Friday, June 28, 2013

Welcome Jack Daniels Motors!

The Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) is delighted to announce Jack Daniels Motors as a new member! Welcome!

The BVC is a program of the Volunteer Center that helps community minded companies do good while doing well. The BVC counts 30 plus member companies which represent every sector of the economy and range in size from small, local businesses to major international corporations. Despite their differences, members agree that being a good neighbor and good corporate citizen impacts our community – and their bottom line.
The BVC mobilizes more than 30,000 employee volunteers every year, with a specific focus on impacting the lives of low-income children and families.
BVC activity revolves around four annual strategic initiatives designed to address literacy, emotional well-being, hunger and education. Through these initiatives, the BVC has generated more than $1.4 million in resources in 12 years.
For more information on the BVC please contact Ellen Lutvak, BVC Coordinator, at the Volunteer Center.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Teens Prove That We Are Stronger Than The Storm

 
 

14 teens from Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield recently pitched in to help Bergen County  Hurricane Sandy survivors.  They painted the basement for a widow who lives in Little Ferry and helped clean up the yard for a gentleman who had been displaced from his home since October’s devastating storm.   Led by group leader Iris Schwartz, these hard-working and kind-hearted teens helped to restore some order and normalcy for some grateful neighbors. The team had just completed a week of service in New Orleans as well.

For information on how you can help out with Hurricane Sandy Recovery, contact Marisa Santiago, Volunteer Coordinator for the Bergen County Long Term Recovery Committee at msantiago@bergenvolunteers.org.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Companies needed to organize summer food drives for children

Business Volunteer Council (BVC) Kicks off  Brown Bag Buddies
 
Hundreds of children from needy families receive breakfast and lunch during the school year through subsidized school meal programs.  When schools close for summer vacation, these meals are not available. Low-income families strapped for cash sometimes have to make the choice between paying rent or going hungry.
 
Companies are needed to host employee food drives during the summer to help these families.  The goal for 2013 is 10,000 pounds of food. The BVC is coordinating the effort to collect “kid-friendly”, non-perishable breakfast and lunch food items.  The food collected during this initiative, entitled Brown Bag Buddies, will be delivered to the Center for Food Action and other local food pantries during July and August. A free information kit with lots of “how-to’s” is available by calling (201) 489-9454 Ext. 133.
 
According to statistics from the National School Lunch Program, more than 385,000 children in New Jersey, including over 20,000 who live in Bergen County, receive free or reduced price meals in their schools.  Last year, only 11 percent of the children participating in the National School Lunch Program had access to nutritious meals in the summer. 
 
“The wages of the working poor have not kept up with housing, transportation and child care costs. Without school meals, families must turn to the food pantries to provide nutritional meals for their children,” says Ellen Lutvak, BVC coordinator at the Volunteer Center.
 
Since 2000, over $334,000 worth of food and grocery gift cards, which equates to  over one hundred thousand pounds of food,  have been  distributed through Brown Bag Buddies.  
 
“We are asking all companies in northern New Jersey to encourage their employees to participate in this summer food drive,” continues Ms. Lutvak. “Remember, hunger never takes a vacation.”
 
The sponsors for this year’s drive are United Water, BD, Rockland Electric, Sealed Air, Cole,Schotz,Meisel, Forman & Leonard, KPMG and Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck.
 
For more information about Brown Bag Buddies or the other programs of the BVC, call (201) 489-9454, Ext. 133 or e-mail elutvak@bergenvolunteers.org.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Presenting the Volunteer Center Video!


The Volunteer Center has a brand new video!  The world premier was at our annual Derby Day party, where it received a very positive response.  It’s now ready for the world, and we invite you to watch.   Please comment, share, post and help spread the word about volunteering!
 
 
A special thank you to all who helped create it. 
 
Learn more about the Volunteer Center and its programs at bergenvolunteers.org.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This Wednesday is National Dine Out Day!

Dine out with friends and family and make a difference!  On Wednesday, June 19, restaurants across the country are donating a portion of their sales to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.  The Fund supports organizations that aid in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of New Jersey communities impacted by the storm.

Learn more here, http://www.nationaldineoutday.com/index.html.
 
Find participating restaurants here, http://www.nationaldineoutday.com/locations.html.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bergen VolunTEENS at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood

By Debbie Emery



Just the other day, four 9th grade students from Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood presented their leadership project to groups of 8th graders at the Janis E. Dismus School.  Who better to teach teens preparing to enter high school about the myths and realities of what lies ahead for them.
 
Throughout their freshman year, four very determined and bright students, Antonella Bermeo, Mike Gallago, Isaiah Jones and Jahrael Smith, worked on leadership, team building and civic engagement with advisors Lynne Algrant and Debbie Emery from the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. 
 
Each Friday, this group would meet for a period to look at community issues, their role in creating change and the development of what would become their focus project, a mentoring program to help the next freshman class prepare for the exciting but often overwhelming challenge of moving on to high school.  Families, teachers and school staff certainly aid in this process.  However, bringing students in who have just had this similar experience gave the 8th graders a chance to really get the student perspective first-hand.  Antonella, Mike, Isaiah and Jahrael provided terrific insight into this transition through serious conversation and humor.  This cleaver group of students even developed a unique and powerful philosophy for working smart, RIDDLE!!

Responsibility

Intelligence

Determination

Do your work

Learn everything

Earn success
 
Everybody wants to feel important, valued and heard, and young people have so much to share and teach.   Our programs for teens, modeled on our Bergen LEADS civic leadership program for adults, give students the knowledge and tools to analyze issues and develop fresh approaches that, perhaps, adult leaders may never have considered.  These programs help students understand how things work and awaken interest in public service.  They help to strengthen the community and build a network of connected, civically engaged young leaders, eager for a role in the future.
 
For more information about  Youth programs at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, please contact Debbie Emery, Program Director at 201-489-9454, ext. 118 or demery@bergenvolunteers.org.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Welcome to the Board!

The 46th Annual Meeting of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County was held at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Thursday, June 6.  It was a great breakfast to welcome in new Board Members and say goodbye to some exiting Board Members who will truly be missed.

We would like to welcome to the Board Kyung-Hee Choi, Holy Name Medical Center, Harrington Park; Kevin Delaney,, PNC Bank, Hackensack; Anita Rivers, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack; and Jennie Smith Wilson, Ridgewood Education Foundation, Ridgewood. Welcome!

A special thank you to our departing Boar Members Roger Monaco, Bob Relay, Joyce Baynes, Ellen Rafferty, David Yanagisawa, and Mac Highet.

At the annual meeting we also presented our Annual Report which can be found online here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Welcome Wells Fargo Advisors!

The Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) is delighted to announce Wells Fargo Advisors as a new member! Welcome!
The BVC is a program of the Volunteer Center that helps community minded companies do good while doing well. The BVC counts 30 plus member companies which represent every sector of the economy and range in size from small, local businesses to major international corporations. Despite their differences, members agree that being a good neighbor and good corporate citizen impacts our community – and their bottom line.
 
The BVC mobilizes more than 30,000 employee volunteers every year, with a specific focus on impacting the lives of low-income children and families.
 
BVC activity revolves around four annual strategic initiatives designed to address literacy, emotional well-being, hunger and education. Through these initiatives, the BVC has generated more than $1.4 million in resources in 12 years.
 
For more information on the BVC please contact Ellen Lutvak, BVC Coordinator, at the Volunteer Center.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Attention Parents: Program Teaches Effective Leadership Skills to Youth

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is offering an innovative program that provides young people throughout Bergen County with the leadership skills necessary to play active roles in their local communities.

The Center’s Youth Leadership Institute is taking applications for a two-day workshop that will be presented on Thursday and Friday, June 27 and 28, each day from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.   The sessions will be held at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County in Hackensack.  The workshop is open to students who will be entering grades 8, 9 or 10 in the fall. 

Prospective participants are required to submit an application form, click here for form.    Upon acceptance to the program, the fee for each student is $50.00.

The purpose of the Youth Leadership Institute is to provide youth with the encouragement, peer networks and leadership skills necessary for them to make meaningful contributions to their communities and begin what is hoped will be a life-long commitment to service.  Its interactive curriculum provides leadership training typically available only to corporate executives and government leaders.  It features a challenging series of lessons and exercises on community needs analysis, goal setting, team building, project planning, decision-making and other leadership dynamics.

Debbie Emery, Director of Community Volunteer Services at the Volunteer Center and certified Youth Leadership trainer says, “Many public and private schools encourage students’ community involvement; many have mandatory service requirements.  Colleges are looking for prospective students to submit resumes of service activities.”

For more information on the Youth Leadership Institute, call Debbie Emery at (201) 489-9454 ext. 118, or email demery@bergenvolunteers.org