Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities for Spring

NJ Buddies is looking for volunteers on Saturday, March 30 and Saturday, April 6 from 11am - 6pm, to work at information tables at local Walgreens stores.  Volunteers will set up tables, distribute information, and oversee a collection jar.  Volunteers who are interested can email Raymond Welsh at ray.njbuddies@gmail.com.

Adler Aphasia Center, Maywood, is looking for volunteers in two positions.  Two volunteers are needed to provide Technology support for Adler’s hardware, software and overall systems. Volunteers must be at least 25 and have the ability to delegate tasks and  communicate well.  Please call Ava at 201-368-8585 to learn more or to sign up.

Volunteers are also needed at Adler to work as Technology Lab Partners.  Lab partners will use computers and/or iPads with specially designed software application programs which are intended to help members stimulate their speech. Volunteers must be 18 and available from May 6 - August 15 from 10:30-2:30pm.  Please call Ava at 201-368-8585 to learn more or to sign up.

Jewish Family Service is looking for volunteer Friendly Visitors in Bergen and North Hudson County.  Volunteers will provide socialization to homebound and isolated clients through regular home visits.  Please call Jeff at 201-837-9090, ext. 238 to find out more.

Call Us Clowns is looking for new recruits! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer clown, now is the time!  The next basic training course begins on Monday, April 1, and runs for eight (8) weeks. Classes will meet once-a-week on Mondays, from 1 – 4 PM in Hackensack. The course is required for new members and is designed to teach you skills to become a working member of our troupe. Call 201-805-2567 to learn more.

NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome is looking for volunteers for their NJ Walk for TS of Ramapo College. Volunteers are needed on Sunday, April 14 from 12-3pm at Ramapo College in Mawhah.  Volunteers will help with registration, water stations, and any other day-of projects.  If you want to volunteer contact Martha Butterfield at 908-575-7350.

Boys & Girls Club of Lodi is looking for volunteers to help its custodial department.  If interested, please contact Joe Licata at 973-473-7410, ext. 113.

For more Volunteer opportunities, click here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Hurricane Sandy Recovery Website

by Elizabeth Bailey
Almost immediately after Superstorm Sandy, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County mobilized the Bergen County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) to foster communication among the broad network of community and faith-based organizations.  The VOAD has now formed the Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) to assist victims of the storm. The project has been awarded major grants from the Robin Hood Relief Fund ($200,000), the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund ($200,000) and the Russell Berrie Foundation ($70,000).  The LTRC is opening the The Recovery Information Center (located at the Moonachie First Presbyterian Church at 221 Moonachie Road in Moonachie) and has hired two case managers to help meet the unmet needs in our county.
The official website is www.bergenvoad.org and all of our Hurricane Sandy relief efforts are being documented on the website. We have been able to create a user-friendly site to keep our actions as transparent and accessible as possible. Our events can found through this link http://www.bergenvoad.org/category/upcoming-events/.
We have also created a Facebook page and twitter account for those who are on the go and want quicker updates. Please “like” our Facebook page and follow our Twitter for up-to-the-minute details on funding, events, and important information. We are very enthusiastic about helping all Bergen residents still in need!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

World Renew Joins Bergen VOAD to Restore Bergen County

by Elizabeth Bailey
The Long Term Recovery Committee of the Bergen County VOAD (Voluntary Organizatons Active in Disaster) is partnering with World Renew, an international Christian relief group, to have teams of volunteers conduct a door-to-door surveys of Bergen County residents who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, primarily in the flood area in Southern Bergen County. The surveys will be conducted in person from March 19 through March 28.
The World Renew volunteers, who are nicknamed the “Green Shirts” due to their uniforms, will be assessing  residents who have filed a claim with FEMA. All interviews and evaluations will be conducted face-to-face to assure accuracy. The Green Shirts are specially trained to assess damage, assist with federal relief forms, and deal with psychological aftereffects from loss.  The “Green Shirts” have been conducting assessments in response to disasters around the world for 20 years and plan on bringing survey teams to all of the heavily impacted communities. Bergen County is the first New Jersey Hurricane Sandy area that the teams will visit.
World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) staff and volunteers were on the scene in NY just days after Hurricane Sandy decimated parts of NYC.  They will be a key part to restoring New Jersey.
Please visit the VOAD, LTRC website as well as the VOAD Facebook and Twitter pages for important updates, empowering information, and exciting events to help those still in need from Hurricane Sandy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

We heart Sponsors!

Special thanks to TD Bank for committing to $24,000 to support Volunteer Center fundraising events in 2013!  We are pleased to welcome TD Bank as Benefactor of Celebrate Volunteers on April 10; Golden Horseshoe Sponsor of Derby Day on May 4; Event Sponsor of Fifth Friday networking events on March 22, May 31 and November 22; Sponsor of the Bergen LEADS Graduation and Community Forum; Presenting Sponsor of the BVC's community volunteer day, All in a Day's Work, in September; and the Kids' Event Sponsor for the Bergen Bike Tour on September 29th. Thank you, TD Bank!  
Sponsorship of Volunteer Center events provides an opportunity for companies to give back to the community in which they do business, while positioning their brand as a community partner with a respected organization.  For more information about our event sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Volunteers Needed to Mentor Mothers and their Families

Women volunteers are needed for the Volunteer Center’s Mentoring Moms program.
Any mother can tell you that raising children is the toughest and most important job anyone can have, and it’s a struggle even when parents have access to resources and social support.  But consider a single mom.  She probably has financial worries and few nearby family members to depend on.  Maybe she, or a member of her family, is facing emotional, behavioral or physical challenges.  Odds are that she’s living paycheck to paycheck, or maybe she lost her job.  How can she afford a place to live and put food on the table for her family?  She is overwhelmed and doesn’t know how to get the help she needs—food stamps, affordable child care, tips on job searching and resume writing.  She has no one to talk with, to share her ups and downs, and relieve the stress she faces each day trying to keep it together for her family.  In situations like this, the children can be suffering, as well.
Research has shown that parents who have support from family, friends and the community are more likely to provide safe and healthy homes for their children.  When parents lack this support or feel isolated, they may be more likely to make poor decisions that can lead to neglect or abuse.
Mentoring Moms can provide real help for mothers in these kinds of situations.  Spring volunteer training begins Monday, April 22, and runs five successive Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.  Call (201) 489-9454, ext. 123 to learn how to become a Mentoring Moms volunteer.  We especially need bi-lingual Spanish speaking women to become mentors.
Volunteers are provided training and ongoing support from program staff. Training helps volunteers develop listening, communication and problem solving skills. Guest speakers such as current mentors, mothers who have participated in the program, and social services case workers share their experiences and insight, helping new mentors gain the background and knowledge they can use to support overwhelmed mothers. Through weekly contact, mentors offer emotional and practical support to the mothers. It can be a simple as meeting at a mall to shop for the kids, having lunch together to share stores of their days, or simply listening and offering support.  While each situation is different, one mother aptly described her mentor as “Someone I can talk to besides family, who understands and cares. She makes me think about my life and encourages me.”
For more information about the Mentoring Moms Program or to find out about other Volunteer Center resources, call 201-489-9454.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday - Tickets Going Fast!

A limited number of tickets are still available to attend the Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday luncheon on March 22. A powerful networking and learning event, Fifth Friday attracts leaders from every sector in Bergen County.  The event will be held at the at the Stony Hill Inn, Hackensack, from 11:30 am to 2 pm. Tickets are $40.00 and must be purchased in advance at www.bergenleads.org.
Kevin Wright, master storyteller, historian and author, is the featured speaker on March 22.  While Bergen’s place in history is well documented, we have yet to capitalize on our vibrant past.  Wright will bring to life the prospect for Bergen as a heritage destination, spurring tourism and positively impacting the region’s economy.  He’ll highlight some of the most successful heritage destinations, particularly in Virginia’s Historic Triangle, and relate how Bergen measures up.  
Fifth Friday is hosted by Bergen LEADS, the county’s premier adult civic leadership program. Presenting sponsor of the 2013 Fifth Friday series is PNC Wealth Management. Additional support is provided by TD Bank, Archer & Greiner PC, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, Synetek Solutions, (201) Magazine and The Record.
Sponsorships are still available. For more information about Fifth Friday or Bergen LEADS, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 119.  Bergen LEADS is a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Local boys and girls are looking for heroes

For more than 30 years, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s Mentoring Youth program has provided a lifeline of hope to boys and girls by matching them with trained mentors.  The mentors serve as positive role models; provide guidance, friendship and support, and advocate on behalf of children when necessary. 
The Mentoring Youth program recruits, trains and provides ongoing supervision to adult men and women who serve as mentors to youth age 5-18 confronting emotional or behavioral challenges.  The next  Mentoring Youth volunteer training program begins on Wednesday, April 17.  Training is held on Wednesdays  from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.
“The men and women with our Mentoring Youth program help kids who need someone they can trust, someone to show them they are not alone,” says Janet Sharma, Volunteer Center Executive Director.  “We especially need men to mentor boys and bi-lingual Spanish speaking mentors of both sexes.  And we need more volunteers to sign up!”
“These children are waiting for someone to believe in them, to encourage them and help them see a brighter future,” says Dr. Faith Samples-Smart, Mentoring Youth Program Director.  “We consider time spent with mentors as free time:  free of the challenges children confront in their daily environments at home and/or at school.  What a gift to have this respite and safe zone with a caring adult.”
Mentoring Youth volunteer training is provided at no charge and covers such topics as the benefits of mentoring for volunteers and children; child and adolescent development; understanding child maltreatment; effective listening and communication skills; building rapport and developing strong mentoring relationships; the role of the mentor; and the matching and closure process.  Applicants are required to undergo a comprehensive background check and must submit written letters of recommendation as part of the training course.
For more information about the Mentoring Youth program, contact Dr. Faith Samples-Smart at (201) 489-9454, ext. 115, or visit Mentoring Youth online here..