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.