Friday, January 30, 2009

Finding a Job in the Non-Profit Sector

Looking for a job? Thinking of switching careers? The Volunteer Center’s Training Program has had several requests in the past few months from individuals looking for information on employment in the non-profit sector, particularly from people transitioning from the corporate world.

If you need an introduction to the world of non-profits, then why not try volunteering first? Especially in light of the current economy, non-profits would welcome skilled professionals to work on specific projects and to serve on boards of directors. The job volunteer would get significant insight into non-profits, gain valuable experience in the sector, and begin networking in the field. And the non-profits would benefit from professional support. You can browse hundreds of volunteer opportunities at the Volunteer Center’s website, click here.

On March 30th, the Non-Profit Training and Resource Program will offer a free training entitled Be the Change: Finding a Job in the Non-Profit Sector. The session is geared toward new college grads, job seekers, and corporate workers heeding the national call to service. The training will be held at the Volunteer, for more information or to register for this session, call 201-489-9454 ext. 114 or email
Submitted by Tess Tomasi, Training and Non-Profit Resource Coordinator

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tell Us How You Volunteer

I grew up on a cul-de-sac next to an elderly woman named Mrs. Booth. I would help Mrs. Booth bring in groceries, sit with her and have cookies, listen to stories from her past, and shovel her walkway when it snowed.

I was volunteering without even knowing it. I just thought I was being a good neighbor and friend to Mrs. Booth. Many everyday acts of kindness are the root of volunteering. Do you volunteer? Tell us how you volunteer to help your neighbors or community.

Submitted by Melissa Leibe, Program Assistant at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mentoring in Action

In continuing our recognition of National Mentoring Month, we asked two of our exceptional Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS) mentors to talk about their experience as mentors.

From Mentor, Susan: The value of mentoring in my life… It's an unexplainable feeling when the words "I don't want to do this" (something my mentee said once, shutting a book) and "I'm not smart enough" slowly start shifting to "Can we read that?" and "Can I try that on my own?" It's a struggle, and it's not happening overnight. I've been a mentor to the same young girl for 7 years through VIPS, and I dedicate my Saturday afternoons to being her "big sister". There is a building-up that is happening - of self-esteem, of self-worth. Sure, our time together is limited, but the change in her language shows me that it is having a lasting effect. That is what it is all about—making a difference in her life and the difference she makes in mine each time she turns to me and says, "Thank you."

From Mentor, Rory: Seeing a person grow and make good decisions as a result of your nurturing and influence is most gratifying. Mentoring is a personal connection, through which you become more connected with the community. And the rewards are mutual; the relationship has as much a positive impact on you, the mentor. I highly value the time I spend mentoring and it brings me much joy.

Visit the Volunteer Center Mentoring Page or to see how you can get involved and become a mentor today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mentors on Mentoring

January is National Mentoring Month and President George W. Bush, President-elect Barack Obama, and General Colin L. Powell are headlining the Eighth Annual National Mentoring Month volunteer recruitment drive. Held each January, the campaign mobilizes community volunteers to help young people achieve their full potential.

The Volunteer Center sponsors two exceptional mentoring programs in which trained and caring adults mentor troubled youth and mothers in need of guidance in parenting and life skills. One of these programs is Mentoring Moms, which recruits, screens, trains and supervises women who serve as mentors and role models to overwhelmed mothers reported for abuse or neglect of their children and/or women attempting to move from welfare to work.

In honor of National Mentoring Month, some of our mentors will be sharing insights on our blog, so please check back often!

From Mentor, Cathy: "After the initial meeting with my mentee, it was incredible to me to be there to listen, and to see you're making an impact on someone else's life. You're really stepping out of your comfort zone when you do this. Even though parenting is the same, your resources are different and school systems are different. Mostly I try to encourage my mentee and offer guidance whenever I can, like friends do."

From Mentor, Celeste: "At the end of the day I feel rewarded."

From Mentor, Barbara: "I've worked with moms who had drug and alcohol problems, in addition to moms with chronic health issues. I've been fortunate to meet and bond with these women, all who might not have had someone to be there in times of great need, as well as in happy times, which should be shared with someone who cares. While mentoring, I've learned great compassion for others, that listening is better than talking, and just how lucky I am."

Visit the Volunteer Center Mentoring Page or to see how you can get involved and become a mentor today.

Friday, January 9, 2009

This year, I will ...

Do you plan to start off the year with a new diet, is your goal to save money, or did you just make a resolution to Do Good…Feel Good? If you fall into category three then the Volunteer Center of Bergen County is a great place for you to start thinking about how you can help out in your community.

This year, we expect more and more nonprofit agencies to be relying on the help of volunteers like you to help fulfill their missions. With hundreds of volunteer opportunities available, there is truly something for everyone. Interested in helping out at a run/walk/ride for a favorite cause? Thought about tutoring or mentoring a child in need? Maybe cheer up a lonely senior with a friendly phone call? Perhaps sharing a special skill? The Volunteer Center can help you put your good intentions to work and turn your resolution into a reality!

To get started, give us a call today at 201-489-9454 or visit our website at

Support our Cause on Facebook, click here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 19th: A Day "On", Not A Day "Off"

January 19th: A Day "On", Not A Day "Off"

That was the intent when, in 1994, the Martin Luther King Holiday was designated as a national day of volunteer service. Instead of a day off from work or school, Congress asked Americans of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate Dr. King's legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action. The King Day of Service is meant to bring together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaking down barriers that may have divided them in the past, and leading to better understanding and ongoing relationships.

Agencies from around Bergen and Passaic County have put together volunteer projects for Martin Luther King Day that will help enhance their efforts and will make a difference in your community.

Projects like painting classrooms, organizing food drives and visiting with the elderly are ways you can help. Click here to find out more about these upcoming projects or visit for projects in your area.