Operation Warm Snuggly Blanket: Delivering blankets and letters of support to cancer patients.

St. Bonaventure University

Students giving back

Paying it forward is more than just a catchphrase for students at St. Bonaventure. It's part of their DNA. Whether it's through BonaResponds, our student relief agency that responds to disasters large and small, or the many programs of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, our students prove time and time again that they care and are ready to help.

No shortage of ways to extend a helping hand

Our students started a drop-in center for lonely Olean-area adults in 1974, and never quit caring. Today that center is known as The Warming House. One of the oldest student-run soup kitchens in the nation, it serves the hungry, homeless and disadvantages, with some 300 student volunteers dishing up some 12,000 meals, and a heaping helping of companionship, each year.

When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2006, a small army of SBU students gave up their spring break and traveled to the region to help clean up. It was the largest service trip in the history of the university, and the birth of BonaResponds, a volunteer organization that has since helped thousands of people in need.

Our students make a yearly trip to the Bahamas, bringing entrepreneurial know-how and technology hardware to schools and communities. Others travel yearly to Harlem to set up refurbished computers in centers serving those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Others serve as big brothers and sisters, or Bona Buddies, to local children in need of a guiding influence. Still others join annual service trips to centers across the Northeast serving poor, homeless and at-risk individuals.

Many of our more than 70 student clubs and organizations include public service as part of their founding principles.