Tuesday, November 5, 2019


On Tuesday, October 29th, Bergen Volunteers held its annual Hearts of Gold Dinner and Auction. Throughout the event, we highlighted the success of one of some of our programs such as All Wrapped Up, Redefining Retirement and CHORE. We also honored individuals and companies that have contributed to the success of these programs by voluntarily giving of their time and resources. Among our 2020 honorees was Cole Schotz and the acceptance speech (below) given by Lori Wolf spoke to the heart of what we do; turning caring into meaningful action to improve lives and strengthen the community.

“Cole Schotz takes great pride in helping with the All Wrapped Up Program.  This amazing program helps make holiday wishes come true for disadvantaged New Jersey individuals and families.  Members of the firm elect to shop for babies, teens, disabled individuals, veterans and families.  We receive wish lists from Bergen Volunteers so that we know we are getting what they want and need.  It is heartbreaking to see what many of these individuals request.  The typical gift request is not an Iphone or an Xbox. Instead, what we see the most are requests for winter coats, hats, gloves, boots and even underwear and PJs. Pampers for babies and sheets and pots and pans are also frequent requests.  My colleagues and I shop from the list of requested items and then typically add something extra – perfume or cologne, a book, makeup, or a toy in the holiday spirit.  Gift cards for Shop-Rite or Walmart are also commonly included.  We shop in teams and department groups, individually and even with family and friends outside the firm- I can tell you that my kids look forward to participating annually. Since the gifts are collected in my office and one or more offices near me, I can tell you it creates a Santa Claus feeling to see the growing piles of presents and ultimately to load the trucks up for delivery to the agencies. The gifts we provide may be the only gifts these individuals receive.  We are proud to support this worthy cause and bring a smile to someone special at the holiday season.  Speaking both for myself and for many of my colleagues who have expressed similar sentiments to me, participating in this program and shopping for disadvantaged NJ individuals and families may make us as happy as we hope that the recipients are in opening their gifts. To me, this is what the holiday season is all about.” 

To quote the mantra used by our CEO, Lynne Algrant at the event, “When we say we love what we do, we love what we do!”  To give to any of our programs, click here https://www.bergenvolunteers.org/donate-today .

No comments: