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!