By Robbie Chulick, ‘13
BonaResponds, St. Bonaventure University’s disaster relief group, is planning to turn Black Friday into Brown Friday and assist again with cleanup efforts from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The trip, which will take place over Thanksgiving Break, will be from Friday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 25. Current students, faculty, staff and alumni are needed to help with cleanup efforts on any or all of these days.
Greg Faughnan, a junior chemistry major, went on both BonaResponds trips earlier this month to the disaster area, and plans to assist with this upcoming service trip, too.
“There is still so much more to do there, and people need the help very bad,” he said. “Even though the trip is over Thanksgiving, I will still have time to be at home and see my family before heading back for my third trip.”
Although the trip details are still waiting to be finalized, Dr. Jim Mahar, BonaResponds coordinator, said Rockaway Beach is the likely volunteer location in New York. A trip is also possible somewhere in New Jersey if enough people sign up, and there is work to be done, he said.
Volunteers can either meet in the disaster area once a location is finalized or they can meet on the SBU campus where transportation will be provided. The cost of the service trip is $10, which covers transportation and a BonaResponds T-shirt that serves as identification to local authorities in the disaster area. Any volunteer participating on this trip must fill out a form at: http://bit.ly/PUezSL
About 75 volunteers have joined BonaResponds in the recent trips to Rockaway Beach. Many of those include alumni who have met the group at the disaster relief site.
Bobby Gohn, ’10, who currently lives in Astoria, Queens, said he wanted to volunteer with BonaResponds because he had friends, family and co-workers who were all severely affected by the storm.
“Since BonaResponds was going to be in our area, we wanted to get involved and team up with other Bonnies to help out our community,” he said. “It was incredible what we saw once we got down there.”
Kellan Terry, ’10, who also lives in New York City, met BonaResponds in Rockaway Beach to volunteer during their recent service trip.
“If I am going to make this city my home, I am going to help out my neighbors as much as I can,” he said.
The hardest part of the trip for Terry was the families who had to watch him and the other volunteers gut their house and remove flooring that was submerged in water.
Gohn added there is so much left to be done in the Rockaways, Staten Island and New Jersey communities, and he is happy to hear BonaResponds is continually planning trips to come down and help those in need.
“It makes me proud to be a Bonnie, and I have never been more proud of my university,” he said.
For the most up-to-date details of the trip, visit www.bonaresponds.org or follow them on Facebook account, “BonaResponds,” or their group on Twitter @bonaresponds.