Monday, September 18, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Bob, John, Lee & Elliott!

Although our name:  ChoreVolunteer Handyman Service is not an acronym, a recent client made this suggestion as to what  “Chore” stands for:  Caring Handypersons Offering Repairs for the Elderly.  What do you think?  Anyone have any other ideas?

Bob Nafash, John Tercek, Lee McQuaid and Elliott Wolk make up the Friday, Chore Van #1 crew.

Mrs. A writes: “Truck Number 1 (John, Elliott, Lee and Bob) are a blessing.  They understand what kind of repairs are important to me.  They were prepared and very helpful.  Chore Service is a gift.”

Support Chore and the many other programs at the Bergen Volunteer Center at our Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on Thursday, November 9 at the Stony Hill Inn. Visit to learn more.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Mike, Pete, Tim & Tom!

The volunteers at Chore perform minor home repairs that seniors and disabled homeowners can neither do themselves, nor find anyone else to do so.  Having our clients live safely and comfortably in their own homes has always been our goal.

Mike Schear, Pete Tilgner, Tim Africano and Tom Van Hook are the Wednesday, Chore Van #2 crew.

Mrs. M writes: “I am elated that I can finally use my garden hose without looking like I just came out of the shower! Water was squirting all over the place and ME, until your crew readjusted the hose connection.  The gentlemen who came to assist me were knowledgeable and so polite.  God bless them.  I know it was just a hose, but to me—it was like getting a diamond ring!

Support Chore and the many other programs at the Bergen Volunteer Center at our Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on Thursday, November 9 at the Stony Hill Inn. Visit to learn more.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Mike C!

Mike Conlon has been a part of the Friday, Chore van #3 crew for the past 5 years.  Before retiring, he was a heating and air-conditioning engineer with the New York Board of Education.  In his spare time, likes to play golf and enjoy his 19 grandchildren!  “I enjoy meeting all the clients and being able to help them.  I also enjoy interacting with the other Chore volunteers.  This is a valuable service for senior citizens and disabled persons.”

Support Chore and the many other programs at the Bergen Volunteer Center at our Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on Thursday, November 9 at the Stony Hill Inn. Visit to learn more.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Helping to Destigmatize Recovery from Addiction

The New Jersey Recovery Advocates will be holding their annual event at Liberty State Park on Saturday September 16, 2017 with a walk at 10 am and a concert at noon.

The event will feature bands, food trucks, vendors and speeches surrounding the reality of recovery.

NJ Recovery Advocates is a  grassroots organization that hopes to eliminate the isolation, shame, stigma and discrimination associated with addiction.

Heroin addiction is a growing epidemic, permeating every county. Addiction to opiates, alcohol and other substances are threatening our families, schools, and communities. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding this deadly disease often prevents individuals from seeking the treatment they so desperately need.

Amongst our entertainment, NJRA will feature a salsa band to better attract the marginalized Hispanic community who have been isolated by cultural and language barriers. The festival is free and open to the public.

With the New York City skyline as a backdrop and, most fitting, the Statue of Liberty standing tall and strong, this event will celebrate freedom from addiction. Join New Jersey as they form together to remove the barriers who seek healthy and productive lives in recovery.

The @BCVolunteers and @BergenLEADS are proud to support and promote the work of New Jersey Recovery Advocates. Let's all work together to support those in recovery stay healthy and strong!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mentoring Moms Takeover the Parision Beauty Academy for Back to School Makeovers!

Areli and her children from the Mentoring Moms program show off their new stylish haircuts after their appointment at Parisian Beauty Academy. 

Every summer for the past 8 years the Parisian Beauty Academy, a Paul Mitchell Partner School in Hackensack, has invited the Mentoring Moms families to their salon for a private event.  This annual event is a family favorite for mothers who often struggle to make ends meet and can’t afford routine haircuts in a professional salon. The cosmetology students, instructors and staff at Parisian offer free haircuts so that every mom and child who attends the event leaves the salon with a clean haircut, a smile on their face and ready for back to school.

Thank you to the staff of Parisian Beauty Academy for your continued effort to help others in the community.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Andy!

Andy McDonough has been with Chore for 8 months, as part of the Friday, Van #3 crew.  He worked right out of college for a large construction company in Pennsylvania as a carpenter framing houses.  For most of his career, he was a university professor teaching human anatomy and related subjects to physical therapy students at New York University. In addition to being an adjunct professor at over a dozen schools in the New York-Metro area, he also taught in Taiwan and Russia.  He enjoys woodworking and is a semi-professional photographer.  He also volunteers with Meals on Wheels. “Volunteering with Chore provides me with a chance to help people in the community and spare them some of the expense of hiring carpenters, plumbers and electricians.”

Support Chore and the many other programs at the Bergen Volunteer Center at our Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on Thursday, November 9 at the Stony Hill Inn. Visit to learn more.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey and Volunteerism

I think we are all thinking about Hurricane Harvey and the people of southeastern Texas.  And of course, we want to know what we can do to help.  I met recently with Jocelyn Gilman and Muraad Abussalaam of the NJ Red Cross and they offered lots of great information that I am happy to pass along.
Ten month old Astro Arriaga sleeps in a Red Cross Shelter in Victoria, Texas.
Photo by Daniel Cima for The American Red Cross – August 26, 2017
The most important thing to know in the wake of a natural disaster is that cash donations are actually the best way to help. Money can be used to get local supplies and to give direct aid to victims.  While we often think about sending supplies, we need to recognize that things are hard to transport over long distances and hard to store.  With so much of southeastern Texas flooded, any in-kind donations are being routed to Dallas--3 and 1/2 hours away.

When making a donation, be sure that you have chosen a reputable nonprofit.  The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs warns us to avoid "charities" that have Hurricane Harvey in their names, as they might be scams.

You can donate blood locally and it will help supplies nationwide, which will help Harvey victims. There are other good suggestions for ways to help in this article.

Finally, another way to not feel so helpless in the wake of so much suffering is to get involved locally. Start by making sure you and your family are prepared for a man-made or natural disaster.  The Red Cross has a new free app (available at the iTunes App Store and Google Play) that provides incredible information and functions.

Perhaps you want to be trained as a Red Cross or CERT team volunteer, so that you can be ready if and when you are needed.

Jocelyn and Muraad reminded me that each year, most of the time the Red Cross is responding to house fires. Fire prevention, fire safety and smoke detectors are things we can take care of immediately.  By taking care of ourselves and our neighbors, we insure that the resources needed in Texas can get there.

Stay safe. Stay involved. #bergengivesback #bcvolunteers