Thursday, April 29, 2010

Derby Day is just two days away!

There are still a few tickets left to Derby Day, buy your tickets online or you can let us know you are coming and pay at the door! We have a winning combination of great southern food, mint juleps, live bluegrass music, a fantastic auction of more than 100 items and of course, the Kentucky Derby! So don’t delay - get your tickets now and we will see you at the Derby!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TD Charitable Foundation Gives Back

The TD Charitable Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Volunteer Center of Bergen County to support its two mentoring programs. Volunteers in Protective Services provides mentors for youth who have experienced abuse or neglect, and Mentoring Moms mentor overwhelmed mothers who need guidance in sustaining their families.

The funds will be used to provide workshops, experiences and cultural enhancements for the youth and mothers being mentored.

“We are so grateful to TD Charitable Foundation for helping us to provide the mothers and children in our programs with some magic moments, hours, and days of incredible experiences that will be part of them for the rest of their lives,” says Cindy Andrake, Program Director for Mentoring Moms. “Time spent with mentors is 'free' time. Free of the many things that make life challenging. What a gift to have this respite and safe zone with a giving friend.”

More men and women are needed to become mentors—there is an especially great need for bi-lingual Spanish speaking mentors and for males to be mentors to boys.

To find out how to become a mentor, or to pledge a donation to support our mentoring programs, call (201) 489-9454, or visit our website.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Volunteer Management Workshops

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is offering a comprehensive, two- day course on “Excellence in Volunteer Management” Tuesday, May 5 and Tuesday, June 8 at 9 am. Both sessions will be held at the Center's office in Hackensack.

Developed by Points of Light Institute/Hands-On Network, the trainings combine the knowledge and experience of volunteer management experts into a totally revamped and updated course. The workshops are designed to help public and private non-profits recruit, train and manage volunteers to help fulfill of their organizations’ goals.

Topics include understanding volunteering, program planning, recruitment and placement, orientation and training, supervision, recognition and evaluating a volunteer program. The new curriculum will not only cover basic techniques, but will also explore why people volunteer, how to build a solid volunteer program foundation, how to match volunteer skills with service needs, and how to improve a volunteer program through data and feedback.

Class size is limited; registration deadline is April 30th. The $75 registration fee includes refreshments and all course materials for both days. Participants from Volunteer Center Member Agencies pay only $50. Upon registration, participants will be given an assignment to be completed for the first class on May 5th.

For more information or to register, call Tess Tomasi at (201) 489-9454 Ext. 114.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's time to plan your bidding strategy!

The Volunteer Center's 18th Annual Derby Day is less than two weeks away and with 100+ fabulous items in our auction; the bidding will be as hot as a Kentucky summer day! Guests will have the chance to bid on accommodations in Antigua, St. Maarten, the Catskills and Vermont as well as a Kindle and a 46" Sony flat screen HDTV.

For the ladies, place your bid on a stylish Coach handbag or a gorgeous Tiffany & Co. bracelet (pictured to the left), beauty products, jewelry and other accessories. For the men, we're offering a custom tailored Joseph Abboud suit, Yankees tickets and a lithograph signed by Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Duke Snider. Enjoy a taste of Bergen County with gift certificates to Morton’s, Janice A Bistro, Harvest, PF Chang’s and more.

Preview the hottest auction items by checking out our special Derby Day blog. Remember, it's all for a good cause - proceeds from Derby Day benefit the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Buy your tickets now online or call 201-489-9454 for more information. Derby Day is Saturday, May 1, 4-7 pm at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth. Join us for delicious southern fare, mint juleps, wine tasting, live bluegrass, our famous auction and, of course, viewing of the Kentucky Derby.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Volunteers Celebrate Each Other

Hundreds of volunteers, plus family members and agency representatives were on hand for Celebrate Volunteers on Tuesday, April 13. 25 area agencies, schools and civic groups turned out on a beautiful spring evening to salute volunteers who are engaged in a broad range of activities.

Brenda Blackmon, co-anchor of My9News, was our wonderful MC, and students from the Bergen Academies, Jenna Hane, soprano and Sarah Nagaoke, pianist, wowed the audience with a mix of classic and popular music. Bergen County Sheriff Leo McGuire spoke eloquently about the service volunteers provide to the County. Janet Sharma, Volunteer Center Executive Director closed the program with inspiring words and a video featuring Jon Bon Jovi.

Thanks to Inserra Supermarkets, TD Bank,
Bergen County's United Way, Dassault Falcon Jet, and Lakeland Bank for generously sponsoring Celebrate Volunteers!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Message to Boomers

Remember when you thought you could change the world? You still can! All the wonderful things that you thought you would do are still waiting to be done.

The environment still needs help, kids need mentors, and schools need tutors. People still need help in learning to read and write, patients in nursing homes and hospitals still need visitors. Veterans of all ages and families of those serving in the military have lots of needs. The homeless still need to be fed, clothed and housed, and all underserved people still need advocates.

And nonprofit organizations, schools and religious organizations need help with planning, fundraising, marketing, and human resource management.

Your wealth of knowledge, life skills, wisdom, and experience is priceless to those whose lives you have the opportunity to touch.

The Volunteer Center can provide you with direction, give us a call: 201-489-9454 or email

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Derby Day Tickets On Sale Now!

It's no secret that the first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, but the fact is that you don't have to go to Kentucky to have a good 'ole time! The Volunteer Center is celebrating the "Run for the Roses" at our 18th Annual Derby Day party, on Saturday, May 1 from 4-7 pm at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth.

Our winning combination will include delectable southern fare, mint juleps, a wine tasting and live music from bluegrass band Risky Business. Caricaturist Silly Pencil will on hand to capture guests in all their Derby finery, and trophies will be awarded for the Most Elegant Hat (ladies) and Most Outrageous Tie (gents), so dress your Derby best!

Highlights are the exciting live and silent auction, featuring a Tiffany & Co. bracelet, golf foursome to Fiddler's Elbow, accommodations in St. Maarten, Antigua, the Catskills and Vermont, plus much more. Try your luck at our Winner's Circle, where guests pay $10 and receive a mystery gift of up to $75 in value. The event will culminate in the viewing of the Kentucky Derby - live on TV, of course!

Tickets are $100 per person and on sale now. Call 201-489-9454 for more information or purchase tickets online here. All proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Welcome Companies! Open Houses re Corporate Volunteering

Being successful in business is about more that doing well; it’s also about doing good. Many companies that value being seen as active in the community are members of the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC).

The BVC will host several Open Houses this spring so companies can find out how the BVC can help them start or strengthen their corporate volunteer programs. Here's the schedule:

* Friday, April 23 - 8:30-10:30am - Volunteer Center of Bergen County, 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack. In addition to meeting with current BVC members, visitors will see first hand the set up of an actual BVC project—“The Mentor BIG Book Giveaway” – in which employee volunteers at BVC member companies have donated books to be given away to families involved with the Volunteer Center’s Mentoring Programs.
* Tuesday, May 6 - 8:30-10:30am - TD Bank, 100 Lake Street in Ramsey.
* Tuesday, June 1 - 9:00-10:30am - Hudson City Savings Bank, 50 East Palisade Avenue in Englewood.

BVC member companies worked on behalf of low-income children and families, and have generated and distributed over $1 million in resources in the past 10 years to address such issues as hunger, literacy and education.

To attend an open house, contact Tess Tomasi at For more information on the BVC click here, or call Tess Tomasi at 201-489-9454, ext. 114.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Make a Difference – Volunteer!

National Volunteer Week is April 18-24, and the Volunteer Center wants you to celebrate big time -- by volunteering, of course! Volunteers are needed at hundreds of agencies throughout the county, so search our volunteer jobs database for a position that’s just right for you. You can also find out about volunteering in one of our outstanding direct service programs:

Chore Service—Volunteers perform minor home repairs to keep seniors and disabled persons safe in their own homes.

Mentoring Moms—Women volunteer as mentors and friends to support isolated and overwhelmed mothers and their families.

Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS)—Men and women are mentors and positive role models for abused, neglected and isolated children.

Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) —Offers a variety of volunteer opportunities in which those over age 55 can apply their skills and life experiences.

NJ Business Volunteer Council (BVC) —Employee volunteers improve the lives of low income children and families, addressing issues of literacy, well being and hunger.

For more than 40 years, the Volunteer Center has been the best local source for connecting people with opportunities that address important issues. Make it a point to learn the myriad ways that our work benefits our community. For more information about the Volunteer Center, or about how you can join thousands of volunteers already working to make the community a better place to live and work, call (201) 489-9454 or email

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Monday, April 5, 2010

18th Annual Derby Day Draws Local Support

One of the area's best known spring events is coming on Saturday, May 1, when the Volunteer Center hosts its annual Derby Day party. The festivities run from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth.

Several companies are lending their support to the event. The Reader's Digest's Association and TD Bank are this year’s “Paddock Patrons" which are Derby Day's major sponsors. “Blue Ribbon” sponsors are Compensation Solutions, Inserra Supermarkets, PNC Bank, PSE&G, and Media Sponsors are 201 Magazine and
Bergen Health & Life.

Guests will enjoy mint juleps, southern delicacies, wine tasting provided by Tri-Vin Imports, great music, and exciting live and silent auctions of unique items and, of course, viewing of the Kentucky Derby! In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, ladies should don their most lavish hats, gentlemen should sport outrageous neckties, and prizes will be awarded for same.

Join us for a delightful afternoon featuring the “Sport of Kings" -- and support for the Volunteer Center. Tickets are $100 per person. Call 201-489-9454 for more information or purchase tickets online here. See you at the Derby!

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring is in the air ... and so is volunteering!

Local parks are looking for volunteers to help with spring clean ups. Check out Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, Tenafly Nature Center, or the Meadowlands Environmental Center. Also, due to the recent storms, helping an elderly or disabled neighbor by cleaning up the debris that may have fallen on their lawns can be a huge help!

Local food pantries need help. This time of year donations don't come in as readily as at other times. You can help by organizing organize a food drive with your office, school, or house of worship. Call your local Center for Food Action to see what is most needed. Elmwood Park, 201-703-9857; Englewood, 201-569-1804; Mahwah, 201-934-5085.

Spring is when many local non profits hold fundraising walks, rides, and runs. American Cancer Society, Family Promise and the National MS Society will be holding events in local towns. Check out their website to learn more; Walk MS, Relay for Life and Family Promise.

Spring is also when students are looking for summer-time volunteer jobs. Check out the Volunteer Center’s VolunTEENS page to find some great teen and student opportunities. For information about these activities -- and more -- call Debbie Emery at 201-489-9454, ext. 118.

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