Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Redefining Retirement - A New Initiative of the Bergen Volunteer Center

Redefining Retirement - A New Initiative of the Bergen Volunteer Center

Volunteer Manager Louisa Hellegers and her team of Redefining Retirement  Matchmakers have started to get the word out about the important role retirees play in keeping Bergen County's non-profit community and its volunteer opportunities informed, invigorated, and in tune with providing great services through engagement.

You can find this dedicated group of volunteers all over our county. "Office" hours are once a month in 5 sites: Garfield, Englewood, Teaneck,
Westwood and Ridgewood. Check them out on Bergen Volunteer Center's website
by clicking on

To find out more, contact Louisa Hellegers at

Monday, October 16, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Steve!

Steve Kaplowitz has been a member of the Thursday Chore Van #1 crew for 5 years.  Prior to retiring, he worked in IT for 35 years, and he was a consultant to large companies setting up HR, Payroll and Benefits Systems. 

 Volunteering is a way of life for Steve; in addition to Chore, he delivers meals for Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels, he visits at-home clients and delivers holiday meals for the Jewish Home in Rockleigh, and he is on the Board of the Warriors’ Run, Inc., a charity motorcycle ride benefiting veterans’ organizations.  When he has some free time, he enjoys fishing and winter skiing, bicycling, and is forming a motorcycle riding club with friends. “We visited a shut-in client who spent her days looking out her window at goings-on outside.  Her roll-down window shade stuck in the down position and she could not raise it.  She could not enjoy doing what she loved.  I removed the roller, rolled it up, reinstalled it, and it worked perfectly.  From that one minute’s work, I saw the joy restored in her face.  I find my time with Chore as an enjoyable day spending time with the friends I have made on the crew; hearing stories from our clients, and giving back to people who need our help, as thanks for my and my family’s blessings.”

Support Chore and the many other programs at the Bergen Volunteer Center at our Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on Thursday, November 9 at the Stony Hill Inn. Visit to learn more.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Paul!

Prior to joining Chore’s Monday Van #1 crew 12 years ago, Paul Siegel was a civil/industrial engineer.  He also volunteers on the Architectural Control Committee of his Homeowners’ Association.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, fishing, playing cards and ‘tinkering’ around the house.  “I take great pleasure in helping others, and when they thank us profusely, it gives me a true sense of ‘worth’.  Volunteering with Chore also gives me an opportunity to wake up at an ungodly hour, as though I were back in the rat race!”

Support Chore and the many other programs at the Bergen Volunteer Center at our Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on Thursday, November 9 at the Stony Hill Inn. Visit to learn more.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Teen LEADS comes to the Applied Technology High School

The Bergen Volunteer Center is excited to announce our launch of the newest TeenLEADS program, Applied Technology High School (ATHS) TeenLEADS.  This high school program, located on the Paramus Campus of Bergen Community College, provides students a unique educational experience through a blend of academic high school curriculum, college classes, and hands-on technical training. With a curriculum that is centered on “smart machines,” students will learn to apply math, science, and technology to hands-on projects in the fields of automation, electronics, and advanced manufacturing. Through this program, students will learn essential skills needed to pursue a career in a wide variety of areas including engineering technology. This training will be coupled with the dual enrollment coursework needed to allow students to earn advanced standing into several technical associates programs at the college, including an A.A.S. program in General Engineering Technology. Associates degrees earned at Bergen Community College are transferable to all four-year public colleges and universities in New Jersey. 
“ATHS TeenLEADS will give our students an opportunity to explore their community and civic engagement as an exciting addition to their academic programs.  The students that are participating in this school year-long exploration have chosen to do so as a club,” stated teacher and program advisor Gebhardt Zurburg. Debbie Emery, Director of Community and Youth Engagement for the Bergen Volunteer Center added, “This is going to be a terrific opportunity for students to look at Bergen County- based issues, including law and public safety, environment, healthcare, and government.”

Teen LEADS is a leadership program for high school students to learn about local government and public policy. Students analyze community issues and develop new approaches to problem solving. The program is designed to get students excited about public policy and how their community is governed. At the completion of the program, students will have developed the tools needed to affect change in their community and transform lives.  To find out more about this program, contact Debbie Emery at or 201-489-9454, x202.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Meet the Chore Volunteers - Mike, Dennis, & Andy!

According to a 2014 Bergen County Health Assessment, 1 in 3 households has at least one adult over the age of 65. Some of these people move into nursing homes or managed care facilities, as mobility and overall health begin to decline,  but as people are living longer and healthier lives, they’re opting to stay in their homes longer,--a process referred to as Aging in Place.  A survey by AARP found that 90 percent of seniors want to remain in their own homes.  By providing minor enhancements like grab bars or interior railings, Chore helps residents continue to live in their beloved homes safely.

Mike Conlon, Dennis Beezley, and Andy McDonough are the Friday, Chore Van #3 crew

Mr. M writes:  “Once more you have come to my rescue.  Thanks to the grab bars you installed, I am now able to visit parts of my home that I have not seen in over 5 years!  Many thanks to the crew for making this possible.”

Support Chore and the many other programs at the Bergen Volunteer Center at our Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on Thursday, November 9 at the Stony Hill Inn. Visit to learn more.