Friday, November 21, 2014

All Wrapped Up Holiday Gving Program Still in Need of Gifts

The All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program still has over 500 people in need of gifts for the holidays. Many of these people are adults with disabilities, seniors with very little income, and families trying to make ends meet.  The program is due to close on Friday, December 12so gift cards will help make sure each person receives a gift.  Gift cards in demolitions of $ $10, $20, or $25 to stores like Target, Kohls, Dunkin' Donuts, and Shoprite are most helpful.

Gift cards can be dropped off at the Volunteer Center between 9:00am and 4:00pm.  Gift cards can also be mailed to 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601.  If you would still like to adopt a family please call Debbie Emery at
201-489-9454, ext. 118.  Visit us on our website to learn more about All Wrapped Up.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Calling all Family Volunteers!

The Bergen County VOAD is calling all families and gardeners! The VOAD presents Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, Nov. 22, 11am - 2pm. Volunteers to help area residents with fall yard work. These residents may be elderly or still suffering from the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy. We will also be planting bulbs in front and around the municipal buildings of Moonachie.  Let’s kick off the holiday season by helping our neighbor’s brighten up their properties!  If you are interested in volunteering please email Patti at or call 201-906-7648.

Friday, November 7, 2014

November “Lunch and Learn” for Volunteer Managers

The Non Profit Training and Resource Center of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County will present a Volunteer Managers’ “Lunch and Learn” Roundtable on Thursday, November 20, 2014, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Volunteer Center’s offices at 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack.
The Roundtables are free, but all attendees must be pre-registered to attend. To RSVP, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 118 or e-mail by November 18th.
Participants must bring their own lunches; soft drinks will be provided. Driving directions and parking instructions will be e-mailed to registered attendees before each session
All professionals who work with or manage volunteers in non-profit, corporate, community, governmental or faith-based settings are invited to attend this seminar—part of a series of bi-monthly meetings that are informal yet interactive, with time for networking and group problem solving activities.
Each Roundtable will provide an opportunity for professional growth and interaction with colleagues as well as a forum for sharing ideas and best practices in the field. Additionally, attendees will get updates on new programs and services that the Volunteer Center has available to enhance agencies’ volunteer programs.
“These meetings have proven to be informational as well as inspirational”, says Debbie Emery, Community Volunteer Services Director for the Volunteer Center. “The lively exchanges have helped participants keep their skills sharp, find out about new ideas, and get answers to questions about making the most of their volunteer workforces.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

N.J. Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism

The N.J. Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism The Power of One, will be presented on Monday, November 17 ,  9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. 
The Governor’s Office of Volunteerism, which is coordinating the conference, welcomes nonprofit leaders, particularly those who manage volunteers, as well as Board members and volunteers affiliated with the broad range of public and private nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations throughout New Jersey.  Volunteer leaders in college or high school are also encouraged to attend.
The conference will feature a robust corporate track, with workshops targeted specifically to corporate employee engagement and corporate social responsibility. Workshops include Starting an Employee Volunteer Program; What Data says about CSR; 10 Ways Social Media Boosts Employee Engagement; Corporate Response to Disaster, Maximizing Service on Nonprofit Boards and CSR Investments in Community.  Business Volunteer Connect (BVC), a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, is coordinating the corporate track.
The non-profit track, coordinated by the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism, will feature workshops on volunteer management, skills based volunteerism, fundraising, grant writing, risk management, emergency response, youth/college service, working with veterans, and coordinating large service projects, among others. 
The opening plenary session, “Community Engagement: Philanthropy and Volunteerism” will feature a keynote panel which includes Nina Stack, council of NJ Grantmakers; Michael Bzdek, Johnson & Johnson, Etta Denk, Bank of America; Mark Shamley,  Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals, and moderator Linda Czipo, Center for Nonprofit Corporations. 
The conference begins with registration and breakfast at 7:30 am; the opening plenary is at 9:00 am, and the last workshop ends mid-afternoon. 
The registration fee for nonprofits is $85 and $90 on site. The registration for students is $30. Registration for the Corporate Track  is $125 and $150 on site.  Members of the Northern NJ Business Volunteer Council receive a $25 discount.
Registrations received before October 17 will receive free parking.  Registration fee includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch.  Parking is $6.  To register, call 609-633-9627 or visit, and click on Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism.          For more information about the Conference on Volunteerism, email or call 609-633-9627.
For information about the Corporate Track, contact Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County,  at 201-489-9454, Ext. 116.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How did you spend your summer?

Youth initiatives at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County ended the summer the way they started, with Ready, Set, Serve, our innovative summertime service “camp.”  The last week in August was the Middle School track for this fun, educational and experiential leadership summertime encounter with service.  Fifteen  7th and 8th grade students from all over Bergen County joined together to become spectacular team investigating service and leadership.  We explored team building, leadership, individual and group goals, and planning and carrying out a community project.
Lily Cohen, 7th grader, said “I really enjoyed Ready, Set, Serve and I learned a lot about how to be a better leader.”  Through a series of challenges, these young leaders were able to explore their own styles of group work, how they solve problems and how they communicate and get their point across to the group. 
“We had a wonderful week together and I am looking forward to working with this special group as they work on individual projects as well as some group activities over the next several months” states Debbie Emery, Director of Community Volunteer Services and program leader for Ready, Set, Serve.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Summer Food Drive for Children a Success

Hundreds of children from needy families receive hot breakfast and lunch during the school year through subsidized school meal programs.  When schools close for summer vacation, these meals are not available, and low-income families are often unable to fill the void, many having to make the choice between paying rent or going hungry.
The Volunteer Center’s Business Volunteer Connect (BVC) coordinated  a summer food drive with both its member companies and other interested companies, to collect “kid-friendly”, non-perishable breakfast and lunch food items.  The food collected during this initiative, entitled “Brown Bag Buddies”, was delivered to the Center for Food Action and other local food pantries.
“The wages of the working poor have not kept up with housing, transportation and child care costs.  Northern New Jersey has the highest child poverty rates in the state.  Without school meals, families must turn to the food pantries to provide nutritional meals for their children,” says Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center.
Eleven companies took part in this year’s initiative, collecting and distributing over 4,000 lbs of food, as well as donated cash.  Included in that total was 263 lbs. of food collected at the BVC’s Night at the Races fundraiser, where 205 guests donated  cereal, mac & cheese and other kid-friendly food, and raised nearly $15,000.  Total value of food/cash distributed was almost $75,000. 
The sponsors for this year’s drive  were Bank of New Jersey, BD, Community Bank of Bergen County, Konica Minolta, KPMG, Rockland Electric, Sealed Air and United Water.