Friday, August 28, 2020

Bergen Volunteers Announces New CEO!





Bergen Volunteers is pleased to welcome its newest Chief Executive Officer, Nina Bachrach, of Englewood, NJ, effective September 14, 2020.

No stranger to the nonprofit sector, Nina has expertise in fundraising, communications, grant-writing, and creative programming. Most recently, she was the Director of Arts and Culture

Development at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, NJ. Within this role she was able to assist others as Director of Development for the Thurnauer School of Music, creator and Director of the Patron of the Arts Program, and Curator of the Waltuch Art Gallery.

Nina holds a Masters in Communications from Boston University and dual Bachelors of Arts degrees in Media Arts and Judaic Studies from the University of Arizona with a minor in Art History and a concentration in Middle East Studies. She also has a history with Bergen Volunteers, as she is a 2018 graduate of Bergen LEADS, a highly respected community leadership program.

“I am delighted to join Bergen Volunteers at this critical moment in our history,” said Nina Bachrach, incoming CEO. “It is a privilege to lead this distinguished service organization that provides vital resources to strengthen our community, including assisting those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As a resident of Bergen County for nearly twenty-five years, Nina believes in utilizing her civic-minded expertise to help enact positive change in her community. She has served on the Executive Committee of Arts Bergen, the City of Englewood Recreation Advisory Board, and is currently serving in her eighth year on the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center Board of Trustees, as a member of the Communications Committee and as Chair of the Nominating Committee.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nina Bachrach as our CEO,” said David Warshaw, President of the Bergen Volunteers Board. “Nina’s leadership skills, civic engagement experience, and community knowledge are an ideal combination that will help Bergen Volunteers build on its already enviable record of  achievement.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Caring Today, Strengthening Tomorrow

Please save the date to join us in virtually honoring the volunteerism that has improved lives and strengthened the community during the COVID pandemic on Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 from 7 - 8 p.m.

While we are unable to physically gather, we are still determined to recognize and commemorate some of our most exemplary individuals, companies, communities,
groups, and government organizations.

Share a meal with us during this Zoom event by making a donation and receiving a gift card for the Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s, or GrubHub!


Additionally, purchase tickets to a 50/50 raffle to help raise funds for our direct-service programs which assist low-income youth, mothers, families, the elderly, and people with disabilities throughout Bergen County. Tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. The winner will receive 50% of the amount raised from ticket sales or rights to participate. The drawing will be at 7:30 p.m. via our virtual event, but the winner does not need to be present, as they will be notified by phone or e-mail.

Interested in making an even bigger impact to become a sponsor? Have any questions about participation? Contact Elizabeth Reich at (201) 489-9454 - ext. 211 or
ereich@bergenvolunteers.org

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Make an Impact - Complete the Census

During this difficult time, many people are looking for ways to help. Perhaps one of these easiest ways to impact our community right now is to complete the 2020 census. A few minutes of your time will ensure that our community receives proper funding from the federal government, that we are represented properly at every level of government, and that research on our community is accurate for the next decade.


Every 10 years, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 2), the U.S. Census Bureau literally counts everyone who lives in the United States and its territories. It is a snapshot in time. Responding is in your and our community’s best interest.

The census is 10 questions long and should take just a few minutes to complete. All information is confidential and protected by federal law. Answers can be used only to produce statistics. Identifiable information cannot be shared with other agencies, even law enforcement.

It has never been easier to respond, whether online at 2020Census.Gov, over the phone at 844-330-2020, or by mail – all without having to meet a census taker.

The census is important for many reasons. First, an accurate census count is crucial to ensure that you are represented in local, state, and federal government. The count determines each state’s number of seats in the House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College and exactly where people live in the state influences congressional districts, state legislative districts, and even city council districts.

Second, an accurate census count ensures that our community receives its share of $860 billion distributed by the federal government for a host of programs, including Medicaid, Medicare, highway funding, Pell Grants, school lunches and other food assistance, and aid to low-income families. Your response to the census helps to ensure that your community receives the public services it needs.

Finally, census data provides for all kinds of critical social research to better understand and assist certain populations across the country.

So complete your 2020 census today. The next 10 years depends on it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

On George Floyd


A Note from our CEO

“One ever feels his twoness - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”


The Souls of Black Folks-- W.E.B DuBois, American scholar, author, civil rights activist (1868-1963) I have a copy of W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folks, printed from the original plates that were found in an attic at Fisk University when I was in high school. And for a time, I lived in James Weldon Johnson’s house. Johnson is the author and composer of Lift Every Voice and Sing, the “Negro National Anthem.” I would have imagined that DuBois, Johnson, Toni Morrison and others would be the voices I sought at this time. And yet, to my surprise, the voice I have been hearing on loop in my brain the last few days is ---Bruce Springsteen. My first introduction to Springsteen was when I fell in love with a song that played on the radio night after night during a lonely summer I spent in Chicago in 1984 as an intern at Jet Magazine. I didn’t know who was singing that song that comforted me that summer. But later, I was introduced to the music and poetry of Bruce Springsteen by my husband, who attended a concert at Union College by a “scrawny kid” in the 70’s and thought, “he is going to be somebody.” Joe took me to my first Springsteen concert when I was 9 months pregnant. As we climbed to the nosebleed section of Giants stadium, everyone we passed gave me a look that said—“please don’t go into labor and disrupt this night” (I didn’t go into labor and loved the night). However, Springsteen entered my bloodstream, when he released The Rising in 2002. He channeled what it felt like to be in NYC on 9/11. I hear his gravelly baritone remind me:
The church door’s thrown open There is a blood red circle On the cold dark ground And the rain is falling down I can hear the organ’s song But the congregation’s gone My city of ruins My city of ruins
And he channels the hopefulness that I continue to have in this messy experiment we call the United States of America and democracy. And so at the times when I feel so sad and demoralized, fearing that I live in a country of ruins, I hear the orchestra and gospel choir swell behind him, as he implores us to:
Come on up for the rising Come on up lay your hands in mine Come on up for the rising Come on up for the rising tonight


Last July, at a gathering for corporations organized by the NJ Governor’s Office on Volunteerism, I gave an address entitled The Future of Volunteerism. In it I called for corporations to stop investing in Diversity & Inclusion training (full disclosure, I was a D&I consultant early in my career), at an estimated annual expense of $8 billion. These trainings, often one day or one week experiences, do not work and sometimes make things worse. Instead, I called for corporations to support high engagement volunteerism for their employees to engage with people different from themselves and to learn about issues and challenges in those whose lives they cannot even imagine. And I called for corporations to invest that $8 billion in local nonprofit organizations that do the hard work for so many in their communities.
Here is how people who have had high engagement volunteer experiences talk: “My ‘aha’ moment was seeing the desperation of certain people in our community. I am always brought back to a girl at Hackensack High School, who was a really good student, but was undocumented. The struggles of a good kid trying to go to college and make a better life for herself—that really stayed with me. These were things I don’t see when I go to work in my law firm every day.”
We are here, just halfway through 2020, and I fear we do not have enough vision, not enough 2020 hindsight and too little 2020 foresight. We MUST see, hear, listen, speak, and engage. The new skill we all need to develop in the midst of our quarantine is not bread-making, tai-chi, or knitting—but the skill of empathy for those whose lives are so different from our own.
A senior executive at a major medical firm described his “aha” moment which occurred during a board meeting for a free health center. “The staff was describing the challenges they had in reaching patients for follow-up appointments. I said, ‘why not just text them?’ only to have the staff describe to me how often low-income people change their phone numbers because of credit problems. I took this realization back to my company, where I was on a cross-functional team that had never considered this challenge. We were about to design a system that would have failed our low-income customers.” I watch this happen every day with Bergen Volunteers’ volunteers and Bergen LEADers, and I am grateful to be on this journey with them. But more than empathy is needed now. We have to find the courage to ask if there are structural and systemic issues that keep things as they are. In the horrific and tragic death of George Floyd, there are deep structural and systemic questions that we must ask:
  • Why was an officer with 18 complaints against him in 19 years, including 3 shootings, still on the police force? And how could he have been entrusted to train rookie officers?
  • Why, according to the city’s own figures are Minneapolis police officers using force on African Americans at 7 times the rate of Whites?
And in case the thought that popped into your head is “well that is Minneapolis. . .” go to the NJ Force Report https://force.nj.com/ and look up your municipality. Police are not the sole problem, nor the sole responsibility of the ills and challenges in our community. I am honored to know and admire many in law enforcement. No, in many ways the police are the visible, front line of deeper policies in our communities that perpetuate inequality. How do we really feel and act around issues of affordable housing and living wages, mental health challenges and addiction? James Baldwin, the American novelist and essayist (1924 - 1987) was so eloquent about race a generation after DuBois and is still relevant a generation after his greatest work. He reminded us that:
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
And with ironic foresight:
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.


Let us put on our masks for health, while we take off the masks that hide us from each other. Find a local organization in your community and get engaged, yes through money, but also through your time and your willingness to really learn about the lives of others. And then dig deeper.
Stay safe, be well, ask, listen, love, and act. Come on up and lay your hands in mine.

ACTION ITEMS:
  • Seek out people with different perspectives than your own and listen. Ask questions. In this time of quarantine, if you are not able to seek out new relationships here are some authors you could read:
    • How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
    • Sister Outsider, by Audre Lorde
    • The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
    • Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen
    • The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
    • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson
    • Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
  • Support high engagement volunteerism by supporting Bergen Volunteers: https://www.bergenvolunteers.org/donate-today
  • Seek out volunteer opportunities that promote relationship building
  • CHEER: Grocery shopping for homebound seniors
  • Offer vocational resources and personal connections to individuals in the African American community, and other communities of color
  • Choose professionals of color and support local businesses owned and operated by people of color
  • Call on elected officials in the community to boldly acknowledge ways in which we demean or deny people of their human dignity and rights - and to address ways to repair and redress the injustices
  • Support police training that places as its overarching principle the respect for every individual and that seeks to reduce the dangerous fear of law enforcement by people of color
  • Advocate for funding for youth engagement, mental health services, recovery programs and more--the kind of funding that helps keep people out of the hands of the criminal justice system because of ills of poverty.

In the information age, ignorance is a choice --Sign at a Black Lives Matter rally that was 95% White

- Lynne Algrant -CEO, Bergen Volunteers

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Celebrating Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month is a time where we recognize the many contributions of senior citizens throughout their lives. They have gone above and beyond to serve their community as mentors and volunteers. You’ll find no finer display of older Americans using their talent and passion to give back than the volunteers from Redefining Retirement, Bergen Reads, CHORE, and CHEER. Not content to just spend their well-earned retirement relaxing, they give their time freely where they are most needed.


The Redefining Retirement program encourages older adults to utilize their unique skills to strengthen the community. Participants are connected and matched to opportunities with non-profit agencies based on their life experiences and personal interests. In the current environment, many volunteers have found ways to continue to improves the lives of others, even while they are following the guidelines to stay healthy, stay safe and stay home.The Redefining Retirement team is working to be ready for a program comeback,hopefully in the fall. 

Bergen Reads, reading buddies, including retired educators, work one-on-one with students from Kindergarten through 4th grade to improve their reading. Volunteers sit down with students in Teaneck and Hackensack public schools on a weekly basis. They serve as tutors and mentors, and advocate on behalf of the student to make sure they don’t fall behind. With schools being closed due to the global pandemic, they may need to look to expand the scope of their services. Moving lessons from the classroom to the living room has created new challenges, and it is easy for struggling students to fall through the cracks. The team may explore ways to provide virtual services to offer the individual attention that students need to succeed.


CHORE is a service program whose goal is to keep the elderly and disabled safely living in their homes. All of the CHORE participants are retired, with some volunteering well into their 80s! Every week, volunteers perform tasks such as installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fixing leaky faucets, weatherizing doors and windows, minor electrical work, and much more. There is no charge for labor; clients only need to pay for the cost of materials. One of their specialties is installing grab bars and banisters, which cut down on preventable falls and hospitalizations. Beyond providing essential repairs with minimal cost, clients are touched by the kindness of CHORE volunteers. They understand that a little conversation can go a long way to ease social isolation.

Much like CHORE, the CHEER program is aimed at supporting the independence of seniors and people with disabilities. Volunteers provide much needed services such as weekly grocery shopping and prescription medicine pick up. Now that many seniors are being advised to shelter in place, these services are more important than ever. Volunteers form strong connections with their clients through their friendly support and companionship. While they currently cannot offer their company in person, CHEER volunteers have been conducting regular check-in calls. Not only do they try to make sure their clients are feeling well, but they are combating loneliness, one phone call at a time.

We’re always looking for generous seniors who would like to share their talents with the community. If any of these programs interest you, please contact us using the e-mail addresses below to learn how you can get involved: 

For information on Redefining Retirement, contact retirement@bergenvolunteers.org

 For information on Bergen Reads, contact Melissa LaRobardier at melissal@bergenvolunteers.org

For information on CHEER or CHORE, contact the Successful Aging Team at successfulaging@bergenvolunteers.org




Thursday, May 14, 2020

Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month. Though 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness in their lifetime, nearly two thirds will never seek treatment. Together we can help end stigma and educate the public on mental health issues. 

You are Not Alone


We are living in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Unfortunately, isolation, job loss, and other problems that have been exacerbated by the global pandemic are also having a major impact on mental health. Though at times it may be overwhelming, try making time to relax, practice self-care, and reach out to loved ones. If you are struggling, it’s important to know that you are not alone and there is help.

If you or someone you care about is going through a mental health crisis, don’t hesitate to call a mental health hotline:


Bergen Volunteers Cares about Mental Health


Some of the biggest contributing factors to mental health problems are family issues, low self-esteem, and poor physical health. At Bergen Volunteers, we prioritize helping vulnerable populations cope with life’s challenges and supply them with the tools they need to thrive.

Successful Families encompasses mentoring programs for parents and at-risk youth. We are all affected by the things that happen to us on a daily basis, both the negative and the positive. The Mentoring Moms & Dads and Mentoring Youth programs provide access to solid support systems for those that need them. Mentees can build resilience that not only allows them to overcome obstacles, but also makes it easier to handle future challenges.

To learn more about being matched with a mentor, or even becoming one yourself, 
contact Lisa Tredici at ltredici@bergenvolunteers.org

Engaging in volunteer activities not only imparts a sense of belonging, but when you do something you believe is meaningful, you feel empowered. Bergen LEADS, College LEADS, and Teen LEADS are programs that develop leadership skills and self-confidence. By finding new approaches to problem-solving skills, LEADers make a lasting impact in the community and gain valuable tools that they can use in their personal life.


Redefining Retirement utilizes the amazing skills and experiences of our retirees, matching their talents and interests to serve our communities.  Providing networking, collaborative efforts and training to the non-profit community strengthens our community-wide resources and responds to the physical, social, and mental wellness of others. 

To learn more about our Strengthening Community programs, 
contact Debbie Emery at demery@bergenvolunteers.org.

Seniors are often overlooked when it comes to mental health. According to Aging Care, “In older adults, depression often co-occurs with other serious illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, dementia, Parkinson's disease, and changes in mobility and independence.” With the goal of keeping seniors living independently in their homes, volunteers from the CHEER and CHORE programs perform essential tasks such as small home repairs, grocery shopping, running errands, or simply offering friendly conversation. Whether it’s preventing injury by installing a grab bar or delivering much-needed medication, these services reduce the impact that physical health has on the mental health of CHEER and CHORE clients. 

To learn more about CHEER and CHORE,
 contact the Successful Aging Team at successfulaging@bergenvolunteers.org.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Volunteer Spotlight: U&I Masks for Kids

During these difficult times, it's important to recognize those who are doing their part to help the community. U&I Masks is dedicated to making protective masks for children. Julie Song and her partner Gieun Chae's goal is to create masks that not only make sure that kids are healthy, but are fun to wear!

Keeping Kids Safe, One Mask at a Time


Hello! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this time of the COVID-19 virus. I would first like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, Julie Song, as well as my partner, Gieun Chae. This global pandemic has been evolving at a much faster rate than any of us could envision, infecting more than 400,000 people in the U.S. alone. The rapid spread of this virus has endangered many lives of the older generation, causing the public to focus their attention on the safety of elderly adults. Unfortunately, while the importance of protecting seniors has constantly received recognition, many have overlooked the lives and the safety of children.

Believing that the protection of children is just as significant, my partner and I wanted to take action for the sole purpose of making sure kids are safe and healthy during this epidemic. We desired to bring a light of hope to this season of negativity by spending our time in quarantine reaching out and helping children in need. After many discussions and planning about what we could do to help, we decided to create our own kid-friendly face mask organization: U&I Masks. Our service in this organization is solely for the lives of each and every child. For the masks, we use materials like soft fabric and kid-friendly designs so that kids can enjoy wearing them while staying protected!

Primarily, our name “U&I” has a variety of important meanings behind it. First, the “I”, pronounced (ah-ee), means child in the Korean language, ultimately signifying our main motive to help protect the children around us. Secondly, the name “U&I” as a whole indicates that you and I are united as one during this time of the pandemic and how vital it is for us to help one another out. During the manufacturing process, my partner and I always wear a mask and gloves while working six feet away from each other for our own safety as well as that of our recipients. We believe that having this kid-friendly platform to raise awareness of how to protect each child during current and future epidemics can be very efficient. Currently, we are working with a variety of organizations to help protect their children and families and have received a vast amount of positive feedback from the kids. Engaging in a simple yet effective action and seeing the smiles on the children’s faces brings us pure happiness and we truly believe that a small step can go a long way!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Volunteering in the Time of Coronavirus


How can we come together when we’re supposed to be six feet apart?

People are finding creative ways to bridge the gap and strengthen our community.

Around Bergen County

Friends and neighbors throughout Bergen County are reaching out to those in need. Here are just a few stories of what individuals are doing to help:

Maintaining our mental wellness during a pandemic is just as important as protecting our physical health. Many people are using live streaming and video services to provide activities to keep our bodies and minds active.

Hackensack High School might have canceled classes, but student Ryan Ang isn’t treating his time off as a vacation. As one of the youngest basketball trainers, he is using his skills to provide free lessons via Instagram Live.

Judy Cohen, the owner of The Paint Box in Oradell, is offering online painting classes for students who are stuck at home. She is also collecting monetary donations to send care packages of art supplies to local senior citizens. She can be reached at rachel.dauchy@yahoo.com if you would like to donate.

Restaurants are also stepping up to feed people who are facing food insecurity. If you order a “cheeseburger with love" or "hot dog with love” at Steve’s Burgers in Garfield your meal is free with the purchase of a drink.

You may be wondering what you can personally contribute. There are many opportunities to give back that keep everyone safe and healthy.

Social Distancing ≠ Social Isolation

Even before social distancing became an unfortunate necessity, 43% of adults aged 65 or above reported that they struggled with loneliness on a regular basis. Since this population is the most likely to develop severe complications from COVID-19, many are under strict orders to self-isolate from family and friends. Nursing homes and other long-term health facilities have temporarily barred visitors throughout the state to protect their residents.

This is a difficult time to be a volunteer, knowing that often the best way to help is to be hands-off. Many of us volunteer because we like to personally see the impact we are making and meet with the people we are helping face-to-face. However, there are ways that you can help right from your couch.

How You Can Help


1. Call a Senior

Now is a perfect time to catch up with a loved one over the phone. Take a few minutes each day to check in on a senior family member or neighbor. See if they need groceries or help to schedule telehealth appointments. There are also services like CHEER or Umbrella that will match you with a senior in your community who would be overjoyed to talk to you. Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh of Ridgewood is running a similar “Adopt a Senior” program.


2. Donate Funds to a Local Food Pantry

With schools no longer in session and many workers’ hours being cut, food pantries are seeing an uptick in demand. Rather than donating canned goods, monetary donations will stretch your dollar further. Food pantries have the opportunity to purchase goods wholesale, sometimes even at a discount which means they can get more bang for your buck. When in-house volunteers do the shopping and sorting, fewer people are handling donations which limit the possibility of the disease spreading.


3. Crafting for Good

Kids restless and bored at home? Flex your creative muscles and work together with them on a craft project that will brighten someone’s day. Check with your local senior living facility to see if they are accepting handmade cards and letters.


Know of any other programs helping those in need? Let us know in the comments below!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Census 2020: User Guide


United States households are currently receiving their 2020 Census.

You may be wondering what the information is used for, who can see it, and what exactly is being asked. Here’s a quick guide on what the census is and how it affects you:  

Why Should I Participate?

Your participation in the 2020 Census benefits you, loved ones, and the community at large! 
$675 billion in federal funding is distributed every year across the United States. This money goes on to support programs such as schools, Medicare, housing, new roads, and much, much more! Non-profits also depend on these funds to help communities on a local level. Critical programs could face reductions in the people they serve if there is a discrepancy between the actual number of people in a community versus the people that responded. 
How you are represented in the government is also dependent on 2020 Census responses. The number of seats each state is allowed in the House of Representatives is determined by the population in a district. If fewer people are counted, that means that our state will have fewer representatives to introduce bills, propose amendments, and serve on committees on our behalf.
Did you know: The outcome of this census will directly affect state votes in the U.S. Electoral College for the 2024 presidential election. Make your vote count by being counted today!
Having accurate census information can even bring jobs to your neighborhood. Businesses use demographical data collected in the census to determine where to operate. 


 Is My Information Safe?

The information that you provide in the census is confidential. Census Bureau employees must adhere to strict guidelines that ensure the safety of all respondents. According to the Frequently Asked Questions section of Census.gov, “The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years or both. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time.”

What is NOT on the Census?


So, what IS on the Census?

In order to alleviate some common fears, it helps to know what questions are actually being asked. Here is a summary of the information you will need to provide:

-Number of people in the household
-Whether you live in a house, apartment or mobile home
-Telephone Number
-Basic demographic information for each person in the household 

For a detailed look at the questions you can see a sample questionnaire on the official census website here.

How Can I Start?

It is now easier than ever to get counted. You have the option to respond by mail, phone, online, or even at any of the many Census Sites throughout Bergen County. Access the online census here today!


What If I Need Help?

If you have any questions while filling out your questionnaire, our friendly staff is more than happy
to help you complete your form. E-mail demery@bergenvolunteers.org with any questions!  


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Mike Cargill Celebrates 20 Years with CHORE


This year Mike Cargill celebrates his 20th anniversary as a CHORE volunteer. We sat down with the 78-year old Bergen County resident to find out about his experience with the program.


After he retired in 1997, Mike was looking for a way to volunteer doing something that he loves. A jack-of-all-trades handyman, CHORE stood out to him because he enjoyed fixing things around his own house. He applied to the program, aced his interview, and the rest is history.

Throughout his many years of service he has been able to help over 21,000 seniors and disabled residents remain in their homes. Yet Mike insists that he gets even more satisfaction out of CHORE than the clients do. He says, “The best part for me is being able to improve the quality of life for someone instantly. It is very satisfying to be able to make a difference.”

He recalls a job that he did for two sisters, who were 98 and 96 years old. But don’t let those ages fool you. He’ll never forget how impressed he was by how active and funny the pair was, even noting that the two were spry enough to beat him down the stairs.

Another client that left a mark on him was a woman with braces on her legs. After completing repairs inside the residence, he and his fellow volunteers noticed that her front step was 8-inches high, making it difficult for her to enter her home. They built another 4-inch step to make the stairs more accessible. They were happy to go above and beyond what was asked of them to keep her safe.

In addition to his passion for volunteering, Mike is also an avid fisherman. Not content to just reel in the catch of the day, he finds the time to spread his love of fishing with the community. His fishing club, the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association, hosts free events to teach kids how to fish. Their annual “Hooked on the Hudson” at Ross’s Dock features a fishing competition, children’s activities, and displays from local environmental groups.  

Volunteers are the heart and soul of CHORE. Without them, many individuals would not have access to low-cost repairs that keep them in the homes that they love. We would like to sincerely thank Mike for his incredible 20 years of service!

When asked what he learned from being a CHORE volunteer, Mike had this to say: If you are prepared for your retirement, it is the best time of your life.