Monday, October 29, 2012

All Wrapped Up Needs YOU!

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County's "All WrappedUp" holiday giving program kicks off November 1!  We've received requests from nonprofit agencies to help 4,000 people, and now we’re eager to match you with an individual or family in need so you can go out shopping! 

Individuals, families, civic groups, corporations and business associations are encouraged to participate.

Most of the requests we have received include such basics as winter coats, warm sweaters, slippers, or books and toys for children. Gift cards for supermarkets and discount department stores are on everyone's list, too.

If you’d like to help, you can sign up online. We'll match you with an individual or family and email their profile back to you within 24 hours.

Call Debbie at 201-489-9454, ext. 118 for further information.

Times are tough, so please do whatever you can to help our neighbors right here in Bergen County!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shop for a Cause!

While shopping online this holiday season, you can help the Volunteer Center with every purchase. Through, a percentage of every purchase you make will go to the Volunteer Center (or to another charity of your choice). You can shop at more than 600 stores, including favorites like Target, Barnes & Noble, Gap, Amazon, Travelocity and much more. Just lick the link to and fill out the simple registration form. It only takes a minute to register, and $5 will be donated to the Volunteer Center right off the bat if you sign up and shop within 45 days. Please follow the directions on the iGive website to learn more about how you can help.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Calling All Volunteer Managers!

Keep your skills sharp, find out about new ideas, share resources, and get answers to your questions about making the most of your volunteer workforce.
Join us for our monthly lunchtime discussions on volunteer management. These sessions are informal yet interactive, so bring your lunch and be prepared to learn from and share with other local nonprofit professionals. We'll also have time for networking and group problem-solving activities.
Date/Time: Thursday, Nov. 29, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Click here to register online for the Volunteer Managers' Roundtable.

Friday, October 19, 2012

County-wide Corporate Volunteer Day a Success

Being successful in business is about more than doing well.  It’s also about doing good.
Over 100 volunteers from companies throughout Bergen County recently participated in All in a Day’s Work, presented by the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC), a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.
An inaugural, county- wide day of service for corporate volunteers, All in a Day’s Work was sponsored by TD Bank, and began with a kick off pep rally breakfast for all volunteers at the Volunteer Center. Participants limbered up for the day’s activities with a Zumba dance session, as well as prepared goody bags and notes for soldiers through Operation Goody Bag. The groups then traveled to several locations in and around Bergen County to begin their projects.
The largest project of the day was at Teaneck Creek Conservancy, where 40 employee-volunteers of event sponsor TD Bank applied buckets of gravel to spruce up its network of nature trails.
Volunteers from Janome America of Mahwah helped with a mailing at Gilda’s Club in Hackensack, while City Green, located in Clifton, benefited from muscle power provided by employees from the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and BD, who dug, weeded and watered at this urban farm facility.
Members of the Community Service committee of the Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors helped to sort and pack 4 ½ tons of food at the Office of Concern Food Pantry at St. Cecilia’s Church in Englewood.  Other members from this committee also prepared 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which were distributed to homeless clients of the Hoboken Shelter.
Volunteers from Hudson City Savings Bank were on-hand to clean stock and organize the food storage facility of the Center for Food Action in Mahwah.
Upper Saddle River’s Triangle Manufacturing staff joined with Rebuilding Together to finish a ramp which was built for a disabled Korean War veteran so he could enter and exit his Paramus home more easily.
Five Star Premier Residences in Teaneck was a site for some of the day’s activities. Volunteers from T. Rowe Price and Jack Daniels Motors worked with residents of the facility to write thank you notes and put together gift bags for military personnel through Operation Goody Bag.  Five Star employee-volunteers also helped to clean and maintain the aircraft exhibits at the Aviation Hall of Fame in Teterboro.
Volunteers then shared their experiences at a wrap up luncheon back at the Volunteer Center.  Breakfast and lunch were provided courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts, Baker Sports Marketing, A Bite of Heaven Caterers, Main Dish Restaurant and United Water.
“Successful businesses know that community involvement contributes to the bottom line and produces a real return on investment.  Volunteering boosts employee moral, helps to attract qualified employees, develops employee skills and enhances the company’s image within the community, differentiating it company from its competitors,” says Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center.  “We are thrilled that so many companies participated in the BVC’s first combined day of service.  It was a tremendous success.”
For more information about the BVC, and to learn about other community projects contact Tess Tomasi at 201-489-9454 Ext. 114, or email  Visit

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Moms Learn Valuable Lessons

TD Bank branch manager Devry Pazant, in Hackensack, recently provided moms, kids and mentors in the Volunteer Center’s Mentoring Moms program with important financial literacy skills and offered an inside view of how banks operate. 
Participants in the workshop toured the bank and gained valuable tips on how to use the resources to learn and maintain good habits for money management.  A lively discussion ensued about breaking the cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck as participants learned the benefits of online banking, monthly budgeting and how compound interest adds up – dramatically!  At the end of the evening all felt better prepared to make wiser decisions about their personal finances.
Thank you TD Bank for providing such a valuable service and for being a great community partner!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Volunteer Opportunities

It’s fall, and that means it’s prime time for volunteering!  Numerous organizations need help – here are a couple to pique your interest:

The Salvation Army is looking for Bell Ringers for the upcoming holiday season.  Four hour shifts are available in various Bergen County locations beginning on Saturday, November 17.  Volunteers 14 and up can contact Lt. Paul Valverge at 973-476-6432 to learn more or sign up.

Healing the Children of NJ, Hawthorne, is looking for a volunteer who has knowledge and understanding of WordPress and can teach it to the staff. If your qualified please call Pamela DePompo at 973-949-5034 to apply.
The American Cancer Society will hold its annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on Sunday, October 21 at the NEW Overpeck Park in Ridgefield Park.  There are lots of great volunteer opportunities to sign up for.  You can go to to learn more about this event.
For more Volunteer opportunities, click here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Play Games! Bring Food! Have Fun!

The Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) will host “Fun and Games with the BVC” on Friday, October 26th from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at IKEA, Paramus.  IKEA will be transformed into a game-show stage, with guests grabbing vouchers for cash and prizes in the Hudson City Money Machine; the Price is Right, with contestants winning fabulous IKEA prizes; a store-wide scavenger hunt; and Wheel of Fortune.
This annual fund raising event helps the BVC impact the lives of low-income children and families by addressing the big issues of literacy, hunger and education. In the past eleven years, the BVC has generated and distributed well over $1.3 million in resources to local families in need.
Guests are asked to bring non-perishable sandwich fillings, such as peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna or chicken, to be donated to families served by the Center for Food Action in Mahwah.
Tickets are just $50 per person or special rate of $75 per couple, which includes an international all-you-can eat buffet, silent auction, great swag bags, music and games of skill and chance. Tickets can be purchased on-line here or by calling 201-489-9454.
Presenting sponsor for Fun and Games with the BVC is Hudson City Savings Bank. Additional sponsors to date include IKEA, BD, Rockland Electric, United Water, TD Bank and State Farm Insurance.
Here is a glimpse at last year's event.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fifth Friday Forum – November 30

The next Fifth Friday, a powerful networking and learning event that attracts leaders from every sector, will be held on November 30 from 11:30 am to 2 pm at the Stony Hill Inn, Hackensack.
Fifth Friday is hosted by Bergen LEADS, Bergen County’s civic leadership program for adults that is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. Tickets are $35.00 and must be purchased in advance at  For further information, call Amanda Missey at 201-489-9454 Ext. 119.
The featured speaker on November 30 will be Martin Gottlieb, the editor of The Record and Herald News.  Mr. Gottlieb will address the question of “What’s News?  Who Decides?”  In a world where entertainment and hard news are often intertwined, and where politics can color every story, Mr. Gottlieb will discuss how decisions are made regarding editorial content.
Wells Fargo is the presenting sponsor for the 2012 Fifth Friday luncheon series.  John Garone, Regional Director of Wells Fargo Private Bank says, “Wells Fargo is a proud supporter of Bergen LEADS because the program encourages civic engagement and the development of solutions to critical issues.  We also salute those enrolled in the program because they are making Bergen County a great place to work and live.  The Fifth Friday series features thought-provoking topics and high-profile speakers important to the County in a setting conducive to networking and discussion.  Our participation with Bergen LEADS is just one of the many ways Wells Fargo works with local communities to ensure the areas we serve are economically vibrant places.”
Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday is also supported by TD Bank, Archer & Greiner PC, PNC Bank, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, Synetek Solutions, (201) Executive, Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, Shop-Rite of Hackensack and the Russell Berrie Foundation.
Sponsorships for the November 30 event are still available.  For more information about Fifth Friday or Bergen LEADS, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 119.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bergen Bike Tour Success!

THANK YOU to everyone who joined the festivities at the 17th annual Bergen Bike Tour on Sunday.  It was a tremendous success!  We had a great time and we hope you did, too!!
Our goal this year is to raise $80,000 -- and it’s all up to you!   If you rode, you have until November 12 to turn in your pledges ($100 per person; $200 per family) in support of two great charities:  Tomorrows Children's Fund and The Volunteer Center of Bergen County.   Even if you didn’t ride, you can still support the event! Learn how to raise funds for the Bergen Bike Tour on our website,
Thanks also to our outstanding and generous top-level sponsors: TD Bank; JDD Alderisio; (201) Family; Amica Insurance; Apax Partners; Equinox Fitness Clubs; Inserra ShopRite; Jamis Bicycles; Lakeland Bank; Oritani Bank Charitable Foundation; PNC Bank; Sanzari Companies; Stop and Shop; Synetek Solutions; Tanis & Sons. 
Other corporate sponsors of this year’s event were Baker Sports Marketing; Columbia Bank; Compensation Solutions; Dunkin' Donuts; Flackman Goodman & Potter, P.A; Flavor & Fragrance Specialties; Garden State Wiper; Hackensack University Medical Center; KRE Group; Robert E. Martini, LLC; Murphy, Miller & Baglieri, LLP; Myron Corporation; Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman, P.A.; Rockland Electric Company; Andrew Rubenstein, M.D.; Rudy’s Inflight Catering; Sovereign Santander; Topcon Medical Systems; United Water; Vizcaya; Withum Smith+Brown Global Assurance; Zerega Custom Pasta Company; Allendale Bar & Grill/Mahwah Bar & Grill; Applebee's; Downes Tree Service; Excel Physical Therapy; Law Offices of Elsbeth J. Crusius, LLC; Lowenstein Sandler; Malesardi, Quackenbush, Swift & Company; Pascack Community Bank; and Topline Products.
Your support is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Leadership Skills for Youth: 2-day workshop Nov. 8-9

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is offering an innovative program that provides young people throughout Bergen County with the leadership skills necessary to play active roles in their local communities.
The Center’s Youth Leadership Institute is taking applications for a two-day workshop that will be presented on Thursday and Friday, November 8 and 9, each day from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at the Volunteer Center’s office in Hackensack.   The Youth Leadership workshop is open to students in grades 8, 9 or 10. Prospective participants are required to submit an application form, available on-line. Deadline for submission is October 26, 2012.  Upon acceptance to the program, the fee for each student is $50.00.
The program’s curriculum is highly interactive, providing the kind of leadership training typically available only to corporate executives and government leaders and exploring community needs analysis, goal setting, team building, project planning, decision-making and other leadership dynamics.
“More and more schools – both public and private -- are requiring community service,” says Debbie Emery, the Volunteer Center’s director of Community Volunteer Services and certified Youth Leadership trainer, “and colleges want prospective students to submit resumes of service activities.
“Today’s students want to make a difference in their own communities,” she continues, “and are willing to tackle complex social issues.  This two-day workshop will help students learn how to plan and develop service programs in their schools and youth organizations.  Leadership, whether on a team, in a club setting, or in the classroom, is an important attribute to develop in our children-- for their future and ours.”
For more information on the Youth Leadership Institute, call Debbie Emery at (201) 489-9454 ext. 118, or email