Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Bergen County Summer Campership Fund

In 1994, recognizing the need of lower-income families to ensure their children were in a safe, healthy, fun environment in the summer, a few volunteers led by Kay Gellert, with a major boost from the County of Bergen, and the Bergen Volunteer Center, established the Summer Campership Fund. Since 1996 the Summer Campership Fund has been supported by the generosity of individual and corporate donors thus making it possible to continue this invaluable program.

The Bergen County Summer Campership Fund is a scholarship program to send children from lower-income working families to local day camps. Contributions to the fund provide children with life-shaping experiences in a safe and healthy environment. Hundreds of working families in Bergen County are unable to afford summer day camp for their school-age children. As a result, many of these children spend their summer home alone while others are exploring and growing in a productive, healthy, memorable way. Not only does The Summer Campership Fund (SCF) provide day camp scholarships to children (ages 3-12) but, at times, provide other support to said families in emergency and/or crisis situation(s). Case and point, last spring when two young children lost their father, the SCF stepped in and provided scholarships which allowed these children to form memories that will last a lifetime while giving a respite from their grief. 

To apply for a scholarship, log on to

The summer camp experience can give a child an advantage in school and in life. Research shows that camp does the following:
  • Enhances self confidence
  • Helps kids unplug and build friendships
  • Reintroduces kids to nature
  • Fosters teamwork
  • Encourages personal growth
In 2017 the Summer Campership Fund helped 49 children have a terrific summer by providing $58,795 in scholarships. To help send a child to camp, send Tax Deductible Contributions payable to Bergen Volunteer Center – Campership Fund, 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack 07601. Give a child a safe and meaningful summer and be assured that every dollar raised goes directly to pay camp cost. Thank you for giving!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Good Morning and Happy Monday! Just a quick note to say Thank You!

I am a single mother to Alexis, and we were referred to the Bergen Volunteer Center’s Mentoring Youth program over a year ago when Alexis was 13 years old. At that time, I was at the end of my rope with her! Alexis was not headed in a positive direction! Even with my extended family helping, I had exhausted all of my resources and I was truly worried for Alexis’ future.
I am so happy to share that since she was introduced to her mentor, Elena, here we are one year later and we have so many more Ups than Downs! There has been such a beautiful turn around in my daughter’s life--her mentor is simply wonderful.
Alexis is now an extended part of Elena’s family, and it gives me great comfort to know that there is another reliable, dedicated and caring adult that she can safely go to and confide in. I don’t know where we would be at this time without Elena and the Bergen Volunteer Center. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am grateful to the Bergen Volunteer Center for allowing me and my daughter to have the PERFECT match with Elena.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Fifth Friday - Women in LEADERSHIP

Women in Leadership: 
Past, Present & Future    
Michele Brown, IntuAction Coaching
Natalie Cullen, Kreisler Manufacturing Corporation
Lori Grifa, Archer & Greiner
Lamonda Williams, Radio Personality

Friday, January 26, 2018

11:30AM – 2:00PM
Stony Hill Inn, Hackensack

Monday, December 18, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Monday Crew #1!

According to a MetLife/National Alliance for Caregiving report, it is estimated that about 34 million Americans are caregivers at some level for an older parent or other relative—and of that number, 15% live one or more hours away from the care recipient.  Approximately one-third of requests for Chore Service come from relatives of the client’s, who are concerned about the ability of their loved ones to continue living safely in their home and age in place.

Mike Silverstein, Paul Siegel, Al White, Mike Cargill make up the Monday, Chore Van #1 crew.

Ms. J  emails:  “Grandpa needs help!  I stumbled across your website while trying to find some extra help for my grandfather.  He is in his 80’s and just returned to his home after a prolonged hospitalization.  He is having a hard time keeping up with simple home maintenance.  My family and I live in Florida, so we aren’t able to be with him all the time.  We noticed that he doesn’t have any smoke alarms in the house.  Can you help? (an appointment was scheduled asap) Thank you so much.  It’s people like your volunteers that really prove there is still some good in the world!”

Learn more about the Chore Program online here.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Tuesday Van #1 Crew!

Interesting fact:  A nursing home stay costs $75,000-$100,000 per year.  A study by the Weintraub Foundation showed that home repairs help an elderly person live at home for 13 months longer than expected (K. Walker, Baltimore Sun, 2012)

Terry O’Connor, George Ann Muller and Harvey Rappaport are the Tuesday, Chore Van #1 team.

Mrs. C writes:  “I’m sending a B-I-G thank you to your organization and volunteers.  I didn’t know what to expect when I scheduled my repairs, and I was a little apprehensive.  When I saw your team of 3 volunteers with warm smiles and name tags displayed, I immediately felt at ease.  The speed and expertise with which they fixed everything—from a dangerous protruding screw on a doorplate, to installing a lock, to tightening a toilet seat—was most impressive.”

Learn more about the Chore Program online here.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Nunzio!

For the past 5 years,  Nunzio Garzino has been volunteering for Chore with the Thursday, Chore Van #2 crew.  Prior to his retirement, he was a Senior Vice President/Branch Manager for Prudential Financial, Thompson McKinnon Securities and Wachovia Securities.  His financial career spanned 44 years.  He loves to play golf, and is out on the golf course two or three times a week, sometimes participating in tournaments and club championships.  He considers himself a ‘jack of all trades’ when it comes to handyman skills.  He and his wife also volunteer at their local church. 

“I could say that I volunteer for Chore because it gives me something to do, but the reality is that I enjoy helping other people.  How many times have we received compliments from widows and widowers—I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count them all.  We hear comments from our clients such as: ‘Oh, I only owe $36 for two grab bars installed by Chore?  I called a local handyman and he wanted to charge me $300 for the first grab bar, and $150 more for the second one.  Being of service is what keeps me coming back week after week and year after year.  Plus all the Chore volunteers are great to work with, especially the ones on my Thursday crew.”

Learn more about the Chore Program online here.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Jim!

Jim Bergen’s last occupation was as a freight elevator operator across the street from the Work Trade Center—he witnessed the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Before that, he worked in the auto repair business and as an apartment building superintendent.  He enjoys crossword puzzles and will take a stab at fixing anything!  He was inspired to join Chore 3 years ago by his now disabled friend and former Chore volunteer Kevin, and he has been a member of the Wednesday, Chore Van #1 crew ever since.  

He tells the story of the 85 year old lady who pushed him out of the way so she could show him exactly what she wanted him to fix.  When the subject of age came up, she politely informed him that he was ‘no spring chicken himself’!  “Being a part of Chore means helping people who can’t help themselves.  I get more satisfaction out of doing what I do on Wednesdays for some needy person than if I were getting paid for it!”

Learn more about the Chore Program online here.