Friday, January 28, 2011

BVC Members Warm Up a Snowy Day with a Hot Breakfast for the Homeless

Representatives from Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) member companies joined together to provide a piping hot breakfast for persons participating in the January 26 Project Homeless Connect at the County’s Housing, Health, and Human Services Center in Hackensack. Volunteers from Cole Schotz, EisnerAmper, and Hunter Douglas dished out waffles, sausage, eggs, bacon, and cinnamon buns for a crowd who braved a veritable winter snowstorm to participate in the County-sponsored event. The purpose of the one-day event is to provide information, services, and hospitality in a convenient, one-stop location for people experiencing homelessness. The breakfast service was made possible though the financial support of BVC member companies Hunter Douglas, Classic Residence – Vi Living, and EisnerAmper.

For more information on how your company can get involved with the BVC, contact Tess Tomasi at 201-489-9454 ext. 114 or by email at

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Monday, January 24, 2011

January is National Mentoring Month

National Mentoring Month (NMM), held each year in January, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2011 by raising awareness about the important role mentoring can play in academic engagement. NMM draws a spotlight on mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives.  Together, the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service are working to focus national attention on the need for mentors.

10 Things To Do During National Mentoring Month
  1. Become a mentor in your community.
  2. Learn more about mentoring.
  3. Partner with a mentoring organization.
  4. Tell 5 friends about National Mentoring Month.
  5. Think about the mentors in your life and post a tribute to them online.
  6. Read the latest research and find resources on mentoring.
  7. Serve your community on MLK Day of Service by deciding to become a mentor.
  8. Make a donation to a mentoring organization in your community.
  9. Go to YouTube on Thank Your Mentor Day™ (January 25) and make the National Mentoring Month videos the most popular of the day.
  10. Explore ways to help children succeed academically through mentoring.
Learn more about how to do each of these 10 things at:

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Get ready to laugh!

Our third annual Comedy Night is set for Saturday, March 26, at Banana’s Comedy Club, 283 Rt. 17 South, Hasbrouck Heights. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7:30 sharp. Comedian Ilanzo Bodden will be headlining, and proceeds will benefit the Volunteer Center.

Tickets are $30.00 and there is a one food or drink minimum. Purchase your tickets here and let the good times roll!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mentor a Mother - Help a Family!

Mentoring Moms, a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, is recruiting women to serve as mentors to overwhelmed mothers who need guidance in parenting and life skills. Most parents need someone they can turn to when they need advice, a sympathetic ear or ongoing support. In fact, studies suggest that mothers with a network of supportive people in their life find it easier to care for their children. Volunteer mentors fill that role.

Volunteers are provided training through a free five-session, 15-hour program and receive ongoing support from program staff. The next training begins Monday, January 31, at
7:00pm at the Volunteer Center, 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack, NJ. Call Susan Hogge at (201) 489-9454, ext. 124 to learn how to become a Mentoring Moms volunteer.

We especially need bi-lingual Spanish speaking women to become mentors!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Business Volunteers To Collect Cell Phones

Did you know that cell phones, digital cameras, PDAs, and laptops contain toxic materials? Did you know that most of these devices are not disposed of properly and often wind up in landfill? But you can recycle these devices to raise money for a great cause!

The Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) is collecting used cell phones, PDAs, laptops, and digital cameras for recycling. The BVC will receive money for each device that can be recycled or reused; proceeds will support BVC initiatives that direct resources to low-income children and families in our community.

So don’t throw that old cell phone out – recycle it for a great cause! Drop off your items to the Volunteer Center, 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack, Monday - Friday from 10:00am – 4:00pm now through February 28.

For more information please contact BVC at 201-489-9454 ext. 114 or email

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another All Wrapped Up Success

Thank you to the hundreds of individuals, families, religious and civic groups, scout troops, and companies that supported the 2010 All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program. Your caring and generosity provided holiday cheer to more than 750 families and 800 individuals living alone – nearly 3,300 people in all!

Thanks also to the nonprofit agencies whose program managers and caseworkers identified their neediest clients so we could match them with donors from the community.

All Wrapped Up continues to be an extraordinarily bright example of neighbors helping neighbors. We are delighted to facilitate this process and wish you all peace, happiness and prosperity in the month ahead.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January is National Mentoring Month

Help Them Get There. Mentor

This January marks the 10th Annual National Mentoring Month*, and we’re going all out not only to encourage mentoring but also to salute the outstanding mentors in our own Bergen Mentors programs: Mentoring Youth and Mentoring Moms.

We’re collaborating with HandsOn Network and other nonprofits to “Help Them Get There. Mentor”. Research* shows that mentoring helps young people stay in school, avoid substance abuse and delinquency. A strong mentoring relationship benefits both young people and adults by improving self esteem; social and/or parenting skills and aids in career development.

Through our Mentoring Youth program--formerly Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS)--caring men and women provide guidance, friendship and support to abused and neglected children ages 5 to 18. Mentoring Moms are women who make a difference in the lives of isolated and overwhelmed mothers of all ages. The volunteers spend time with mothers who have experienced difficulty in coping with parenting, managing households, providing for their children or other obstacles.

A free six-week, 15 hour training program is provided to mentors in both programs. During this time, the volunteers take workshops on developing listening skills, communication and problem solving. All mentors undergo a comprehensive screening process which includes fingerprinting and other background checks.

Mentoring Youth volunteer training begins Wednesday, January 19th. Mentoring Moms volunteer training begins training on Monday, January 31. All trainings are held at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County from 7:00 pm to 9:30pm.

To sign up for the training program or to learn more about Bergen Mentors call Francine Kaplan at 201-489-9454, ext. 111 or visit us on the web.

*National Mentoring Month is sponsored by The Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership jointly created National Mentoring Month to celebrate mentors.

*Tierney and Grossman studied mentoring organizations in Philadelphia in 1995

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We're looking for 30 talented leaders for the Bergen LEADS Class of 2012

Are you ready to LEAD?

Bergen LEADS, which is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, is the premier civic leadership program for adults who live or work in Bergen County. The program prepares leaders to address challenges and leverage opportunities here in our community.

Under the guidance of former Bergen County Executive William “Pat” Schuber, the Bergen LEADS Seminar Director, participants are immersed in a stimulating curriculum that not only introduces them to topical issues of local importance, but also enables them to explore their leadership style, enhance their leadership capacity and become meaningfully engaged in helping to solve some of the challenges facing Bergen County. Seminars are held monthly September-June.

Bergen LEADS is now accepting applications for the Class of 2012. The program seeks individuals from all ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds who espouse different political, religious and social views. Visit for more information. Applications for the Class of 2012 are due by April 8, 2011.

Those interested in more information are encouraged to attend a Bergen LEADS Open House. Click here to view schedule, or contact Amanda Missey, Bergen LEADS Director, at 201-489-9454 x119 or

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Martin Luther King Day of Service

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

This January hundreds of thousands of Americans will honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by participating in community service projects on the days surrounding the celebration of his birthday on January 17. As the saying goes, “make it a day ‘on’ not a day ‘off’.”

Individuals, municipalities, schools, community and faith-based organizations are encouraged to develop projects that engage people in service as a tribute to Dr. King. Paint a room in an educational or public space, organize closets or pantries, clean up a park, organize a social event for seniors in a nursing home or serve meals to homeless people, or dream up a new and useful project in your community.

Go to the Volunteer Center’s website at for a list of other Martin Luther King Day of Service activities in the area. For more ideas, visit websites such as, or