Monday, April 30, 2012

Have a look!

Our friends at the Volunteer Center of San Francisco produced a clever and informative video that you may enjoy.  Have a look!
For information about how you can do it locally, check out our website, contact us or call 201-489-9454.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Volunteer Opportunities Available NOW

The Volunteer Center, in Hackensack, is looking for a front office/reception volunteer to answer phones, greet visitors and help with other office work.  Volunteers are needed Monday and/or Thursday from 9:00am - 5:00pm, and shifts are available.  Volunteers 16 and up may contact Melissa Leibe at 201-489-9454, ext. 127 or email

Literacy Volunteers of Bergenfield need volunteers to teach ESL.  The next training starts on May 17 at 6:30pm at the Bergenfield Public Library.  Register by May 9th; call Don Hensen at 201-387-4040, ext. 837.

Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels, Westwood is looking for a Recording Secretary for its Board of Directors.  General responsibilities include maintaining various bylaws, membership, meeting, and corporate records of the organization.  Volunteer must be available for 2-4 hours, once a month on a Thursday.  For details, contact Executive Director Jeanne Martin at 201-358-0050 or

YMCA of Greater Bergen County, Hackensack, needs volunteers now through June 30 for the After School Program.  The YMCA manages four after school programs in Hackensack, and they have an immediate need for 4 volunteers, age 17 plus.  If interested, contact Danielle Rattacasa, 201-487-6600 x 220 or

Monday, April 23, 2012

Derby Day - Auction Preview

Join us for one of Bergen's best-known parties - the Volunteer Center's Derby Day! Saturday, May 5, 3:30-7:00pm
Apple Ridge Country Club, Mahwah

It's all about the Kentucky Derby - and our fabulous live and silent auction!

Bruce Springsteen Tickets * Sharp LCD-TV * Coach Handbag
Exquisite Blue Topaz Necklace * Golf foursome at Fiddler's Elbow  
Mets vs World Series Champs Cardinals Tickets
Autographed NY Giants Football * Autographed NJ Devils Puck
Make-your-own-wine/tasting package for two
Great getaways to the Catskills and Martha's Vineyard
Anderson Cooper Tickets * Red Bulls Tickets * Theatre Tickets
And we are adding more exciting items every day! Take a peek here!

Wayne Scot Lukas, celebrity stylist, TV host, and designer of LUKASTYLE clothing line, will join us as our special guest auctioneer and judge of our famous Hat and Tie Contest!

Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets now! Tickets are $100 per person. All proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. For more information, please call 201-489-9454, ext. 125 or email Ask about the special benefits our Leadership Circle donors receive at Derby Day.

See you at the Derby!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Day Projects are HERE!

Earth Day is a great a way to welcome spring and get in the swing of volunteering.  Our fabulous office volunteer, Cathy, has put together a list of Earth Day Volunteer Opportunities and Projects!  Celebrate the earth by giving back!

To sign up for any projects please contact the person at each individual project.

Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, Englewood
Saturday, April 21 - 2:00 – 3:00pm
Families with children 8 and older can help with Spring Clean Up.  Email Ryan Hasko, to register.  Bring waterproof boots or borrow theirs.

NY/NJ Trail Conference, Mahwah
Sunday, April 22 - All Day
Volunteers are needed to help with different projects throughout the day.  Assist in pulling garlic mustard, Japanese barberry and other invasives along the trail in Ringwood, NJ.  Help is also needed to maintain some of the trails throughout the Hudson Hills and Highlands region of Weschester and Putnam County.  Contact Catherine at 201-512-9348 to sign up.

Van Saun Park, Paramus
Sunday, April 22
Celebrate Earth Day at the Bergen County Zo!o.  'Party for the Planet' is the zoo's annual Earth Day celebration. Walk through the grounds of the zoo and talk with exhibitors from conservation groups throughout our area. Special programs and demonstrations throughout the day. Party for the Planet is held in April, when zoo admission is free.

Hackensack Riverkeeper, Hackensack River – Laurel Hill entrance
Sunday, April 22
Guided Paddle Tour.  Enjoy the magnificent beauty of our natural surroundings.  $25 per paddler.  Call Capt. Hugh Carola at 201-968-0808 to reserve your seat on a boat and for more information.

Teaneck Creek Conservancy, Teaneck
Sunday, April 22 – 10:00am - Noon
Celebrate Earth Day at the Teaneck Creek Conversavancy.  Come for breakfast at the new Fycke Lane Entrance.  Highlights of the morning include viewing of the new 350’ wall made from recycled stone; the International Banners exhibition featuring banners by Teaneck students and environmental art banners by students from Peru and China; guided hikes beginning every 15 minutes; a complimentary breakfast catered by Whole Foods Market, Edgewater; musical performances; arts and crafts demonstrations; and Anthony Santella wood carving demonstrations in the labyrinth.  No reservation necessary.  Just come and enjoy the day!

Tenafly Nature Center, Tenafly
Sunday, April 22 – events happening from 10:00am – 4:00pm
Earth Day Clean Up, 10am – noon.  Rain Date Saturday, May 5.  Adult volunteers and teens age 14 and up can help with outdoor projects such as storm clean up, trail maintenance, and removal of invasive plants and litter.  No experience needed, just a love of nature and a desire to keep it beautiful.  Email Amada Sohuster, to register.

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Management Tool of the Future—Enhanced Employee Volunteerism

What do Aetna, Bank of America, Levi Strauss & Co., and the Walt Disney Company have in common?  Well, they are obviously Fortune 500 companies and household names, globally recognized for their innovation, service and products.  But they share something else, too:  Bea Boccalandro has helped each enhance its employee volunteer program and community involvement strategy, ultimately boosting their bottom lines.

President of VeraWorks and an international renowned consultant, Ms. Boccalandro will share her insights on employee volunteering when the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council presents Employee Volunteering 2.0—a New Management Tool on Friday, April 27, 2012.  The program will run from 8-10 AM at the headquarters of BMW of North America, 300 Chestnut Ridge Road, Woodcliff Lake.  Pre-registration is required, fee is $50, and space is limited.  Register on-line or email

“Businesses ignore 21st century employee volunteering at their own peril,” cautions Tess Tomasi, BVC Coordinator at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.  “Consumers are demanding that businesses be good corporate citizens to earn their patronage, and companies are moving from cash-only contributions to innovative solutions that engage their employees in giving back and serving in their communities.  Employee volunteerism is an impactful way to demonstrate corporate responsibility.”

Ms. Boccalandro is a Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship instructor, and through this seminar, participants will learn how she has helped companies both large and small use multiple resources to address and solve community problems, from poverty to crime to environmental degradation.  This approach also increases employee morale, improves innovation, increases skills and amplifies engagement in corporate workforces.

SPECIAL 2 FOR 1 Registration fees, 2 employees for $50!  For more information about the BVC, or to register for the April 27 seminar, contact Tess Tomasi, , call (201) 489-9454, Ext 114 or visit

Friday, April 13, 2012

Save the Date for Fifth Friday - June 29

Mark your calendars for June 29th where our next Fifth Friday featured speaker will be Rich Petriccione, Sr. VP, Philanthropy and Community Relations 2014 'NY/NJ Superbowl Host Company. Registration begins May 1 but sponsorship opportunities are available NOW - this is the only way to reserve your seat early!

Sponsors receive high visibility, sustained exposure to Bergen County leaders, extensive promotion to more than 2,500 leaders, multiple publicity channels and recognition and signage at the event. To find out more about how you can be affiliated with this exciting event, click here.

Fifth Friday is presented by Bergen LEADS, the premier civic leadership program sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. The year-long program prepares local leaders to shape the future in New Jersey’s most populous—and resource-rich—county.

Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday will also be held on November 30, 2012. Click here to join the mailing list.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Welcome to the staff, Beanne DeGuzman

The Volunteer Center is delighted to welcome Beanne DeGuzman to our staff as Mentoring Moms program assistant; she’ll also be lending a hand with our Bergen LEADS civic leadership program.
Beanne is a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines where she received her BA in Education with a major in Literature.  She taught high school in the Philippines for 3 years before moving to Saudi Arabia for work as a flight attendant. She joined her husband in the US in 2009, coordinate trade shows, and began volunteering with the Volunteer Center.  When we had an opening on the staff, Beanne was the best and most logical choice to fill the position.
Besides working, she enjoys outdoor activities like walking in the park and organizing her home (see why she’s so good for us?).  Beanne is a wonderful addition to the Volunteer Center and we’re happy she’s on board.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Winning Combination

It's no secret that the first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, but 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 20th Annual Derby Day party, on Saturday, May 5 from 3:30-7:00 pm at Apple Ridge Country Club in Mahwah.

Our winning combination will include delectable southern fare, mint juleps, a wine tasting and live music from southern rock band the Stuff Brothers. Trophies will be awarded for the Most Elegant Hat (ladies) and Most Outrageous Tie (gents), so dress your Derby best!

This year, our exciting live and silent auction features a Coach bag, golf foursome at Fiddler's Elbow, a week at vacation homes in the Catskills and Martha’s Vineyard, plus much more. Try your luck at our Winner's Circle, where guests pay $20 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.

See you at the Derby!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Employee Volunteering 2.0: The business management tool and charitable powerhouse of the decade

Looking for a great new management tool? Join the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) for a rare opportunity to hear Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Bea Boccalandro share her views on Employee Volunteering 2.0. Companies today are moving beyond just monetary contributions and instead are using multiple resources to address – and solve – community problems, from poverty to crime to environmental degradation.  This approach also increases morale, improves innovation, increases skills and amplifies engagement in corporate workforces.

Employee Volunteering 2.0 with Bea Boccalandro will be presented on Friday, April 27, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am at the headquarters of BMW of North America, 300 Chestnut Ridge Road in Woodcliff Lake. Sponsors of the seminar are BD and United Water. Pre-registration is required; the fee is $50.  BVC members can attend at no cost.  Register on-line here.

Bea Boccalandro is a Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship instructor and is president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm that advises companies on community involvement. She has helped Aetna, Bank of America, Levi Strauss & Company, The Walt Disney Company, and others develop and enhance their community involvement through research, strategy design, program development and evaluation. She teaches cross-sector partnerships at Georgetown University's Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership, and consults and teaches for Points of Light & Hands On Network and for the Council on Foundations.

“There is no question that businesses ignore 21st century employee volunteering at their own peril. It’s become a basic expectation that businesses have to be good corporate citizens,” says Tess Tomasi, BVC Coordinator. “Employee volunteerism is an impactful way to demonstrate corporate responsibility. Seminar participants will learn how their business and our society can benefit from this revolution in corporate-community involvement.”

For more information about the BVC, or to register for the April 27 seminar, contact Tess Tomasi, , call (201) 489-9454, Ext 114 or visit

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Celebrate Good Times!

Nearly 300 volunteers and guests gathered on Wednesday, March 28, as we honored the spirit of volunteerism which is alive and well in Bergen County.  The purpose of the event was to celebrate the many important ways that the good works of volunteers enhance our community, and in the process we all enjoyed a fabulous spread of luscious desserts that was a hit amongst everyone.

Brenda Blackmon, popular MY9News Anchor, and Kathleen Donovan, Bergen County Executive, led off the festivities, during which special volunteers and agency directors from non-profits, schools, and faith based organizations, were saluted.

April is National Volunteer Month, so remember to say ‘thank you’ to friends, relatives and colleagues who give back through volunteering.

Special thanks to the NJCS Chanteurs who performed selections from the Broadway musical “Wicked.”   And sincere gratitude to our sponsors of the evening: Inserra Supermarkets, Dassault Falcon Jet, and TD Bank.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Micro Volunteering – What is it?

We recently saw a good article about a topic that emerges with more and more frequency:  microvolunteering or virtual volunteering.  In this article, Microvolunteering and Crowd-Sourcing: Not-So-New Trends in Virtual Volunteering / Online Volunteering, the author describes how getting involved in microvolunteering is easy, takes little time, yet can have big impact on organizations and the volunteer.

New sites like are also popping up, making it even easier to find opportunities online.

What are your thoughts on this subject?