Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Celebrate Volunteers in Bergen County!

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County will host its annual Celebrate Volunteers recognition event on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at the Bergen Academies auditorium in Hackensack. Beginning with a 6:30 pm dessert reception, the evening will feature an inspiring program highlighting the ways in which volunteers enhance the community. Brenda Blackmon, popular news anchor for My 9 News, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Entertainment will be provided by the Hackensack High School Music Program, under the direction of John Zisa. John Zisa, who performed himself in 2005, was one of the Top 40 contestants on Season 3 of American Idol.

Public and private non-profit organizations, hospitals, libraries, religious organizations and schools in Bergen County are invited to bring volunteers and staff, to this non-competitive, community-wide event. Each organization can choose to honor its top volunteers based on its own criteria for determining exemplary volunteer achievement, such as impact, dedication and loyalty.

Reservations are on a first come, first served basis, and are due by April 1, 2008. The cost is $10.00 per person. Call (201) 489-9454 ext. 127 to reserve a place.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

TD Banknorth Awards Grant to Develop Bergen Leadership Program

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County has received a grant of $20,000 from TD Banknorth through the TD Banknorth Charitable Foundation to underwrite the cost of developing Bergen LEADS, an exciting new program that will prepare the next generation of leaders to tackle the challenges and embrace the opportunities found in Bergen County.

Bergen LEADS is a year-long community leadership and learning experience for adults who live and/or work in Bergen County. The interactive and experiential curriculum will address critical issues facing the Bergen County community, while offering participants the opportunity to understand and develop their leadership style. A critical component of the curriculum is community trusteeship, in which participants will learn to use their new-found knowledge of the community of affect positive change.

Pictured at left are Amanda Missey, Bergen LEADS Staff Coordinator; David Warshaw, Bergen LEADS Advisory Panel Chairman and member of the Volunteer Center Board of Directors; Janet Sharma, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center; David Yanagisawa, Senior Vice President of TD Banknorth and member of Bergen LEADS Advisory Panel and Volunteer Center Board of Directors; Tara Williams of TD Banknorth.

Volunteer Managers' Roundtable Scheduled

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is sponsoring a Volunteer Managers' Roundtable on March 12th. Participants are invited to share in a discussion about some of the challenges facing today’s volunteer managers. You’ll have a chance to meet and network with other volunteer management professionals from diverse agencies, and get feedback on challenges unique to your programs. The Roundtable will begin with a presentation by our featured speaker Anne Raftery, Vice President of Human Resources at The Valley Hospital, who’ll lead a discussion on generational differences in volunteering.

Volunteer Managers’ Roundtable: Generational Differences in Volunteering
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Volunteer Center of Bergen County, 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack
Admission to this event is FREE
Pre-registration is required - Deadline to register is March 7. Please contact Tess Tomasi at 201-489-9454, ext. 114 or to register.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Candidates Sought for Leadership Program

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County recently announced the launch of Bergen LEADS, an innovative, 10-month learning and leadership program for adults who live or work in Bergen County.

Applications are now being accepted for the first class of 30 participants. The application form can be downloaded at and is due by April 18. Each candidate must fill in a simple individual profile form and provide essay answers to specific questions.

The tuition to participate in Bergen LEADS is $2,000 per person, and scholarships will be available for those with financial need. A series of Informational Open Houses for potential applicants will be held on the following dates:

· Thurs., February 21, Bergen County’s United Way in Paramus, 8:30am -10:00 am

· Wed., February 27, First Baptist Church in Englewood, 11:30am-1:00pm

· Wed., March 5, Quest Diagnostics in Teterboro, 11:30am- 1:00 pm

· Tues., March 11, Cole Schotz in Hackensack, 8:30am-10:00am

· Wednesday, March 12, Lodi Public Library, 4:30 pm-6:00pm

· Thurs., March 13, Church on the Edge in Edgewater, 11:30am-1:00pm

· Wednesday, March 19, BD in Franklin Lakes, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

· Wednesday, March 19, KPMG in Montvale, 4:30pm – 6:00pm

· Tues., March 25, TD Banknorth in Mahwah, 11:30am-1:00pm

Pre-registration is required; to register to attend one of the sessions, and for directions, call (201) 489-9454 Ext. 219.

Additional information about how to apply for the program, and about financial aid, is available on the website The first class of 30 participants will be announced in June, and the monthly seminars will begin in September.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Business Volunteers to Kick Off Literacy Initiative

More than 60 employee volunteers from Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) member companies will kick off a literacy initiative on Monday, March 3, 2008 by reading to children enrolled in Head Start, the YMCA and other pre-school programs. The campaign kickoff is planned to coincide with “Read Across America”, a program sponsored by the National Education Association designed to get kids excited about reading. March 3 is also Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s birthday.

The event will mark the beginning of Books in a Bag, an annual campaign sponsored by the BVC. Books in a Bag is a family literacy initiative created by the BVC nine years ago in response to a need identified by Bergen County Head Start, a federally-funded early childhood education program for very low-income families. Because these families are struggling to pay for rent, utilities and food, books are far down on the list of must-have items. Consequently, most children in the program have never owned a book of their own and very few read or are read to at home. To address the problem, employee volunteers at participating companies organize a collection of new children’s books, then deliver bags filled with five books, a bookmark and a reading list to children in Head Start programs throughout the state. In just nine years, more than 38,500 books have been distributed to 7,700 children.

The BVC is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. For further information on membership, call Amanda Missey at 201-489-9454 Ext. 119 or visit

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read All About Volunteering with our 2008 Guide

The 2008 Hands-On Guide to Volunteering is now available. The guide lists nearly 300 nonprofit agencies and more than 1000 opportunities for volunteers of all ages to become involved in the community. The book will be especially helpful to anyone looking to get involved in their community and to students seeking ways to fulfill community service requirements for school.

The guide offers tips on how groups can organize their own volunteer projects, including collection drives, ideas for family volunteering and information about great youth volunteer websites. Included are lists of project ideas that volunteers can do alone or with a group.

The guide is indexed and cross-referenced to help prospective volunteers find volunteer opportunities appropriate to their interests, geographic location and availability. Also listed are volunteer positions suitable for high school students, students under age 14, and families who want to volunteer together.

The Volunteer Center’s web site,, features a searchable database of volunteer opportunities in and around Bergen County. Individuals, groups, students and businesses interested in volunteering may look for opportunities by keyword, by area of interest or by geographic location.

Order your free copy of the book by clicking here or call the Volunteer Center at 201-489-9454.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

They Came, They Shopped, They Raised Money

This past weekend, Blue Tulip, a gift shop in Closter, held a sales event to benefit the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. Thanks to everyone who came out and shopped for the Volunteer Center - we will receive 10% of those sales. Many thanks to Blue Tulip for their continued support of the Volunteer Center and the Bergen County community.