Tuesday, February 24, 2009

25 Random Things About the Volunteer Center

1. The first issue of Ventures View was published in October 1987 and it was one page, one side.
2. The Volunteer Center of Bergen County used to be known as the Volunteer Bureau of Bergen County.
3. The average age of a Chore volunteer is 73 years.
4. 95 kids are helped by 85 volunteer mentors as a part of our Volunteers in Protective Service Program (VIPS).
5. The Business Volunteer Council has raised almost 1 million dollars in resources for low income families and children since 2000.
6. The Volunteer Center staff has collectively over 250 years of volunteer experience.
7. In 2009, 350 participants attended Volunteer Center trainings to improve their nonprofits.
8. The Volunteer Center recycles almost all of their copy paper to turn into scrap paper for message taking.
9. VC Staff eat approximately 400 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every year for lunch.
10. The Chore Service has been the focus of a national TV special about volunteerism on ABC-TV, featured in "This Old House" magazine and website.
11. 53 families are helped by our Mentoring MOMS Program.
12. There are nearly 1100 volunteer positions available, which actually proves that there is a volunteer job for everyone.
13. A good friend of the Volunteer Center and long time MC of our Celebrate Volunteers Recognition event is UPN My9 News anchor, Brenda Blackmon.
14. The Volunteer Center has over 190 people on their Facebook Cause page!
15. The Bergen Bike Tour, which raises money for the Volunteer Center and the Tomorrow’s Children Fund, has raised over 1 million dollars.
16. The Chore Program has installed over 25,000 grab bars since 1977 for disabled and homebound seniors in Bergen County.
17. Staff member, Susan Hogge is a certified Notary Public.
18. The Volunteer Center offers free trainings in a series called the Neighbor Academy.
19. The average age of an RSVP volunteer is 74.36.
20. The Volunteer Center received a donation of over 40 packages of Oreo cookies.
21. The Volunteer Center has been in Bergen County more than 40 years.
22. Every summer the Volunteer Center takes part in a program called Camp Lots of Fun, a camp for children who are homeless.
23. The Volunteer Center sends out more than 40,000 pieces of mail every year.
24. In 2008, The All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program provided gifts for 902 families and 831 individuals.
25. We hope making this list taught you things you never knew about the Volunteer Center.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Warm Chili Warms the Heart

On one of the snowiest days of a snowy season, volunteers from the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) served up a hearty chili-and-cornbread lunch to 200 Bergen County residents who are homeless. The lunch was part of the County’s Project Homeless Connect, an annual outreach program to provide access to resources and support to persons currently experiencing homelessness. The event was held at the Bergen County Community Action Partnership Drop-InCenter in Hackensack.

Volunteers, as well as financial support for the lunch, were provided by Fabulous Foods, Hunter Douglas, Quest Diagnostics, United Water, Hudson City Savings Bank, and The Buckingham at Norwood.

Is your company doing well by doing good? For information on how to get involved in the BVC, contact Tess Tomasi at (201) 489-9454 ext. 114 or at ttomasi@bergenvolunteers.org.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Three R’s: Recruit, Retain, and Recognize!

While marketing efforts recruit volunteers, and HR management practices retain them, what really keeps volunteers coming back? Volunteers need to know that they are appreciated! You can never assume that volunteers know this, so simple recognition of their contributions must be part of the formal and informal operations of any organization. It’s a known fact that recognition contributes to productivity, morale and retention, and with new technologies it’s easy to recognize your volunteers: send them a friendly email or e-card, mention their names in your newsletter, and if you are on any social networking sites, thank your volunteers for all their friends to see.

We’re hosting a program at the Volunteer Center on Wednesday, February 11, on "Volunteer Recognition as a Retention Strategy." Join area volunteer managers to brainstorm and discuss great ways to recognize volunteers. To sign up, contact Tess Tomasi, Training Manger at 201-489-9454, ext. 114, or ttomasi@bergenvolunteers.org.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Help in Hard Times

The Volunteer Center recently convened nonprofit leaders in and near Bergen County to discuss how the current economy impacts our organizations. We had originally thought to call the program "Misery Loves Company," but coming as it did right after the inauguration of President Obama, the consensus was that we were more hopeful than miserable.

Now, as the economy continues to spiral downward, that hope is being put to the test.

Our speaker that day was Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator, who made his discussion with us a topic on his blog. His comments are welcome and illuminating! http://www.kenscommentary.org/2009/02/advice-to-charities-in-hard-times.html