanks again!!!

"Dear [BonaResponds volunteers].....Where do I Begin to extend our sincere thanks, for all you're volunteer work.....My wife AND I were stunned on Sunday the 8th of November. The doorbell rang, and lo and behold , a terrific bunch of students ( ALL VOLENTEERS) ASKED IF WE WOULD LIKE SOME ASSISTANCE WITH THE CLEAN-UP, after our most recent snow storm. These students spent the next two hours working, chain sawing all the large trees, branches, picking up all the fallen debris, and carrying it all to the road for pick-up.

MY wife and I are eighty years old, and we could not have done any of this work. I would like everyone to realize, this world is a better place with yougsters of this caliber. Again our heartfelt thanks to all who did this splendid job for us. May they all have a very brite future,we are sure they will, GOD BLESS them, and one more time.......THANK YOU....THANK YOU......Regards, Dick and Rose T
Olean We shoveled some elderly homeowners today. Most of our list came from St. Johns. We got the following email from Jen (a BonaRespond member and St. Johns employee.)
"Perhaps you can pass this on -- it's Friday, 4:15pm, and I just got off the phone with one of our parishioners, who called the office to say "thank you for sending those angels from St. Bonaventure to shovel for me. I didn't know how I was ever going to get it done. This is just wonderful! Thank you so much!"