Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chore Van Needed

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County's Chore Service helps senior citizens (age 60 and over) and disabled homeowners of all ages remain safe and secure in their homes by performing minor household repairs that they can neither do themselves nor get anyone else to do. Services are provided by Chore’s crew of 21 volunteer handypersons working as crews with paid drivers. There is no charge for Chore’s services, but clients are expected to pay for the parts necessary to complete the repair.

In 2007 alone, Chore made more than 3,700 home repairs for the elderly and/or disabled throughout Bergen County. Currently, Chore crews utilize two older cargo vans to get to and from each repair job and to transport supplies. There is usually a 3-week wait time for a visit from Chore. The vans are often in need of repair, so unfortunately the wait time is sometimes even longer. In order for Chore to help more elderly and disabled people, we desperately need two new vans plus an additional van. A new van with all the customizations and supplies necessary for Chore costs approximately $40,000. If you know of an individual or company that would like to sponsor a Chore van, please call us at 201-489-9454, ext. 126.

“Nuts and Bolts” of Service Learning – May 12

Teachers, counselors and administrators will learn first hand about the do’s-and-don’ts, ins-and-outs and nuts-and-bolts of service learning at a special half-day conference on Monday, May 12. The mini-conference will be held in the Technology Center at Bergen Community College from 8:30AM-noon.

Service-learning combines academic work with service to the community; students learn by doing and at the same time help to meet important needs in the school or in the community. When done well, service learning energizes and motivates students, and the result can be improved grades, increased attendance in school and a heightened sense of personal and social responsibility.

Keynote speaker will be Linda V. Rivera, program officer for the Learn and Serve America School Based Program at the N.J. Department of Education, who will be followed by a panel of teachers and administrators at area schools and community organizations discussing their current and highly successful service learning initiatives. A highlight of the conference will be the presentation by students and staff at Teaneck High School of their service learning project that combines study of Homer’s Odyssey with providing assistance to families who have a member serving in the military in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The cost of this unique and informative conference is $50 per person. For more information or to register, contact Debbie Emery at (201) 489-9454, ext. 118, or demery@bergenvolunteers.org.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Celebrating Volunteers in Style!

Well over 300 volunteers from across Bergen County received a public "pat on the back" at the Volunteer Center's annual "Celebrate Volunteers" event, which was held on Wednesday, April 9. The Grieco Auditorium at the Bergen Academies in Hackensack was filled as representatives of 38 nonprofit and government agencies, schools, and libraries brought with them the dedicated volunteers they wished to honor. Brenda Blackmon, co-anchor of My9News, led the festivities, and County Executive Dennis McNerny conveyed to those present the gratitude of the people of Bergen County and especially of those who are helped by the good work of volunteers. Outstanding entertainment was provided by the Hackensack High School Chorus, which presented selections from the Broadway hit Pippin. The Volunteer Center's executive director, Janet Sharma closed the program with an inspiring poem by Maya Angelou, the last lines of which are:
"...People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Generous corporate sponsors of "Celebrate Vounteers" are Sony Electronics, 201-Best of Bergen Magazine, Bergen County's United Way, Inserra Supermarkets and Lakeland Bank. A wonderful time was had by all!

*Pictured above are our very own Volunteer Ventures honorees, Mary Gray, Earlene Smith, and Joanne Slawenski. To see more photos from the night please click here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

RSVP Web Page - Up and Ready to Go

Are you age 55+ and looking to volunteer? Click here to get started! RSVP of Bergen County has a new and improved web page, which includes resources for seniors who are new to volunteering as well as useful information for more experienced volunteers. Learn about the many benefits to volunteering, including the health benefits of giving back to your community, and how volunteering can give you experience in a variety of interesting fields. RSVP is a nation-wide program sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service to engage people age 55 and older in meaningful volunteer community service. However, you do not have to be retired to volunteer with RSVP! For more information about RSVP, call 201-489-9399.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Corporate Volunteerism Conference

Registration is still open for the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council’s conference, Innovations in Corporate Volunteerism: Realizing the Human Capital Potential, on Friday, April 18, 2008 from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm at The Hilton Woodcliff Lake. Through the generous sponsorship of PSE&G, this conference will address corporate social responsibility and employee engagement, with industry leaders hosting workshops on various aspects of this fast-emerging field.

Keynote speaker will be Nina Mitchell Wells, Esq., New Jersey Secretary of State, who oversees the Department of State’s diverse operating agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism.

Conference workshops include
Creating an Employee Volunteer Program (EVP)
Skills-based Employee Volunteering
Engaging Retirees in your EVP
The Importance of Social Responsibility in Recruiting and Retaining Generation Y
Strategies for Internal EVP Communications

The Salute to Employee Volunteers luncheon, sponsored by BD, will be held immediately following the conference, with free admission for conference participants.

The conference fee ($175 per person; $150 for BVC members) includes printed materials, continental breakfast, workshops, networking, and the Luncheon. Each attendee is asked to bring a box of healthy, non-sugar cereal to support “Brown Bag Buddies”, the BVC’s summer food drive for hungry children.

For more information about the conference or BVC membership, contact Tess Tomasi at (201) 489-9454, x114, or ttomasi@bergenvolunteer.org, or visit our website at www.nnjbvc.org.