Once again the Bergen Volunteer Center has been cited for the awesome work that it does in the county as it continues to improve lives and strengthen the community through its many programs. The article, “Older Workers Reject Retirement for Employment, Volunteering” published on June 27, 2019 in USA Today highlighted one of our programs, Redefining Retirement. Redefining Retirement was established in June 2017 and has since matched over 100 retirees with non- profit organizations in need of their unique skills.
The Bergen Volunteer Center (BVC) was founded in 1966 and one might describe us as the original, ‘match.com” connecting people who want to volunteer to organizations that need volunteers. BVC, a small but highly effective and mighty organization has grown exponentially. BVC created and manages a myriad of programs to meet the needs of our community. Bergen County is both a magical and complex place—it is a wonderful place to grow up and/or raise a family, but it is also a hard place to be isolated, alone or struggling. It is often a “Tale of Two Counties ” and our programs and initiatives mirrors and addresses this dichotomy.
Our direct service programs under the Department of Improving Lives engage volunteers in direct service to mothers and adolescents through mentoring and our Cheer and CHORE programs help senior citizens age in place safely. The other body of work at the Bergen Volunteer Center is our Strengthening Community programs where we teach civic leadership and civic engagement. We help people learn about the county, gain new perspectives and inspire them to get involved. As such, we are developing a pipeline of locally knowledgeable civic leaders, who are passionate about Bergen County. These leaders-- adults, college students and high school students—are using what they have learned from our Bergen LEADs, College LEADS and Teen LEADS to run for office, serve on nonprofit boards and make policies. It is absolutely amazing to see a group of future leaders ( high school students) research current issues (i.e. mental health) that adversely impact their school community and/or County and present their findings and recommendations to their principal, superintendent and members of the board of education.
The Bergen Volunteer Center located at 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack is here to help, serve, elevate and educate and as we continue our mission of ‘improving lives’ and ‘ strengthening community’. With your support, we will continue to make a difference in your neighborhood, your town and our County as we turn caring into meaningful action. Check us out and spread the word!