Learning extends far beyond the walls of academic halls at St. Bonaventure, and the essence of that out-of-class experience is service, making a difference in the lives of those in need just down the street or a thousand miles away.
Volunteer service is an important part of the Bonaventure experience. Importantly, no SBU student is required to volunteer and the decision to give of one's time and energy is a personal one.
But hundreds of students see service opportunities as a way of gaining new experiences and broadening their worldview. Many simply enjoy the satisfaction that comes from doing something for someone else.
Those who choose to give of themselves have many opportunities, from serving a meal at The Warming House, believed to be the oldest student-run soup kitchen in the nation, to participating in hurricane cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast through BonaResponds.
|Here are some of the ways in which St. Bonaventure University helps students answer the call to serve:
- Bona Buddies. This program links Bonaventure students with local children who are typically “at risk.” A similar program, Senior Bona Buddies, puts Bonaventure students in touch with elderly sisters at the Allegany Motherhouse who are looking for companionship.
- BonaResponds. In March of 2006, more than 280 Bona students and University community volunteers went to the Gulf Coast to help with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. It was the largest service trip in the history of the University. BonaResponds volunteers now pitch in wherever they're needed, whether it's pulling weeds at a park down the street or helping clean up flood-damaged homes in Ohio.
- Business Information Systems Club in the School of Business. This group takes a service trip to Harlem each year to set up computers at one of seven facilities run by CREATE, Inc., an agency that confronts the issues of homelessness, poverty, chemical abuse and unemployment.
- The Journey Project. This program is designed to create a campus culture in which faculty, staff, administrators and students give serious consideration to issues of faith, service and vocation.
- Students in Free Enterprise. Another School of Business-based volunteer organization, this group makes an annual service trip to the Bahamas.
- The Warming House. Student volunteers serve a meal six days a week, year-round, at this Olean shelter, which is believed to be the oldest student-run soup kitchen in the country.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. The VITA program brings federal and state income tax benefits to people with low and moderate incomes by providing free income tax preparation and e-filing.