Monday, June 19, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Dennis!

Dennis Beezley drives the Friday Chore Van #3, and has been a Chore volunteer for 7 years.  Prior to his joining Chore, he was a municipal bond trader.  In his spare time, he enjoys golf, cooking and housepet  ‘wrangling’.  He claims he is very skilled at folding laundry except for fitted sheets.   “ I volunteer for Chore because I’ve always like fixing things.  And I like riding around in trucks cracking jokes.”

Through grants from the Bergen County Division of Senior Services and Office of Community Development as well as from corporations, foundations and individual donations, Chore operates three vans and has 45 volunteers.  Crews, comprised of a driver and from one to three volunteers, are on the road every business day year round. To support the work of Chore in Bergen County, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org,   click on “donate now” and mention Chore in special instructions. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Tom!

Tom Veit joined the Thursday, Chore Van #1 crew 5 years ago, after a career in client service and marketing.  In addition to Chore,  Tom actively volunteers with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Foster Children) and St. Elizabeth’s Food Ministry, which feeds the poor by redistributing food from local Bergen County supermarkets/stores to food pantries in Paterson, such as Eva’s Kitchen, CUMAC and Oasis, a haven for women and children.  He enjoys fishing, hiking and kayaking.  “I volunteer for Chore because helping the elderly makes me feel good.  It’s not just fixing things for our clients—it is also listening and engaging with them that is rewarding.  I also enjoy the camaraderie of my co-workers.  We are a diverse group with a shared, common goal-- to help the elderly and disabled in Bergen County.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

THANK YOU JOHN & ALEJANDRA!

JOHN AMAYA                       
It was the summer of 2016 and I was looking for a place to do my internship. My best friend Gerardo, told me about a place where he volunteers called Bergen Volunteer Center. Gerardo put me in contact with Debbie Emery, one of the sweetest people I have ever met.

I was brought in to work in the front office, which to be truthful, I wasn't sure I wanted to do. It wasn't because I didn’t want to do it, but more so I was self-conscious about my stuttering. The thought of answering the phones and talking to people so concerned me that I almost quit. But luckily I was able to work with such wonderful people as Beanne, Debbie, Eva, Francine and Yami just to name a few. They never seemed to be bothered by my stuttering and were always more than willing to lend me a hand when I was confused about something.

Working at BVC showed me what can be done in a community when the right people are in charge of the resources. Without the help of the BVC, Bergen County wouldn't be the wonderful place it is for the residents who live here. Out of all the many wonderful services BVC provides, my favorite experience was going with Debbie to places like Bergen Community College to help recruit volunteers.

Overall I must say that my time at BVC is one that I will cherish. It inspired me to help out my community more often. I was taught a wonderful lesson at BVC, giving back to the community can be the most satisfying feeling a person can have in life.

Next year, I will be a freshman at New Jersey Institute of Technology majoring in computer engineering.


ALEJANDRA ACHURY
My name is Alejandra Achury, I'm a high school senior from River Dell Regional High School. I recently spent 5 months volunteering at the Bergen Volunteer Center, which was a very rewarding experience.

The reason I chose BVC was because I want to pursue a career in the non-profit industry. My dream is to do something where I can improve or change the lives of those who need it through a non-profit organization or an international human rights organization. Bergen Volunteer Center seemed to be the perfect fit.

During my internship I helped organize events such as Celebrate Volunteers and Family Volunteer Day. I also answered calls, verified information online and improved the profile of the agencies on the website. But most important, I learned a lot about how essential communication and marketing is to an organization trying to reach and help the community.

This internship allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. I did my best every time I went to the Bergen Volunteer Center and I am grateful to all the people there who taught me so many things.

Next year, I'll be a freshman at Baruch College studying economics.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Lee!

Lee McQuade joined Chore 5 years ago, after a career in Marketing, Sales and Training.  He also continues to work part time, and will be completing his 15th year with Enterprise Fleet Leasing.  He volunteers his time with the Clean Water Cleanup Association.  When not volunteering or working, Lee enjoys   gardening, flying, sailing and hiking and is a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Hackensack River Canoe and Kayak Club.  Lee enjoys volunteering with Chore for the chance to help out elderly neighbors, the enjoyment of being with his Friday, Van #1 crew, and the opportunity to increase his personal  knowledge of ‘Do-It-Yourself’ projects.  “The clients are very appreciative of Chore activities in Bergen County.  Some even have baked goods for us.  We enjoy listening to the clients’ personal  stories of  their own backgrounds and past working experiences.” 

Through grants from the Bergen County Division of Senior Services and Office of Community Development as well as from corporations, foundations and individual donations, Chore operates three vans and has 45 volunteers.  Crews, comprised of a driver and from one to three volunteers, are on the road every business day year round. To support the work of Chore in Bergen County, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org,   click on “donate now” and mention Chore in special instructions. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bergen Volunteer Center Welcomes New Officers and Board Members


The Bergen Volunteer Center is excited to announce our newly elected Officers and Directors:

James Brown of Teaneck, is newly elected 1st Vice President. Mr. Brown is a CPA, Bergen LEADS alumni and a member of many community organizations.

Roberta Sonenfeld of Ridgewood, is the new Treasurer. Ms. Sonenfeld has worked closely with the Center for many years, is on the Bergen LEADS advisory panel and is a former Village Manager for Ridgewood.

Elected to a second, 3-year-term is R. Scott Wolff, a resident of Ho-Ho-Kus. Mr. Wolff is the owner and managing partner of Premier Risk Management.

Now meet our new Board Members:
Paul Thomasset, a resident of Allendale. Mr. Thomasset is a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network.

Donovan Rodrigues, a resident of Englewood. Mr. Rodrigues is a business and entertainment lawyer at Rodrigues Law, PLLC.

Marina Chassipis, a resident of Upper Saddle River. Ms. Chassipis is a management consultant for Axiom Consulting.

From left to right: Bergen Volunteer Center President Michael Stern; CEO Lynne Algrant; New Board Members: Donovan Rodrigues and Paul Thomasset


From left to right: Bergen Volunteer Center Officers: 1st Vice President, James Brown; Board President, Michael Stern; CEO, Lynn Algrant; Secretary, Kathleen Pless; Treasurer, Roberta Sonenfeld and Board Member Mike Smith

The Bergen Volunteer Center turns caring into meaningful action by engaging volunteers to meet community needs. For information about Volunteer Center programs and services, call 201-489-9454 or visit www.bergenvolunteers.org.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Sam, Rick & Thom

Through grants from the Bergen County Division of Senior Services and Office of Community Development as well as from corporations, foundations and individual donations, Chore operates three vans and has 45 volunteers.  Crews, comprised of a driver and from one to three volunteers, are on the road every business day year round. To support the work of Chore in Bergen County, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org,   click on “donate now” and mention Chore in special instructions.



Sam Mukherjee, Rick Amato and Thom Fiore are the Thursday, Chore Van #3 crew


Mrs. K writes:  “I appreciate the fine work of your volunteer crews and the patience and personal attention of the office staff.  Chore is a blessing for struggling Bergen County seniors.  I’ve enclosed a small donation which is in no way commensurate with the services performed.” 

Learn more about Chore online at http://bergenvolunteers.org/chore-service.html.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Cliff!

Cliff Hook has been volunteering for Chore for 4 years, and is part of the Tuesday, Chore Van #3 crew.  He is a CPA and prior to retiring he was the Executive Director of a large international law firm in Manhattan.  He is also involved with The Orpheus Men’s Chorus and AARP Tax-Aide.

Cliff volunteers for Chore because he likes doing repair projects around his 80 year old house, which provides lots of opportunities for repair projects.  After retirement, he thought it would be nice to help others while doing something he enjoys.  He says that working with his fellow volunteers has also been a wonderful experience.


“It is hard to sum up the varied experiences that Chore has provided.  It is very fulfilling to be told, after installing a grab bar in the bathroom of a cancer patient, that ‘we have given her back her life’ because she can now use the bathroom again.  Likewise with the appreciation expressed by the elderly woman who said Chore was helping her stay in the home she loved.  It is hard to see how difficult life has become for some people because of illness or age and to look about and see the photos and memorabilia of better days past.  We do what we can to make things a bit better.  The kindness and caring of my fellow volunteers has amazed and inspired me.”

Learn more about Chore online at http://bergenvolunteers.org/chore-service.html.