Monday, June 19, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Dennis!

Dennis Beezley drives the Friday Chore Van #3, and has been a Chore volunteer for 7 years.  Prior to his joining Chore, he was a municipal bond trader.  In his spare time, he enjoys golf, cooking and housepet  ‘wrangling’.  He claims he is very skilled at folding laundry except for fitted sheets.   “ I volunteer for Chore because I’ve always like fixing things.  And I like riding around in trucks cracking jokes.”

Through grants from the Bergen County Division of Senior Services and Office of Community Development as well as from corporations, foundations and individual donations, Chore operates three vans and has 45 volunteers.  Crews, comprised of a driver and from one to three volunteers, are on the road every business day year round. To support the work of Chore in Bergen County, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org,   click on “donate now” and mention Chore in special instructions. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Tom!

Tom Veit joined the Thursday, Chore Van #1 crew 5 years ago, after a career in client service and marketing.  In addition to Chore,  Tom actively volunteers with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Foster Children) and St. Elizabeth’s Food Ministry, which feeds the poor by redistributing food from local Bergen County supermarkets/stores to food pantries in Paterson, such as Eva’s Kitchen, CUMAC and Oasis, a haven for women and children.  He enjoys fishing, hiking and kayaking.  “I volunteer for Chore because helping the elderly makes me feel good.  It’s not just fixing things for our clients—it is also listening and engaging with them that is rewarding.  I also enjoy the camaraderie of my co-workers.  We are a diverse group with a shared, common goal-- to help the elderly and disabled in Bergen County.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

THANK YOU JOHN & ALEJANDRA!

JOHN AMAYA                       
It was the summer of 2016 and I was looking for a place to do my internship. My best friend Gerardo, told me about a place where he volunteers called Bergen Volunteer Center. Gerardo put me in contact with Debbie Emery, one of the sweetest people I have ever met.

I was brought in to work in the front office, which to be truthful, I wasn't sure I wanted to do. It wasn't because I didn’t want to do it, but more so I was self-conscious about my stuttering. The thought of answering the phones and talking to people so concerned me that I almost quit. But luckily I was able to work with such wonderful people as Beanne, Debbie, Eva, Francine and Yami just to name a few. They never seemed to be bothered by my stuttering and were always more than willing to lend me a hand when I was confused about something.

Working at BVC showed me what can be done in a community when the right people are in charge of the resources. Without the help of the BVC, Bergen County wouldn't be the wonderful place it is for the residents who live here. Out of all the many wonderful services BVC provides, my favorite experience was going with Debbie to places like Bergen Community College to help recruit volunteers.

Overall I must say that my time at BVC is one that I will cherish. It inspired me to help out my community more often. I was taught a wonderful lesson at BVC, giving back to the community can be the most satisfying feeling a person can have in life.

Next year, I will be a freshman at New Jersey Institute of Technology majoring in computer engineering.


ALEJANDRA ACHURY
My name is Alejandra Achury, I'm a high school senior from River Dell Regional High School. I recently spent 5 months volunteering at the Bergen Volunteer Center, which was a very rewarding experience.

The reason I chose BVC was because I want to pursue a career in the non-profit industry. My dream is to do something where I can improve or change the lives of those who need it through a non-profit organization or an international human rights organization. Bergen Volunteer Center seemed to be the perfect fit.

During my internship I helped organize events such as Celebrate Volunteers and Family Volunteer Day. I also answered calls, verified information online and improved the profile of the agencies on the website. But most important, I learned a lot about how essential communication and marketing is to an organization trying to reach and help the community.

This internship allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. I did my best every time I went to the Bergen Volunteer Center and I am grateful to all the people there who taught me so many things.

Next year, I'll be a freshman at Baruch College studying economics.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Lee!

Lee McQuade joined Chore 5 years ago, after a career in Marketing, Sales and Training.  He also continues to work part time, and will be completing his 15th year with Enterprise Fleet Leasing.  He volunteers his time with the Clean Water Cleanup Association.  When not volunteering or working, Lee enjoys   gardening, flying, sailing and hiking and is a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Hackensack River Canoe and Kayak Club.  Lee enjoys volunteering with Chore for the chance to help out elderly neighbors, the enjoyment of being with his Friday, Van #1 crew, and the opportunity to increase his personal  knowledge of ‘Do-It-Yourself’ projects.  “The clients are very appreciative of Chore activities in Bergen County.  Some even have baked goods for us.  We enjoy listening to the clients’ personal  stories of  their own backgrounds and past working experiences.” 

Through grants from the Bergen County Division of Senior Services and Office of Community Development as well as from corporations, foundations and individual donations, Chore operates three vans and has 45 volunteers.  Crews, comprised of a driver and from one to three volunteers, are on the road every business day year round. To support the work of Chore in Bergen County, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org,   click on “donate now” and mention Chore in special instructions. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bergen Volunteer Center Welcomes New Officers and Board Members


The Bergen Volunteer Center is excited to announce our newly elected Officers and Directors:

James Brown of Teaneck, is newly elected 1st Vice President. Mr. Brown is a CPA, Bergen LEADS alumni and a member of many community organizations.

Roberta Sonenfeld of Ridgewood, is the new Treasurer. Ms. Sonenfeld has worked closely with the Center for many years, is on the Bergen LEADS advisory panel and is a former Village Manager for Ridgewood.

Elected to a second, 3-year-term is R. Scott Wolff, a resident of Ho-Ho-Kus. Mr. Wolff is the owner and managing partner of Premier Risk Management.

Now meet our new Board Members:
Paul Thomasset, a resident of Allendale. Mr. Thomasset is a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network.

Donovan Rodrigues, a resident of Englewood. Mr. Rodrigues is a business and entertainment lawyer at Rodrigues Law, PLLC.

Marina Chassipis, a resident of Upper Saddle River. Ms. Chassipis is a management consultant for Axiom Consulting.

From left to right: Bergen Volunteer Center President Michael Stern; CEO Lynne Algrant; New Board Members: Donovan Rodrigues and Paul Thomasset


From left to right: Bergen Volunteer Center Officers: 1st Vice President, James Brown; Board President, Michael Stern; CEO, Lynn Algrant; Secretary, Kathleen Pless; Treasurer, Roberta Sonenfeld and Board Member Mike Smith

The Bergen Volunteer Center turns caring into meaningful action by engaging volunteers to meet community needs. For information about Volunteer Center programs and services, call 201-489-9454 or visit www.bergenvolunteers.org.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Sam, Rick & Thom

Through grants from the Bergen County Division of Senior Services and Office of Community Development as well as from corporations, foundations and individual donations, Chore operates three vans and has 45 volunteers.  Crews, comprised of a driver and from one to three volunteers, are on the road every business day year round. To support the work of Chore in Bergen County, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org,   click on “donate now” and mention Chore in special instructions.



Sam Mukherjee, Rick Amato and Thom Fiore are the Thursday, Chore Van #3 crew


Mrs. K writes:  “I appreciate the fine work of your volunteer crews and the patience and personal attention of the office staff.  Chore is a blessing for struggling Bergen County seniors.  I’ve enclosed a small donation which is in no way commensurate with the services performed.” 

Learn more about Chore online at http://bergenvolunteers.org/chore-service.html.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Cliff!

Cliff Hook has been volunteering for Chore for 4 years, and is part of the Tuesday, Chore Van #3 crew.  He is a CPA and prior to retiring he was the Executive Director of a large international law firm in Manhattan.  He is also involved with The Orpheus Men’s Chorus and AARP Tax-Aide.

Cliff volunteers for Chore because he likes doing repair projects around his 80 year old house, which provides lots of opportunities for repair projects.  After retirement, he thought it would be nice to help others while doing something he enjoys.  He says that working with his fellow volunteers has also been a wonderful experience.


“It is hard to sum up the varied experiences that Chore has provided.  It is very fulfilling to be told, after installing a grab bar in the bathroom of a cancer patient, that ‘we have given her back her life’ because she can now use the bathroom again.  Likewise with the appreciation expressed by the elderly woman who said Chore was helping her stay in the home she loved.  It is hard to see how difficult life has become for some people because of illness or age and to look about and see the photos and memorabilia of better days past.  We do what we can to make things a bit better.  The kindness and caring of my fellow volunteers has amazed and inspired me.”

Learn more about Chore online at http://bergenvolunteers.org/chore-service.html.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Next Generation LEADers - Part 2

Recently the students in College LEADS at Bergen Community College and Ridgewood Teen LEADS held their presentations of their projects.  These programs, modeled after Bergen LEADS, allow students to take a deep dive into the inner workings of Bergen County and explore how public policy impacts our neighbors.  Both groups of students were breath-taking in their insights, their compassion and their fierce commitment to stay civically engaged.

Ridgewood Teen LEADS

The Ridgewood High School students chose to learn more about poverty in Ridgewood and Bergen County. They found themselves shocked and surprised by the level of poverty in the community of which they had been previously unaware. 

“There are approximately 1,700 people living in poverty in Ridgewood.  Our high school has 1,800 students.”

With site visits to the Bergen County Jail, the Housing, Health and Human Service Center, MEVO Fresh Roots Farm, Share House, Bergen Family Promise and the Center for Food Action, the students learned first- hand about the struggles of those in poverty and the correlation between poverty and educational challenges.

Several students said that they had become much more interested in public policy through the program.  They were shocked that so many in NJ are unable to access federal programs that are meant to help them. And they were dismayed to discover that some programs are poorly designed to help those who need it most.

As part of their project, they held a food drive for the Center for Food Action and will be selling stress balls during exams to raise money for Bergen Family Promise.  Their lasting gift to the community is a website to direct people to services in the community. View the site here, http://bergenservices.weebly.com/.

The future is bright with such compassionate, committed, next generation LEADers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Next Generation LEADers - Part 1

Recently the students in College LEADS at Bergen Community College and Ridgewood Teen LEADS held their presentations of their projects.  These programs, modeled after Bergen LEADS, allow students to take a deep dive into the inner workings of Bergen County and explore how public policy impacts our neighbors.  Both groups of students were breath-taking in their insights, their compassion and their fierce commitment to stay civically engaged.

College LEADS

This year marked the first time we have offered College LEADS at Bergen Community College.  Although no credit was offered, 40 students willing participated in the program to learn more about the community.  They chose to study the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing Bergen County.  With site visits to the Bergen County Jail, the Housing, Health and Human Service Center, Paramus Police Department, Paramus Ambulance Corp, Holy Name Medical Center Emergency Department, Spring House and the CarePlus Outpatient program and teachers and administrators of the Riverdell School District, the students gained incredible insight into struggles of addiction and recovery.

Their presentation was marked by sensitivity and compassion.  Each student spoke of how moved they were by the honesty and courage of those in recovery.  They were awed by the commitment of recovery counselors and staff members at their site visits.

Most importantly, each student spoke of a renewed commitment to help others understand the disease of addiction and to helping reduce the stigma so that people can confidently seek help.

One student ended the presentation by quoting one of his favorite movies as a child “Barnyard:”
“A strong man stands up for himself; a stronger man stands up for others.”
Here is a short film they created:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9l-LMHcJjY&t=1s.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Rick!

Rick Amato has been a part of the Thursday, Chore Van #3 crew for the past 8 years.  Previously, he worked professionally as a draftsman for Florian Greenhouses in West Milford.  When his sons were growing up, he was a stay at home dad and was very happy to be a big part of his children’s  school and after school lives. Once they graduated high school, he made the choice to spend time volunteering.  A friend who was involved with the Bergen Volunteer Center suggested Chore because of Rick’s love of doing home improvements.  When he is not volunteering, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, and all types of fishing—freshwater, saltwater and ice fishing.  “I work with Chore because I believe that using the talents God gave me to help others is a gift.  I am thankful for the opportunity to help seniors—what we do for them truly makes their lives easier.”

Learn more about Chore online at http://bergenvolunteers.org/chore-service.html.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Ed, Claude, and Pete!

The typical Chore client lives in an older, single family home built before 1950.  Most are widows whose late husbands used to perform all the household repairs.  Many have no family or other support nearby to help.



Ed Morandi, Claude Guillemain and Pete Tilgner are the Monday, Chore Van #2 crew.

Mrs. Z writes: “I was feeling low this morning, and the Chore crew lifted my spirits just by being here.  I miss my husband—he used to do all this stuff.”

Learn more about Chore online at http://bergenvolunteers.org/chore-service.html.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Joe V!

Joe Vaccaro is one of Chore’s most recent volunteers, joining the Thursday, Chore Van #2 crew in January, 2017.  Before he retired he was a carpenter/contractor, and he brings those skills to us, to ensure the safety of our elderly and disabled neighbors in their homes.  He enjoys wood carving in his spare time.  “I volunteer for Chore to use my skills to help those in need.”

To celebrate this incredibly impactful program that enables thousands of seniors and disabled individuals to live safely and independently in their homes, please join us at the 40th Anniversary of Chore BeefsteakDinner!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
6 pm -10 pm
Camp Merritt-Cresskill American Legion
Tickets are $50
Includes dinner, soda, beer, wine and dessert!  Catered by Nightingale!
Entertainment provided by the Flying Ivories Dueling Pianos!


Visit bergenvolunteers.org/chore-beefsteak.html or call 201-489-9454 to purchase your tickets TODAY!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Terry!

Before joining Chore in 2008, Terry O’Connor’s line of work was in Advertising and Marketing Research.  He is a member of the Tuesday, Chore Van #1 crew.  When asked if he had any hobbies other than volunteering for Chore, he said ‘ Bothering wife, embarrassing children and scandalizing grandchildren’.  Of course this response was tongue-in-cheek, as he is extremely earnest about why he volunteers for Chore.  As Terry sees it, he is proud that he and his crew fill the needs of the elderly who don’t have children or relatives nearby,  by replacing bulbs, installing grab bars and testing smoke alarms, among other jobs.  “Growing up I was never told by my parents or teachers that I was going to heaven; it was quite the reverse in fact.  A number of Chore clients have assured me that I was headed there.  As I get older, I welcome such assurances. On a serious note, Chore gives us the opportunity to keep someone safer or more comfortable or simply happier with his/her life.  That makes us all feel better!”

To celebrate this incredibly impactful program that enables thousands of seniors and disabled individuals to live safely and independently in their homes, please join us at the 40th Anniversary of Chore BeefsteakDinner!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
6 pm -10 pm
Camp Merritt-Cresskill American Legion
Tickets are $50
Includes dinner, soda, beer, wine and dessert!  Catered by Nightingale!
Entertainment provided by the Flying Ivories Dueling Pianos!


Visit bergenvolunteers.org/chore-beefsteak.html or call 201-489-9454 to purchase your tickets TODAY!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Herman!

Herman Wahlers is an 8-year member of the Monday Chore Van #3 crew.  When he is not volunteering with Chore or with his church, he enjoys traveling, hiking, reading and tinkering on things around the house.


He remembers a 102 year-old client who looked and acted 20 years younger.  She told the crew that her children only recently suggested that she give up driving.  He says that experience gave him inspiration to stay active and enjoy every moment.  “I think that Chore is a nice service that allows elderly people to remain in their homes where they feel more comfortable.”






To celebrate this incredibly impactful program that enables thousands of seniors and disabled individuals to live safely and independently in their homes, please join us at the 40th Anniversary of Chore BeefsteakDinner!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
6 pm -10 pm
Camp Merritt-Cresskill American Legion
Tickets are $50
Includes dinner, soda, beer, wine and dessert!  Catered by Nightingale!
Entertainment provided by the Flying Ivories Dueling Pianos!


Visit bergenvolunteers.org/chore-beefsteak.html or call 201-489-9454 to purchase your tickets TODAY!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Bruce, Carlos, Rich, and Jim!


Bruce Linke, Carlos Ramirez, Rich Heslin and Jim Bergen make up the Wednesday, Chore Van #1 crew.

Many Chore clients have been helped by Chore for many years.  The clients feel comfortable with the men and women who have been coming to their homes regularly—they often bake special treats like cookies and cakes for their special crews.


Mrs. L writes: “I feel so fortunate to have found Chore.  I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful help in Bergen County.  The men who come to help us are so very professional and very nice.  You have no idea how badly we seniors can be taken for granted by ‘so-called’ handymen who may advertise in the local newspapers.  I so appreciate you folks for your kindness and expertise.”

To celebrate this incredibly impactful program that enables thousands of seniors and disabled individuals to live safely and independently in their homes, please join us at the 40th Anniversary of Chore BeefsteakDinner!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
6 pm -10 pm
Camp Merritt-Cresskill American Legion
Tickets are $50
Includes dinner, soda, beer, wine and dessert!  Catered by Nightingale!
Entertainment provided by the Flying Ivories Dueling Pianos!


Visit bergenvolunteers.org/chore-beefsteak.html or call 201-489-9454 to purchase your tickets TODAY!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ramsey Company Brings the Joy of Reading to Local Children

Thanks to Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, over 350 new children’s books were distributed through the Bergen Volunteer Center’s Books in a Bag program. The Books in a Bag drive engages companies in employee volunteering and workplace giving. 
           
The drive took place in March as part of National Reading Month at Konica Minolta’s Ramsey facility and included a $375 donation. The books were given to students in a local grade school.

“Konica Minolta Business Solutions is a great community partner with a strong understanding of what is needed to do good,” says Lynne Algrant, CEO of the Bergen Volunteer Center.


The Bergen Volunteer Center provides customized volunteer projects, including skills-based volunteering and support for corporate social responsibility initiatives. The BVC makes doing good an easy part of doing business by building high-impact employee led-programs that are locally significant and socially relevant. Companies with the right engagement tools and guidance can create incredible social change, while having a fun, memorable team building experience! For more information about the BVC, contact Maureen Cameron at 201-489-9454, ext. 204 or mcameron@bergenvolunteers.org.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In Support of Mental Health Awareness


Volunteer mentors with the Mentoring Moms program attended the Mental Health First Aid training which was offered at Bergen Community College on Friday, April 7, 2017.  Mentors gained valuable understanding how best to offer support to someone who may be in emotional distress.  Upon completion of the 8-hour course, participants are certified in Mental Health First Aide and are trained to provide initial help to people experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis and substance abuse disorders.   

Mentor Marcie Singer, who attended the class said of the workshop,“This is a must class for everyone, for life.  Just like first aid/CPR. A great certification…for all of life's challenges.” Special thanks to Professor Kathleen Pignatelli, Director of the Bergen Community College Wellness Center for offering this opportunity to Mentoring Moms mentors.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Tim!

In addition to being a part of the Wednesday, Chore Van # 2 crew for the past 8 years, Tim Africano also spends time volunteering at his town’s elementary school, tutoring 4th graders in math, spelling and science, in addition to volunteering at Holy Name Hospital where he helps out by  transporting patients and running various other errands for different departments throughout the hospital.

When he is not volunteering, Tim enjoys long distance running, reading and playing with his Old English Sheepdog.


“Chore ultimately is an expression of love toward our neighbors in the community. To be a part of a program that keeps vulnerable people safe in their homes at no cost to them other than that of the supplies is amazing and awesome.   I volunteer for Chore because I enjoy using various tools, working with my hands to complete projects in a professional manner, and for the incredible camaraderie I feel towards my fellow crew members.  We once helped a young woman who had no use of her legs. This made me realize how lucky I am to be healthy and able-bodied.”   

To celebrate this incredibly impactful program that enables thousands of seniors and disabled individuals to live safely and independently in their homes, please join us at the 40th Anniversary of Chore BeefsteakDinner!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
6 pm -10 pm
Camp Merritt-Cresskill American Legion
Tickets are $50
Includes dinner, soda, beer, wine and dessert!  Catered by Nightingale!
Entertainment provided by the Flying Ivories Dueling Pianos!


Visit bergenvolunteers.org/chore-beefsteak.html or call 201-489-9454 to purchase your tickets TODAY!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

FREE WEBINAR: Marketing for Nonprofit

The Bergen Volunteer Center is offering a variety of free live webinars on various topics. These one-hour online sessions are for anyone who wants to continually learn or get more information on a topic. Our next topic is Marketing on a Shoestring: Take a Step Back in Order to Move Forward. Please join us Wednesday, April 26 from 1:00 - 2:00pm.  Register here.

Does your not-for-profit organization struggle to get its message across to its target audience? Even if your organization does not have the resources to employ a marketing staff, there are actions you can take to better communicate your message and achieve your marketing goals, whether those goals are to reach new people, strengthen ties to your existing audience, raise funds or grow your organization. Learn the steps you need to take and what tools are at your disposal.

At the end of the webinar participants will know:
  • The steps you need to take to create a marketing plan 
  • Key elements of your marketing plan 
  • Mistakes to avoid 
Who should attend?
  • Executive Directors, Senior Staff Members, Staff Members at not-for-profits with little or no marketing support


About the Speaker

Alan Levine
Levine Marketing Solutions

Alan Levine is President of Levine Marketing Solutions, a full-service provider of marketing, business development and communications services for professional service firms and not-for-profit organizations, focusing on marketing strategy and execution. He has extensive experience in the full range of marketing and communications, including marketing planning and implementation, advertising and collateral material, market research, community service, marketing events, public and media relations, social media and customer research. Alan is a hands-on marketer, rolling up his sleeves as necessary to ensure that his clients achieve their marketing objectives.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Nunzio, Al, and Joe!

When the Chore Handyman Service was established 40 years ago, it was with 2 goals in mind:  to organize handy volunteers who would perform minor home repairs to keep senior and disabled homeowners safe in their own homes, AND to provide a satisfying volunteer experience for people with repair skills.

That’s why each volunteer is part of a crew of 2 to 4 people—they are always assigned together and travel in the same truck each week.  Long standing friendships have been formed, and the volunteers learn repair tips and techniques from each other.




Nunzio Garzino, Al Ott and Joe Vaccaro are the Thursday, Chore Van # 2 crew.


Mrs. B., a Chore client, writes:  “Thank goodness for Chore!  My front door entrance is well lit now.  Your representatives are so very professional.”

To celebrate this incredibly impactful program that enables thousands of seniors and disabled individuals to live safely and independently in their homes, please join us at the 40th Anniversary of Chore BeefsteakDinner!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
6 pm -10 pm
Camp Merritt-Cresskill American Legion
Tickets are $50
Includes dinner, soda, beer, wine and dessert!  Catered by Nightingale!
Entertainment provided by the Flying Ivories Dueling Pianos!


Visit bergenvolunteers.org/chore-beefsteak.html or call 201-489-9454 to purchase your tickets TODAY!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Place Matters

Place Matters--and Bergen County is a great place for low-income kids. A new ground-breaking study takes a look at the impact of where kids grow up on their adult earnings. Bergen County ranks 3rd in the nation and 1st in New Jersey as a place where low-income kids are able to better their lives. "Every year a poor child lives in Bergen County adds $180 to his or her annual income at age 26." They will be less likely to be a single parent and more likely to attend college.

So what does Bergen County have that other places don't? According to the
NY Times, the difference is elementary schools with higher test scores, a higher percentage of two-parent families, high levels of civic engagement and better socio-economic and racial integration.

We've always known that Bergen County was a great place for kids, but isn't it great to know that it is a land of opportunity as well? This study makes me even prouder to be at The Volunteer Center of Bergen County--the center of Civic Engagement and Leadership with programs like
Bergen LEADS and Ready Set Serve. As importantly, despite these statistics, we know that growing up poor in Bergen County isn't easy. So we have Bergen Mentors to provide caring, well-trained and well-supported Mentors to kids at risk and to moms, whose kids are at risk.

Place Matters--Bergen County is a national leader in providing lifelong opportunity--and The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is making it better every day!

Lynne H. Algrant

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month


The Bergen Volunteer Center hosted Celebrate Volunteers on March 27th, a community-wide event to honor volunteers who help our organizations extend our reach and further our impact.  With 150 volunteers from 16 local nonprofits and companies in attendance, there was no friendlier or warmer room in all of Bergen County.

There are numerous studies and surveys that try to capture the impact of volunteerism.  Some studies record hours and assign a "value," based upon prevailing wages in an attempt to calculate the value of the time donated. Other studies try to quantify the economic benefit to the clients served. However, none of these studies can calculate the value of caring and knowing that someone cares enough to give of themselves and their time.

Agency after agency spoke of the transformative power of caring.  The Thursday hotline volunteer at the Center for Hope and Safety--a warm, caring voice to provide guidance and support to a domestic violence victim; the mentors who let kids and moms know that they are worthy of love; the "mailing ladies" at Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, who fold and label and post mailings year after year; the iTN volunteer, whose schedule this week alone will provide rides to 7 different seniors--and on and on and on....

And every single volunteer in the room said some version of "I get more out of volunteering than I give." Volunteers are the best people in the world.  Thank You--is just a small token of our appreciation.

A big Thank You to our sponsors of the evening, Boiling Springs Savings Bank, Sharp, AARP of New Jersey, Applebee’s, GreenLink Networks and Synetek Solutions.

To learn how to get involved in volunteering please visit bergenvolunteers.org.


The Bergen Volunteer Center turns caring into meaningful action by engaging volunteers to meet community needs.