Friday, December 20, 2013

PNC Bank to sponsor Fifth Friday Networking Events

PNC Wealth Management has signed on as the 2014 lead sponsor for Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday, a powerful networking and learning event that attracts leaders from every sector in Bergen County.
Fifth Friday luncheons will take place this year on January 31May 30 and October 31 at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack - the perfect venue for stimulating conversation, a delicious lunch and high profile speakers.  Fifth Friday is hosted by Bergen LEADS, the area’s premier civic leadership program, which is a program of  the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.  
Fifth Friday is an excellent fit with our stated purpose of developing networks and exploring current issues,” says Amanda Missey, director of Bergen LEADS.  “Response to the event has been overwhelming, and we’re very excited to have the support of PNC Wealth Management for the series this year.”
PNC Wealth Management is proud to once again partner with the Volunteer Center of Bergen County for the 2014 Bergen LEAD's Fifth Friday series,” says Theresa de Leon, senior vice president and director of PNC Wealth Management.  “PNC is proud of its commitment to leadership within Bergen County and we are delighted to demonstrate our continued support through this partnership that reaches hundreds of organizations and leaders.  It is just one example of the community values we share.”
In addition to presenting Fifth Fridays, Bergen LEADS is currently accepting applications for its next class, which begins in September 2014. The online application form for the Class of 2015 can be accessed at  and is due by April 11.  Each candidate must complete a simple individual profile form and provide essay answers to specific questions. Tuition for Bergen LEADS is $2,000 per person; scholarship assistance is available for those with financial need.
For more information about the Fifth Friday events, or about Bergen LEADS, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 119.
The Volunteer Center of Bergen County strengthens the community by connecting people through service and developing civic leaders.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Donations Needed for Homeless Veterans

The Volunteer Center will be partnering with the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services in assisting homeless veterans in the area.  According to Richard Daul, director of Veterans Service, about one third of the adult homeless population are veterans.   Although perfect counts are impossible to come by—the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty—it is estimated that over 100 veterans are homeless on any given night in Bergen County, and over the course of a year, approximately twice that many can experience homelessness.  In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness—extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care—a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.
Donations of backpacks, toiletry kits (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, comb/brush, razor, shaving cream, small bag to hold items and a set of towels), sweatshirts  sizes large and extra large, and gift cards to Walmart, Shop Rite, McDonald’s, Subway,  and Pizza Hut are needed.  Donors can drop off these items at the Volunteer Center’s offices, 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack, during the week of January 13 to 17, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, with evening hours till 7:00 pm on Thursday January 16; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 18.  
Call 201-489-9454 for more information.  Monetary donations that will be used to obtain needed items for the homeless veterans can be made by visiting and clicking on MLK Day of Service.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Corporate Giving Trends and Employee Engagement Topic of January BVC Meeting

Corporate engagement professionals and managers of employee volunteer programs are invited to attend a breakfast seminar hosted by Business Volunteer Connect and the Business Volunteer Council (BVC).  Michael Stroik of CECP (formerly the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy), will speak about “Emerging Trends in Corporate Giving and Employee Engagement.” 
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 from 8:30 – 10:00 am at BD, 1 Becton Drive, Franklin Lakes.  The meeting is free to BVC members, $10/person or $25 for three or more non-members.   Register at or contact Ellen Lutvak at or 201-489-9454 x133.
As Manager, Research and Analytics, Mr. Stroik manages CECP’s research process and the accompanying annual Giving in Numbers trend report, a resource for corporate giving professionals and those with a stake in the future of corporate philanthropy.  He works directly with CECP companies around the globe to support the development of their corporate giving programs.  He is widely accepted as an expert in corporate philanthropy trends and has contributed to a variety of publications including The Washington Post, Crain’s Business, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
“Successful businesses know that community involvement contributes to the bottom line and produces a real return on investment by boosting employee morale, attracting qualified employees, developing employee skills, enhancing company image within the community, and helping to differentiate a company from its competition,” says Ellen Lutvak, Business Volunteer Connect manager. “We invite members of the local business community to join us for this valuable seminar and to find out more about how Business Volunteer Connect and the BVC can assist with their community engagement efforts.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hunger Hurts!

We need YOU to sign up NOW

Help Rotary District 7490 Package 25,000 Meals for the Hungry

Food assembly lineYou still have time to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable and hungry men, women and children by helping us package 25,000 meals of rice and beans for local, needy residents on Martin Luther King Day, traditionally a day of service. 
Rotary District 7490 is working together with Kids Care (Outreach, Inc.) and with CUMAC, Passaic County's largest food pantry, to provide food at a time when food pantry supplies are traditionally at their lowest. We need a minimum of 250 volunteers and need to raise about $6,000 to make this work!
Rotarians packingIn addition to packaging food, all participants are asked to bring canned and non-perishable items, particularly protein foods like peanut butter, tuna fish, sardines, cereal, etc. to the food packaging event. We will also share your generous donations with other local food pantries and projects. 
You do not need to be a Rotarian to participate.  If you (or members of your group) are not a Rotarian we would love to have you join us. All ages are welcome, and teenagers are especially welcome.Participants will be assigned to a one or two-hour shift, first-registered, first assigned, according to your preference. 
We also ask that you make a tax-deductible donation through to help pay for the expenses of packaging these meals. A donation of only $25 will pay for 100 meals!  We recommend that Rotary Clubs pledge $150 and send their checks payable to Rotary District 7490  to our District Treasurer, Tom Dispenziere at 7 Bodie Road, Wayne, NJ 07470.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mentoring Moms Holiday party a great success!

There was plenty of holiday spirit to go around at our Mentoring Moms Holiday Party!  More than 150 children, their moms and their mentors joyously celebrated the holiday season together this weekend with a festive breakfast at the Volunteer Center.  Some of our merry-making volunteers (pictured) gave special thanks to Stop & Shop, which generously donated food and beverages for the party. There was lots of fun to be had with crafts, a holiday sing-a-long and karaoke for kids of all ages.  And of course, Santa was in the house, delivering gifts donated by area churches, corporations and individuals through our All Wrapped Up Program.

What a great time! Thank you, Stop & Shop and volunteers!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bergen County Sandy Recovery Project Awarded $600,000 in grants

The Bergen County Hurricane Sandy Long Term Recovery Committee has been awarded two grants totaling $600,000 to assist residents with recovery from the storm. A collaborative effort by 50+ organizations which have banded together to help with the recovery effort, the LTRC is coordinated by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.
The Robin Hood Foundation is providing a new grant of $250,000 to assist low-income and working-class residents recover from the devastation caused by the storm. Grants can range to up to $10,000 per family, and can be used to pay bills or purchase gift cards, appliances, supplies, materials or services.
The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, whose honorary chair is New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie, is providing a grant of $350,000 to help residents and small businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy. These funds will also help with administration of the Recovery Information Center. Disaster case managers working with the LTRC assess needs of storm survivors and present requests to the LTRC's Unmet Needs Committee, which determines how the funds will be allocated.
Since Hurricane Sandy struck over one year ago, and with the new grants included, the Robin Hood Foundation has awarded a total of $750,000 and the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund has awarded $950,000 to the Bergen County LTRC.  To date the LTRC has assessed the needs of over 700 residents, and actively engaged 11 case managers who are working directly with more than 400 families. 
Bergen County residents who still need assistance with recovery from Hurricane Sandy are asked to call the LTRC's Recovery Information Center, in Moonachie, NJ, at 201-470-3143 to make an appointment for an intake assessment.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

We are thankful for you.

Every day we are thankful for those who step up to help others through their acts of caring.  We deeply value your support and wish you and those you care about the happiest of Thanksgivings.
From your friends at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County strengthens the community  
by connecting people through service and developing civic leaders.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Family Volunteers ROCK!

Last Saturday, November 23rd, the Bergen VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) hosted Family Volunteer Day, thanks to a generous grant from Disney and generationOn.  The focus of the project  was the clean up and restoration of yards devastated after Hurricane Sandy ravaged areas of Little Ferry and Moonachie.  Many of the residents, especially seniors, have not been able to keep up with yard maintenance due to the overwhelming stress of storm recovery and home repair.  In addition, the flood waters destroyed yard tools kept in sheds and garages, which were not covered by insurance or other relief programs.  This was a great opportunity for families with children to help out in our recovery efforts!  
More than 60 volunteers, representing 30 families participated in the fun, hardworking day.  Volunteers helped local residents with fall yard work.  22 children, ages 6 – 17 were part of the group.  The group donated 231 hours total.  
Food and drinks for the day were provided by the Salvation Army, Dunkin Donuts of Hawthorne and Little Ferry, and Ben’s Bagel Barn of Little Ferry.  Additional equipment supplies for the day were provided by City Green, the East Rutherford DPW and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
Thanks to everyone who made this wonderful day possible.  When families band together to do good, results happen!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Joy in the Making!

GenerationOn, the youth-focused arm of Points of Light (which is the Volunteer Center’s national affiliate partner) has joined with toy-maker Hasbro in asking kids everywhere to “Be a Joy Maker” and join them in giving joy this holiday season. 
Here’s how the Be a Joy Maker initiative works: for every action a kid or teen takes to help someone in need, Hasbro will match it with the gift of toys or games to be distributed to kids in need!   For many kids, these toys will bring a special kind of joy in the knowledge that their community cares. 
Now, this is where Jade He, 12-year old middle school student in Northern New Jersey, comes in!  She is the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s very own Joy Maker.
Jade is no stranger to volunteering and helping others.  From a young age, she has always found opportunities to help out, whether involved in scouting activities, parish programs or working on projects for the Volunteer Center.  This holiday season, Jade is part of the Volunteer Center’s corps of elves for the All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program, which matches donors from the community with families in need.  Because she is doing amazing things to make her mark on the world through volunteer action, the Volunteer Center will receive 100 toys from Hasbro to donate to many of the kids in All Wrapped Up.  
Jade also received a $100 Visa Gift card to be used for supplies and materials to further help her spread the joy this holiday season.  Jade has decided that the gift card will help her purchase supplies needed to run a “Holiday Shop” for the children in our Mentoring Moms program.  These children will be able to bring cheer to their moms by using the supplies provided by our Joy Maker!
Jade He has always been a delight, and now she’s also our Joy Maker!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thank you TJX Foundation!

Thank you to the TJX Foundation for supporting the Volunteer Center's Mentoring Youth program with a grant for $5,000.  Funds will support the recruitment, screening, training and supervision of mentors for children living in Bergen County who have experienced abuse, neglect or isolation.  The TJX Foundation has supported Mentoring Youth for the past eight years, providing trained and caring mentors to help kids to see and take steps to a brighter future. The TJX Companies, Inc. is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide, with stores including T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods. Thank you, TJX Foundation!
For more information on our mentoring programs click here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Family Volunteer Day - Sign up Now

November 23rd is Family Volunteer Day, a day of service that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together.  Created 22 years ago by Points of Light, the purpose of the day is to inspire families to serve and engage in civic activities geared toward improving their communities. It’s still going strong today! 

The Bergen VOAD and the Volunteer Center received a generous $2,000 national grant from Points of Light to host this special opportunity for families to work together, and give back together!

Join the VOAD and the Volunteer Center, along with other families on Saturday, November 23 from 9am – 1pm at the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Center located at 221 Moonachie Road in Moonachie. Families will work on yard projects for residents of Little Ferry and Moonachie who were deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Click here for the complete flyer.

To sign up to help or to learn more information please contact Marisa Santiago at 201-446-8585 or email her at

Friday, November 8, 2013

“Lunch and Learn” for Volunteer Managers

The Non Profit Training and Resource Center of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County will present a Volunteer Managers’ “Lunch and Learn” Roundtable on Thursday November 21, 2013 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Volunteer Center’s offices at 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack.
The Roundtables are free, but all attendees must be pre-registered to attend. To RSVP, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 118 or e-mail by November 15.
Participants must bring their own lunches; soft drinks will be provided. Driving directions and parking instructions will be e-mailed to registered attendees before each session.
All professionals who work with or manage volunteers in non-profit, corporate, community, governmental or faith-based settings are invited to attend this seminar—part of a series of bi-monthly meetings that are informal yet interactive, with time for networking and group problem solving activities.
Each Roundtable will provide an opportunity for professional growth and interaction with colleagues as well as a forum for sharing ideas and best practices in the field. Additionally, attendees will get updates on new programs and services that the Volunteer Center has available to enhance agencies’ volunteer programs.
“These meetings have proven to be informational as well as inspirational,” says Debbie Emery, Community Volunteer Services Director for the Volunteer Center. “The lively exchanges have helped participants keep their skills sharp, find out about new ideas, and get answers to questions about making the most of their volunteer workforces.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Come Build a Playground!

On Saturday, Nov. 16, come and join the fun when Kaboom! partners with local corporations and the Super Bowl Host Committee’s Snowflake Youth Foundation to build a playground in Moonachie, a town badly ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Volunteers are needed from 8 AM-3PM.  Breakfast, lunch and beverages as well as appropriate tools and gloves will be provided for all volunteers.
Want the details and to sign up?  Click here.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spotlight on Jake Salles, candidate for Eagle Scout Award

Jake Salles, a sophomore at Emerson High School, is a wonderful student and a life-long Boy Scout.  He also knows the importance of service to the community.  From a young age, Jake has always “given back” and knows the rewarding sense of accomplishment you can get - even from just being kind to others.
“I recently completed my Eagle Scout Project," says Jake.  "I installed a sensory garden for people with developmental disabilities at the Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat (ECCR)  in Wyckoff.  The garden consists of 6 foot chimes, touch panels, hand held sensory toys, and plants including lambs ear, mint, lavender and thyme with their calming aromas and smells.  The garden is an interactive place that the residents of the ECCR can play with and express themselves. Their senses of sight, smell, sound, and touch will all be stimulated. 
“I have been volunteering with the residents at ECCR for 4 years.  I chose this project because if knew it was something that would be beneficial to them.  To see them smile and laugh while using the sensory garden has been a great reward.
Congratulations on designing a great Eagle Scout project, and good luck on that award, Jake!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Volunteer Center of Bergen County Launches New Program

We make employee volunteering as easy as BVC!

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County has expanded its menu of services for businesses and corporations with community engagement programs.
The new program, Business Volunteer Connect, will be formally launched at an after-hours networking event on Wednesday, November 13 at Chakra in Paramus.  Representatives of companies who have or wish to develop an employee engagement program are invited to attend; there is no charge for the event, sponsored by Cole Schotz, Jack Daniels, and Spectra Laboratories, but attendees must pre-register.  Contact Ellen Lutvak at 201-489-9454 Ext. 133 or
The Volunteer Center has been providing support to companies with employee volunteer programs since the early 1980s.  In 2000, the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council was created to bring the business community together to address pressing issues like hunger, literacy and education through collective efforts.  In 13 years, the Business Volunteer Council collected and distributed more than $1.4 million in resources to low-income children and their families.
The economic realities of the last five years have changed the way that many companies are approaching their community engagement activities.  To provide more and better service, the Volunteer Center has launched Business Volunteer Connect, which provides consultation to companies on everything connected to employee volunteering and community engagement.  Services include customized volunteer projects, guidance and expertise on creating or enhancing an employee volunteer program, assistance with skills-based volunteering, and board service, and participation in several annual volunteer initiatives.
Companies may also elect to join the Business Volunteer Council (BVC), a dues-supported membership organization open to any employer with operations in the tri-state area.  It is a vital component of the Volunteer Center’s network of services for employee engagement professionals.  With a heightened emphasis on providing opportunities for networking, professional development and sharing of best practices, the BVC continues to provide leadership in meeting community needs through employee volunteerism. 
Companies interested in finding out how Business Volunteer Connect and the BVC can enhance their community engagement program are invited to attend the after-hours networking event on November 13 at Chakra.  RSVP by November 4 to Ellen Lutvak at or 201-489-9454 x133.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

All Wrapped Up Kick Off November 1

Save the Date AWU Tag sideways 
The Volunteer Center is proud once again to sponsor the All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program, which matches individuals and families in need with willing donors from the community. This program has proven an effective way to ensure that the neediest people are remembered at holiday time. 

To participate click here and send in your donor request form.  Beginning November 1 we will match you with a family or individual based on your preferences. If you have a request for a large group (ten people or more) please contact Debbie Emery at 201-489-9454, ext. 118.

All Wrapped Up is made possible because of donors like you.  Sign up today to make someone's holiday wishes come true.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Family Volunteer Day

November 23rd is Family Volunteer Day, a day of service that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together.  Created 22 years ago by Points of Light, the purpose of the day is to inspire families to serve and engage in civic activities geared toward improving their communities. It’s still going strong today! 

The Bergen VOAD and the Volunteer Center received a generous $2,000 national grant from Points of Light to host this special opportunity for families to work together, and give back together!

Join the VOAD and the Volunteer Center, along with other families on Saturday, November 23 from 9am – 1pm at the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Center located at 221 Moonachie Road in Moonachie. Families will work on yard projects for residents of Little Ferry and Moonachie who were deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Click here for the complete flyer.

To sign up to help or to learn more information please contact Marisa Santiago at 201-446-8585 or email her at

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Follow the Volunteer Center on Pinterest

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is now on Pinterest.  We have a ton of Boards about all the amazing things we are doing and helpful tips about volunteering.  It's a great way to stay in touch with the Volunteer Center.

Check it out and follow us.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Voters’ Choice—What’s Next?

This fall—no matter who prevails—Election Day results will have far-reaching effects.

The next Fifth Friday luncheon on November 22 will feature Brigid Callahan Harrison and Peter Woolley, both highly-acclaimed observers of the political process, who will weigh in on how those results will affect Bergen County.

Presented by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s Bergen LEADS civic leadership program, Fifth Friday is a powerful networking and learning event that attracts leaders from every sector in Bergen County.  The November 22 event will run from 11:30 am to 2 pm and be held at the Stony Hill Inn, in Hackensack.  (This date is actually the fourth Friday in November, due to the Thanksgiving holiday the next week.)
Brigid Callahan Harrison is Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. A frequent commentator in print and electronic media on US politics, she provides regular political analysis to major news outlets and writes a weekly column on New Jersey Politics in the Sunday edition of the Record.

Peter Woolley is Professor of Comparative Politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is co-founder and executive director of FDU’s independent survey research group, PublicMind. His research in public opinion and his political commentary have been cited in news outlets from the Sydney Morning Herald to the Washington Post and the Trenton Times, from NJN to CNN and in newspapers from Alaska’s Ketchikan Daily News to the Miami Herald

The discussion will be moderated by William “Pat” Schuber, former Bergen County Executive and Bergen LEADS seminar director.
Tickets are $40.00 and must be purchased in advance by registering online at or by calling 201-489-9454 Ext. 112.

Presenting sponsor of the 2013 Fifth Friday series is PNC Wealth Management.   Fifth Friday is also supported by TD Bank, Archer & Greiner PC, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, Synetek Solutions, (201) Magazine and The Record.  Sponsorships for the November 22nd event are available. For more information about the Fifth Friday events, or about Bergen LEADS, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 119.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hundreds Ride for a Cause

Thank you to all the riders, volunteers, sponsors, and staff of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and Tomorows Childrens' Fund for making the 18th annual Bergen Bike Tour a success! It was a wonderful day, thanks to you! 

View pictures from the event online, click here.

We can't thank you enough for riding and supporting our benefiting charities - The Volunteer Center of Bergen County and Tomorrows Children's Fund.  Your efforts provide significant funding for programs and services for these organizations, both of which help children right here in Bergen County.  

Thank you!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bergen Bike Tour - TODAY!

Come out to the Bergen Bike Tour today, Sunday, September 29 at Darlington Park, Mahwah.  Our 50 mile riders begin at 8:00am, and then we have a 25 mile and a 10 mile ride for adulrts and a Kids' Ride for children under 10 sponsored by TD Bank.

So grab your bike and your helmet and ride for two local charities, Tomorrows Childrens' Fund and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Local Companies support the Bergen Bike Tour

Perfect weather predicted for this Sunday’s event!

Several area companies have stepped up to sponsor the 18th Annual Bergen Bike Tour, set for Sunday, September 29th at Darlington Park in Mahwah. Proceeds benefit Tomorrows Children’s Fund and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. In addition to providing funds, companies are also forming company teams, volunteering and encouraging customers and employees to ride. 
An added bonus is that the weather prediction for this Sunday is slightly cloudy with ZERO chance of rain!
Sponsors to date include TD Bank; JDD Alderisio; (201) Family; Amica Insurance; Apax Partners; Equinox Fitness Clubs; Inserra ShopRite; Jamis Bicycles; Lakeland Bank; Murphy, Miller & Baglieri, LLP; Oritani Bank Charitable Foundation; Stop and Shop; Synetek Solutions; Tanis & Sons; Visions Federal Credit Union; Baker Sports Marketing; Balance Point Payroll; Columbia Bank; Compensation Solutions; Dunkin' Donuts; Eisai USA Foundation; Flackman Goodman & Potter, P.A; Flavor & Fragrance Specialties; Garden State Wiper; Hackensack University Medical Center; KRE Group; Robert E. Martini, LLC; Myron Corporation; PNC Bank; Rockland Electric Company; Andrew Rubenstein, M.D.; Rudy’s Inflight Catering; Sanzari Companies; Sovereign Santander; Topcon Medical Systems; United Water; Withum Smith+Brown Global Assurance; Zerega Custom Pasta Company; The Alfa Group, USB Private Wealth Management; Allendale Bar & Grill/Mahwah Bar & Grill; Applebee's; Caribbean Aqua; Chatterjee Charitable Foundation; The Dapper Foundation/Hanse Law Firm; Downes Tree Service; Fulton, Timmes, Frega, & Straubinger, P.A.; Law Offices of Elsbeth J. Crusius, LLC; Lowenstein Sandler; Malesardi, Quackenbush, Swift & Company; Morgan Stanley; Sagemark Consulting Private Wealth Management; & RLB Food Distributors.
Thank you sponsors!
We are thrilled that so many companies have stepped up to sponsor the Bergen Bike Tour,” says Phil Murphy, chairman of the event.  “Community-minded companies can be proud of supporting our two charities, because Tomorrows Children and the Volunteer Center provide a range of programs and services that help everyone from children with cancer to the frail elderly, and from people with disabilities to families in crisis.”
More than 400 cyclists will ride routes of 10-, 25- or 50-miles through some of northern Bergen County's most scenic areas. There will also be a "Kids Ride" for children 10 and under.
For more information, visit or to become a sponsor of this stellar event, call Jane He at 201-489-9454, ext. 125.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are you on the list?

Sign up now for the Volunteer Center E-Newsletter.  Every month we send out announcements, volunteer opportunities, and exciting events happening around the Volunteer Center.  The newsletter is great way to stay on top of all things volunteering in Bergen County.
Others ways to stay in touch are our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Pages."Like"us now and never miss an opportunity to find out what this amazing organization is up to!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Family Fun at the Bergen Bike Tour

Sunday, September 29 – Darlington Park, Mahwah, NJ
The 18th Annual Bergen Bike Tour is a great way for families to spend time together, get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors and do good -- all at the same time!  The Bergen Bike Tour will be held on Sunday, September 29th, at Darlington County Park in Mahwah.  Routes of 10, 25 and 50 miles are available for riders of every level.  Kids’ Events, sponsored by TD Bank, will feature a special ride for those 10 and under on small bikes, big wheels and tricycles on our special Kids' Ride track.  The TD Bank Kids' Events will also include antique and new fire trucks to explore, pumpkin painting, face painting, games and crafts - including a lesson in origami - and much more.
We will also be raffling off 4 spectacular Jamis Bicycles kids’ bikes: 1 for boys 7-10 years old, 1 for girls 7-10 years old, 1 for boys 3-5 years old and 1 for girls 3-5 years old.  Thanks to Jamis for donating these snazzy bikes!
After the ride, cyclists of all ages are invited to the family fun picnic featuring a home-cooked barbeque lunch, plus prizes and fun for the whole family.  Register online at or call 1-877-BER-BIKE (237-2453).

Friday, September 13, 2013

Classroom and Community Partnerships – Service-Learning is the tool!

by Debbie Emery

Recently more than 100 educators and school administrators across the state joined together for Service Learning New Jersey: Building Our Future.  Kean University provided a fabulous backdrop for the day, which was co-presented by generationOn, the New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Awards and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.
Educators explored best practices  in service-learning from experts and practitioners in the field, discovered community resources to support initiatives, learned how to use service-learning as a tool to implement core practices and 21st Century skills, and connected with peers in their areas of education.  Whenever the community and the classroom can benefit from each other’s expertise, students win.  
Some comments from attendees included:
  • “...the entire conference was very useful and informative.”
  • “Everything was amazing.  Mainly the workshops.  It was inspiring, educational and motivational.  Thank you.”
  • “It is a definite need for our youth to know they are important.  And that we need listen to our students to see their perspectives on their community and the steps for improvement.”
Plans are already in the works for the 2014 conference.  If you want to receive information about this and other programs around youth volunteerism and service-learning, please contact Debbie Emery at or 201-489-9454, x118.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Volunteer at the Bergen Bike Tour!

If you don't ride, that's okay! It takes many volunteers to make the Bergen Bike Tour great!
The 18th annual Bergen Bike Tour will be on Sunday, September 29, with myriad activities at Darlington Park, in Mahwah. Family-oriented and fun-filled, the event raises funds for the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and Tomorrows Children's Fund.

Volunteer slots are available between 6:30 am and 1:00 pm, and volunteers can help with set up, serve breakfast, prepare goodie bags, clean up, and cheer on riders. All volunteers receive a free, top-quality long-sleeve event t-shirt and refreshments. Join the fun!  Register to volunteer online or contact Debbie Emery at 201-489-9454, x 118.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thanks to our All in a Day's Work Sponsors!

By Kristin Smith 

September 20th marks the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council's corporate day of service, dubbed All In A Day’s Work.  Numerous companies will be volunteering their time to help several non-profits that welcome their assistance. 
Special thanks to the sponsors of the day:  Presenting Sponsor TD Bank, as well as Wells Fargo Advisors, Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors, Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck, and United Water.  The generosity of these local companies makes possible the good work that will be done on that day.
If your company would like top get involved please contact Ellen Lutvak at 201-489-9454 ext. 133 or at
Cheers to volunteers!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Are you Ready for Some Football?

Now’s the time! Super Bowl XLVIII will be here before we know it and your help is needed to make it great for our region! 
The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee is assembling a team of volunteers 15,000+ strong to donate their time as host ambassadors.  Volunteers will represent our region by meeting and greeting visitors at airports, transit hubs, and hotels in both NY and NJ, lending a hand to visitors to our region who attend Super Bowl Boulevard, and assisting at special events on both sides of the river. The support of those people who are interested in sharing their knowledge of the region, are proud of our region’s legacy, and are willing to contribute their time and enthusiasm for the good of the entire region.
When do we need volunteers?
The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee is looking for volunteers from Sunday January 26th to Monday February 3rd.  We ask for a minimum contribution of two volunteer shifts of four hours each, but feel free to sign up for more.    
What will you wear?
Volunteering for the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee is expected to involve two shifts of four hours each, during which volunteers will wear a volunteer uniform that will be yours to keep - a wonderful memento of the role you will play in hosting the entire world the week of the game.

When are the training sessions? 
We will have multiple volunteer training sessions in November in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends in both NJ and NY. You must attend one of these 3 hour training sessions to be eligible to serve as a volunteer so you are versed with basic instruction and information to share with our guests.

This is our region’s first opportunity to host a Super Bowl and our chance to show the world how to do it!  Don’t miss out on being a part of the Super Bowl XLVIII legacy – sign up today.  Join the World’s Biggest Huddle.  Go to  and click on Volunteer.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Remembeing 9-11 Through Service

As the 12th anniversary of September 11th draws closer, many people are wondering what they can do to commemorate the tragic events of that day.
The 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is a coast-to-coast initiative that seeks to observe September 11th as a national day of service, charity and compassion. The 9/11 Day of Service encourages individuals, businesses, schools and other groups to perform acts of service to the community to honor the victims, family members, and survivors of the September 11th attacks on America, as well as the rescue and recovery workers and the thousands of volunteers who gave so much on and following that fateful day.  The goal is to use this day to commit to doing something good for someone else.
The Volunteer Center of Bergen County can help match individuals with opportunities to volunteer; we provide a multitude of choices at hundreds of community agencies.  A comprehensive data base of hundreds of volunteer jobs in and around Bergen County can be found at the Center’s website.
Volunteer Center of Bergen County can be of assistance to those who wish to organize their own projects.   Here are ideas of other simple ways to help:
  • Give blood
  • Donate children’s books to a Head Start center or library
  • Begin collecting money or toys for holiday giving programs
  • Pick up litter in a park or along a sidewalk or roadway
  • Pull weeds in a park or along a sidewalk
  • Paint over graffiti (ask the building owner first!)
  • Offer to run errands for someone who is frail or who is not feeling well
  • Write letters of support to our men and women in the military
  • Donate pet food to a pet shelter
  • Become a mentor to a child, teen or adult through the Volunteer Center’s Mentoring Programs
  • Make tray favors to be distributed to those who receive meals on wheels
  • Offer to sweep a sidewalk or do some gardening for someone who is infirm
  • Donate socks, underwear, and other new items of clothing to a shelter
“We encourage residents of all ages and abilities to mark this day of remembrance with acts of service, helping the less fortunate or a cause in which they are interested,” says Janet Sharma, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center.   “Monetary donations to worthy causes are also needed.  It’s all about recreating the spirit of unity and compassion that arose from the 9/11 tragedy. ”
For more information about the above activities, contact the Volunteer Center of Bergen County at (201) 489-9454.   The Volunteer Center publishes a Guide to Volunteering, which lists more than 100 nonprofit agencies and 400 volunteer positions for people of all ages.  Copies may downloaded free of charge at  or a hard copy can be ordered online with a $5.00 shipping and handling charge.