Tuesday, October 13, 2015


The Bergen Volunteer Center is offering a variety of free live webinars on various topics. These one-hour online sessions are for anyone who wants to continually learn or get more information on a topic. While they are FREE, you do need to register to participate. 

Wednesday, October 21 
1:00 - 2:00 PM

You must sign up at least 24hrs in advance to receive the confirmation email containing instructions on how to join the session. 

A New Way of Working: Using Mindfulness to Transform Effectiveness, Productivity and Happiness

In increasingly fast-paced, always-on, complex work environments, we face constant pressure to increase productivity and performance. This pressure can create imbalances in our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, both at work and at home. The potential of the mind is vast, however, and we can train ourselves to become deeply focused, fully present, high-performing and at ease - even in the midst of busy work life. Managing our mind is the solution. Mindfulness training is a centuries old tradition which has been adapted to address the challenges of modern work life.
 This webinar will examine the realities of the modern workplace, including:
  • PAID reality of modern worklife
  • neuroscience of how we work today
  • why attention is so important to results
  • how we can practice a new way of working through mindfulness
 The webinar will include practical exercises, examples, as well as tools and techniques to integrate mindfulness into daily work life to be more productive, effective, and happier.
Sign Up HERE 

About the Speaker
MaryBeth Sigler is a Senior Consultant to The Potential Project, a global organization that has delivered corporate-based mindfulness training in Fortune 500 companies in more than 22 countries.
Sigler is also an experienced leadership and executive coach with more than twenty years experience coaching executives and their teams. She works with senior leaders, managers, and high-potentials to develop greater professional effectiveness and the leadership tools needed to successfully advance their careers. She specializes in emotional intelligence and mindful leadership.
MaryBeth is a professor at New York University in the area of Leadership and Human Capital. She has had a 15 year personal practice in meditation and mindfulness, and is a certified instructor of yoga.

MaryBeth is also a graduate of Bergen LEADS, a program of the Bergen Volunteer Center.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Volunteer Driving Program Serves Community

Guest Blogger, Agency Member iTNNorthJersey, Mary Lyon Kims 

iTNNorthJersey is thrilled to be able to help almost 100 seniors and visually impaired members in Bergen County!  None of this would be possible without the support of both our generous grantors, The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, and our fantastic volunteer drivers. It’s been very rewarding to hear back from our members how much they “love” the volunteers who drive them where they need to go.  To say this is rewarding is an understatement.

In September we began bringing Gloria, a 90 year old Electrical Engineer and Professor, to Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck to teach 4 days per week.  We now bring 6 members to their dialysis appointments three times a week– a life saver to them and their families in more ways than one.  

ITNNorthJersey volunteers help seniors and the visually impaired
Our newest visually impaired member Sal is now able to attend events that are important to him all over the county in locations and time frames that no other service could help him with but iTNNorthJersey.

In order to continue to be able to provide this very necessary service we need more volunteer drivers.  Please spread the word – as little as one ride per month will help our riders tremendously.  It’s the greatest feeling in the world when we can say to a member “Yes! We can take you there!”.

Volunteers are needed to help serve more members of Bergen County.  Volunteers are needed to drive those in need to appointments, errands, or any other ride they may need.  Volunteers can volunteer as little as 2 hours per month or of course spend much more time helping.  Please call Mary Lyons Kim at 201-398-6885 to learn more or sign up!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Summer to Remember

As school resumes and we have a hint of Fall each evening, we wanted to take a moment to thank the people who support the Bergen Campership Fund. A fund that few are aware of that help send low income children to great summer camp programs that have so many important benefits:
  • exercise and fun;
  • learning experiences that keep young brains active and curious;
  • a safe environment so that working parents need not worry about little ones during the day;
  • good friends and supportive adults to encourage growth.
Studies show that children from low-income families often begin the new school year having lost academic and intellectual ground over the summer. So, in fact, summer camp also helps close the achievement gap.
The summer of 2015 was a wonderful one for the Campership Fund.  Because of your generosity, the Campership Fund raised $47,471.  We allocated $39,988 to support 31 kids in a summer camp experience.
Thank you!
We here at the Volunteer Center got to witness first-hand how much the Campership Fund means to families. In May, a mom in our Mentoring Moms program arrived for a celebratory brunch, saw Cindy Andrake, Program Director of Mentoring Moms, threw her arms around her and burst into tears. The day before, she had received notice that the Campership Fund would help pay for summer camp for her 5 year old. The mom had just started a new job, and was so relieved to know that her daughter had a safe place to go and grow for the summer.
Thank you for helping to make the summer a wonderful time for children and their families.  To learn more about the Bergen Campership Fun please email Lynne Algrant at lalgrant@bergenvolunteers.org.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Discovering Social Purpose in the Corporate Space

Join the Business Volunteer Council for business to business networking and learn how to add social purpose in your corporate space.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Hosted by: Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck
8:45am Breakfast & Networking
9:30am-10:30am Presentation

Join the BVC for their quarterly networking meeting, on September 29, 2015, featuring guest speaker, Bea Boccolandro, founder and president of VeraWorks. 

Ms. Boccolandro will share her expertise on how to incorporate social purpose in the corporate space through "Job Purposing". Job Purposing is a specific form of employee volunteering that deepens the corporate mission by serving societal needs.

Bea Boccalandro is the founder and president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm that helps managers and companies offer employees the opportunity to do societal good through their everyday jobs to deepen their work experience and heighten their performance. She is also author of the Job Purposing
blog, teaches corporate community involvement for Georgetown University and is a frequent keynote speaker on the role of community involvement in everyday corporate jobs.

Don't Wait Register Today!
BVC Members: FREE
Non-Members: Only $10.00 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Arm our Children with Academic Tools to Achieve Life Long Success!

394,200 children in New Jersey are living in poverty. One in five children may not have access to basic school supplies because of their families economic circumstances. Receiving a backpack with the tools they need to succeed can be a life-changing experience.

Research shows that when adequately equipped, school children:

  1. Have positive Feelings of self worth.
  2. Miss fewer schools days. 
  3. Participate more in class.
  4. Have improved classroom behavior.
  5. Achieve higher test scores in all academic subjects.
Good News! You can help more children achieve by collecting school supplies through the Business Volunteer Council's Tools for Schools Program. Start a supply drive in your office and give a child the tools they need for a successful school year! Want to be a part of the solution? Drives begin July 27-August 24, 2015. Email us to receive our step-by-step Tools for Schools toolkit and get started.
Want to do more? As a corporate sponsor you have the opportunity to give these children the tools they need to prepare for higher education and a life long career that could take them out of the cycle of poverty forever.
Many of our community's low income families are so focused on making ends meet that academics often take a back seat. Children of low income families are not even considering college, because it has never been introduced to them as a possibility. These students lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for college and build meaningful careers.
As a Fostering Success sponsor your gift will be used to create and distribute a college road map designed to help high school students navigate a path to higher education. Only 9% of low income families earn a Bachelors degree. You can help change this! As a Founders of Change sponsor you can utilize your corporate employees to participate in a career workshop to exposing students to the possibility of achieving a successful rewarding career.
Your sponsorship is needed to help make this happen! Be a part of the solution and learn how you can change the life of a child forever. See our new sponsorship levels.
One initiative, two nonprofits, a lifetime of change.
Questions? Email ewest@bergenvolunteers.org to learn more about donating, sponsoring, or volunteering.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Volunteer Center Doing More Together

On Thursday, July 30, 2015, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County in partnership with Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO), Sharp Electronics, Konica Minolta, United Water and the Center for Food Action collaborated efforts to address food insecurity in Bergen County.

394,000 children in New Jersey are food insecure. This statistic is a startling reality, but through the efforts of the Volunteer Center’s Business Volunteer Council, it doesn’t have to be our future! Business Council members, Sharp Electronics, Konica Minolta and United Water have sought practical solutions to address food insecurity through the Volunteer Center’s Brown Bag Buddies program. Recognizing many low-income families do not have access to fresh produce, the Volunteer Center collaborated with MEVO to allow corporate volunteers to aid in the planting of organic vegetables for low income families. 

On Thursday, volunteers from Konica Minolta and Sharp prepared, weeded and planted garden beds, while United Water volunteers added the finishing touches on a fence they sponsored, surrounding the entire two-acre farm. Even fellow nonprofit, Northern New Jersey Friendship House catered the lunches for the afternoon, at a significant discount. 

“Partnership is what is today is all about. It is our philosophy that we can accomplish more for our community together,” stated Erica West, Director of Corporate Engagement at the Volunteer Center. 

Although the temperature was hot and the humidity was high, the employee volunteers worked hard, laughed harder and took great pride in their tremendous accomplishment. Konica Minolta and Sharp will return to the farm on September 16, 2015 to harvest the vegetables, which will be donated to needy families through the Center for Food Action. 

More volunteer opportunities are available through MEVO at mevoearth.org or check out the Volunteer Center’s website to view volunteer opportunities.


Monday, August 3, 2015

iTNNorthJersey driving your transportation worries away

by Mary Lyons Kim

ITNNorthJersey volunteers help seniors and the visually impairedWhew!  iTNNorthJersey has taken off like wildfire and we’re living in gratitude.  We’d like to first thank some of those who helped us get started providing rides to those 60+ and the visually impaired.  The JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly helped facilitate the relationship between The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation along with The Jewish Federation of North Jersey, our two founding grant donors.  Both The Taub Foundation and The Jewish Federation have been incredibly supportive and generous in our efforts to help those needing another, and probably better, transportation option in Bergen County.  We have also received a grant from New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance and several smaller private donations.

As of August 1st we have 45 Rider Members and 20 Volunteer Drivers.  Ideally we need a 2 -1 ratio so we are ALWAYS recruiting drivers who can provide as little as one ride per month although more is much appreciated. Try it – you’ll like it!

Driving our members where they want to go, when they need to get there, is incredibly rewarding.  Bringing Roy from his house in Allendale to rehab in Saddle Brook always brings with it interesting and intellectual conversations.  Driving Doris from her home in Ft. Lee to her favorite shopping mall is a laugh filled ride that’s always inspiring and uplifting.  We are so happy to be able to bring Trudy to visit her husband in rehab for lunch several times per week.  She would otherwise have no other way to get from her home in Paramus up to Rockleigh that would be affordable.

We’ll continue to work hard to make iTNNorthJersey a continued success and please reach out to us anytime for more information; suggestions and good wishes are always appreciated.

We’re enjoying the ride and so can you!