Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Companies: Ramp Up CSR at State-wide Conference

Companies across New Jersey have the opportunity to enhance their efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility at the N.J. Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism, which will be held on Friday, October 5, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ.  The Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC), which is sponsored by the Volunteer Center, is coordinating a robust track of workshops specifically geared to companies’ CSR and employee volunteer programs. 
Corporate community service is critical in affecting a company’s bottom line. Employees, investors, consumers and the general public are placing increasing emphasis on how a company demonstrates ethical business practices and commitment to improving community conditions, and they are offering their loyalty and dollars to those companies that make a difference.  The successful companies will be those that effectively engage employees in service activities that impact the communities in which they operate. 

Corporate Track workshops include:
  •     Building a robust Employee Volunteer Program (EVP)
  •     Telling the powerful story of your EVP
  •     The CSR Report—How does your EVP fit in?
  •     Using data to measure impact of your EVP on the company, employees and community
  •     The Future of Volunteering in NJ—an interactive session

The Corporate Track luncheon will feature representatives from Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies/Best in Social Responsibility, who will discuss what makes them the best of the best.  Two of the top 10 companies (United Water and Sealed Air) are members of the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council.
Conference sponsors are Comcast and Bank of America, with Novartis sponsoring the corporate track.
In addition to the corporate track, the NJ Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism features numerous workshops for non-profit organizations, government agencies and community groups across the state.
The NJGovernor’s Conference on Volunteerism begins with registration and breakfast starting 7:30 am registration and breakfast, followed by the opening plenary at 9:00 am.  Alfred Kelly, CEO of the 2014 Super Bowl Host Committee, is keynote speaker.
Registration fees for the Corporate Track are: Early bird (before Sept.7)-- $100 includes free parking; regular --$125; on-site-- $150.  Fees include materials, continental breakfast and lunch.  There is a $6.00 parking fee.  To register for the Corporate Track of the NJ Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism, call 609-633-9627 or visit to download a registration form.
For more information about the Conference on Volunteerism in general, email or call 609-633-9627.  Registration forms for the Corporate Track only can be obtained by calling Tess Tomasi from the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council at 201-489-9454 Ext. 114 or email at

Monday, August 27, 2012

Volunteering is ALL IN A DAY'S WORK

Being successful in business is about more than doing well.  It’s also about doing good.
The NorthernNewJersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC), a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, is hosting All in a Day’s Work, an inaugural, county- wide corporate day of service, on Friday, September 21.  The day is sponsored  by TD Bank.
Companies can choose from dozens of projects—such as sprucing up grounds and displays at local museums, providing a day of fun for lonely seniors, community gardening, or maintenance of hiking trails and more.
Companies can underwrite individual projects for a fee, which includes branding on the BVC website, all marketing materials, and slots for up to 10 volunteers. Call 201-489-9454 Ext. 114 for information on reserving your project. Individual corporate volunteer slots are also available for a small fee. For more information on how your company can get involved in All In A Day's Work, visit us online at All volunteers will receive breakfast, lunch, and a souvenir of the day.
“If your company has considered community service, but no one is quite sure how to begin, this will be a great opportunity to become a part of a big, area-wide effort, participating in already-organized projects that will give your employees a way to give back and interact with the community. It is a chance for your company to gain recognition as a good corporate citizen, and a great way to get your employees to work together and form bonds outside the office,” says Amanda Missey, BVC director.
Interested companies must register before August 31st by emailing or calling 201-489-9454.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Volunteer Opportunities

MEVO (MahwahEnvironmental Volunteer Organization) needs your help! Volunteers are needed on Saturday, August 25 from 10:00am to 2:00pm to helpout as MEVO cleans Catherine Avenue in Mahwah. Volunteers can come anytime during the event, please bring water, lunch, gloves, and clothes you don't mind getting dirty. RSVP is not required but appreciated.  Contact to RSVP.

Pony Power Therapies, Mahwah, is looking for volunteers who are experienced horse people to help lead our horses/ponies during lessons for the fall.  A special Part One/Part Two Combination training for people with significant horse experience will be held on Saturday, August 25th from 10 am- 11:30 am.  In order to attend, participants must have substantial horse experience (i.e. Know how to groom, tack and must be comfortable to lead).  Please RSVP by e-mail ( no later than Wednesday, August 22nd.

The YWCA of Greater Bergen County is hosting a powerful outdoor display of 1,000+ t-shirts created by victims and survivors of violence, designed to raise community awareness of violence against women, men, and children. Volunteers are needed for set up and breakdown. Set up involves hanging t-shirts on clotheslines and breakdown involves taking down and packing the shirts. The event will take place at “The Green” across from the Bergen County Courthouse, Hackensack, NJ on Thursday, September 13.  Volunteers are needed to help with set up from 8:00-10:00am and to help clean up from 5:00-7:00pm.  Contact Megan    at 201-881-1751 or to register.

The YWCA’s 2nd Annual 5K to benefit our "Make A Splash" initiative to provide free swim lessons for underserved children. Volunteers are needed on October 13 (Oct. 14 Rain Date) to assist with setup, registration, water stations, directing runners and cleanup.  the event is held at united Water in Harrington Park, contact Alysse Foudy, 201-444-5600, ext. 349,, to register.

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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

9/11 National Day of Remembrance

While no one looks forward to remembering 9/11, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County does encourage everyone to mark the anniversary of that tragic day by engaging in service projects.

The Volunteer Center will be sponsoring a food drive from 7 AM – 7 PM on Tuesday, September 11 at our office, which is located at 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack.

We are collecting: hearty soups, mac & cheese, diapers (size 2,3,4), peanut butter, canned tuna, parmalat milk, spaghetti sauce, low-sugar cereal, pet food, or other healthy food choices for all ages.

In addition to the Volunteer Center food drive other projects are being held throughout the state.  Check out the Jersey Cares website to see other project ideas and check back with the Volunteer Center for projects as they come in.

If you want to host your own Volunteer Project, here are a few ideas:
  • Give blood
  • Donate children’s books to a Head Start center or library
  • Pick up litter in a park or along a sidewalk or roadway
  • Pull weeds in a park or along a sidewalk
  • Help the homebound or infirm: offer to run errands, sweep a sidewalk, rake leaves, do some gardening
  • Bring cookies to a new neighbor
  • Write letters to our men and women in the military
  • Make tray favors to be distributed to those who receive meals on wheels

You can decide what to do - just do something to make our world a better place.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Be A Mentor – Change a Life (Maybe Yours!)

The Volunteer Center’s mentoring programs want you! Fall training is right around the corner.

Mentoring Moms is a program in which adult women are mentors and role models to isolated and/or overwhelmed mothers; training starts on September 24. Call Beanne at 201-489-9454, ext. 124 for information or to register.

Mentoring Youth is a program in which adult men and women are role models to children who have experienced abuse, neglect, trouble or isolation. Training for this program starts on September 26. Call Francine at 201-489-9454, ext. 111.

If you...
  • find satisfaction in helping others
  • seek opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment
  • enjoy making new friends
  • want to get give back
  • You’d be a great mentor!
                                              ... call today!

Friday, August 10, 2012

TD Bank is Kids’ Best Friend at Bergen Bike Tour

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, will sponsor the Bergen Bike Tour Kids’ Event at the 17th annual Bergen Bike Tour, on Sunday September 30, at Darlington County Park.  The TD Bank Kids’ Event includes a Kids’ Ride for children 10 and under, held on a special course where youngsters can ride their Big Wheels, tricycles, and training wheel bikes in a safe and entertaining environment.  Fire trucks will be on site for children to explore, and clowns will cheer on our young riders.  After the Kids’ Ride, there will be face painting, pumpkin painting, crafts, games and prizes.

"We are proud to support the Bergen Bike Tour and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County,” said Joanne Westphal, Retail Market Manager for TD Bank in Bergen County. “The Kids’ Ride not only supports a great cause, but also helps promote a fun and healthy lifestyle.”

 “TD Bank has supported the Bergen Bike Tour for many years.  We are thrilled that they will once again sponsor our Kids’ Event, which is always a favorite with the families,” says Phil Murphy, chairman of the event.  “The enthusiastic support of their employees makes the Bergen Bike Tour the fun and successful event that it is.”

In addition to the Kids’ Event, the Bergen Bike Tour features a 50-, 25- and 10- mile routes for cyclists of every level. The day is capped off with a fun-filled barbeque, music and family-focused entertainment.  Proceeds from the Bergen Bike Tour benefit Tomorrows Children’s Fund at Hackensack University Medical Center and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, both of which have been the beneficiaries of this event since its inception.

Registration is now open!  For further information about becoming a corporate sponsor, or organizing a group to participate in the Bike Tour visit the website at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Volunteer Handy-Persons Sought

Want to enjoy a really rewarding experience?  How about helping seniors and people with disabilities live safely in their homes?

Consider volunteering with the Chore Service, which is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.  Chore volunteers do minor household repairs that the frail elderly or people with disabilities can neither do themselves nor get anyone else to do.  Each volunteer makes service calls one day a week from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.  Volunteers go in crews of two to four people in specially equipped Chore vans.  Each crew is assigned 4-5 service calls each weekday.

Last year, Chore volunteers visited over 2,000 homes and performed 4,000 repairs for grateful citizens.  This year, the request for service is even greater, and additional volunteers are needed!

In addition to helping people in need, you’ll be helping yourself!  Studies show that people who volunteer enjoy health benefits, from reduction of stress and lowering of blood pressure to improving self esteem and enhancing the immune system.  Volunteering with a Chore crew also offers an opportunity not only to use handyman skills, but also to get out, meet new people and stay connected with the broader world.  Prospective volunteers should be able to perform minor household repairs such as those that able-bodied homeowners must do.  Ideally, volunteers will be available on a regular basis so Chore can schedule a regular day with the same crew.

It’s a great volunteer opportunity for retirees, or people who work second and third shift jobs.  Back-up volunteer handymen and women are also welcome.  Call Maureen at (201) 489-7790 to find out how satisfying it can be to lend a hand to those in need.

Monday, August 6, 2012

AliveAndKickathon Jersey 2012

Dave Dubin is alive and kicking, and his boundless energy is proof positive of that.  Dave is not only a Volunteer Center Board Member and a graduate of our Bergen LEADS civic leadership program, he’s also a survivor of colon cancer – not once, not twice, but three times!  Now he’s definitely been bitten by the colorectal cancer prevention bug and recently founded Alive and Kickn, an organization devoted to spreading awareness and encouraging prevention of the disease.

According to Dave, “Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer overall, and #1 cancer killer among non-smokers. Seriously. Almost as many women die of colon cancer as breast cancer. Not joking. So if you think it’s an old man’s disease, think again. People under age 50 getting colorectal cancer has risen 4% a year for decades.

To really kick things off, Alive and Kickn is sponsoring its first fundraiser, which will be a 24-hour co-ed soccer game on Friday, October 5 – Saturday, October 6.  The event will be held at Overpeck Park in Ridgefield Park and is open to players of all ages and abilities.  It will be loads of fun and raise money for a great cause.  Proceeds from the event will be split with Alive and Kickn’s partner, the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.  

Register for the event.  Play an hour.  Play another hour.  Bring your friends, kids, parents, and grandparents.  Bring your team, fraternity, sorority, neighbors.  Get sponsors to donate.  Volunteer.  Visit for more information. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brown Bag Buddies: Time is Running Out!

Summer should be a great time to be a kid, but for too many kids from poor households, summer means no access to the school free lunch program. Summer is also the time when local food pantries see their food inventory take a dive because donors go on vacation while demand goes up. 

You can help! For the past 12 years, the BVC's Brown Bag Buddies program has generated over $334,000 in kid-friendly food items and financial donations to the Center for Food Action and local food pantries. But for the past few years, donations to the program have been down so we need you to be a hero to hungry kids and get your company to participate! 

To find out how your company can participate in Brown Bag Buddies, just click here for all the tools you need to conduct a successful campaign, including a free downloadable information packet and links to ways you can donate online! 

And a very special thanks to this year's Brown Bag Buddies Sponsors:
  • BD
  • Rockland Electric Company
  • Sealed Air
  • United Water