Monday, August 31, 2009

“Lunch and Learn” for Volunteer Managers

People who manage volunteers -- especially youth volunteers -- are invited to attend a "lunch and learn" session on Monday, September 21, from 11:30-1:00 at the Volunteer Center. The focus will be primarily on youth volunteering.

The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that 68% of all K-12 schools are now involved with service learning and/or youth volunteering, and the Volunteer Center's website has tracked more than 6,000 requests for information about youth service opportunities so far this year.

The discussion will be relevant to those who work with volunteers at nonprofits, schools, government agencies, community or faith-based organizations. Leading the discussion will be Denise Schachter of Teaneck High School and Debbie Emery of the Volunteer Center. The program is free, but those who attend should plan to bring their own lunch. Pre-registration is required by September 17. For more information or to register, e-mail, or call (201) 489-9454, ext.114.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Step Right Up!

A local teen is showing us how one person can make a huge difference!

David Engle, from Glen Rock, NJ, started "Carnivals for Children on Wheels," which delivers the merriment of carnivals to kids who are underprivileged, homeless, and/or mentally or physically challenged. The carnivals are completely free and run entirely by volunteers!

"The summer before 9th grade I volunteered at an amazing therapeutic horse back riding facility called Pony Power of NJ,” says David Engle. “Once I volunteered there I realized that I had to give more of myself to help other people. I also knew that I was capable of running carnivals since I had run them with my father at our temple for many years. So I had the inspiration one day to combine my love for carnivals with helping other people and that is how Carnivals for Children on Wheels grew to what it is today."

Volunteers help with planning events and creating new carnival games, and also pitch in to develop fundraising ideas. Teens are welcome to sign up to volunteer! This is a great place to volunteer, because the result of every carnival is happy children! Not only that, they go home with arms full of prizes and faces full of smiles.

For more information, contact David Engle at or 201-956-1246. Check out

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gear Up for Fun - The Bergen Bike Tour

Looking for a fun family outing this fall? The 14th Annual Bergen Bike Tour is a great way for families and friends to get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors and do good in the community all at the same time. The Bergen Bike Tour will be held on Sunday, September 27, at Darlington County Park, in Mahwah. All proceeds benefit Tomorrows Children’s Fund and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

A special “Kids’ Ride" sponsored by Ford Motor Company will be held for little ones on big wheels and tricycles as well as those not yet ready for the 10-mile route. Kids can tour an antique fire truck on-site, and “Sly the Fox”, the NJ Nets mascot, will be stopping by to say hello and cheer on the riders. A post-ride picnic will include home-cooked bbq fare, a DJ, clowns, games and prizes. Two Jamis bicycles – a 2009 Allegro valued at $635 and a 2008 Commuter valued at $425 – will be raffled at $5 per ticket. Register online at or call 1-877-BER-BIKE (237-2453) or email

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Mark your calendars for Friday, October 16! That's when the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer County (BVC) is hosting its annual (and very fun) Night at the Races at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The party includes a barbecue buffet with beer and soft drinks from 6PM-10PM, plus a silent auction and 50-50 raffle with proceeds benefiting the BVC. We'll have a private picnic area in a park-like setting next to the track and near the finish line, and we'll have our own private betting windows!

Tickets are $50 and are available here. For more information, contact Tess at

Thank you to our 2009 Night at the Races Sponsors
Presenting Sponsor - Hudson City Savings Bank
Event Sponsor - Rockland Electric
Paddock Sponsor - Quest Diagnostics
Corporate Sponsor - UHY Advisors
Corporate Sponsor - United Water
Corporate Sponsor - BD
Listing Sponsor – IKEA

We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, August 17, 2009

6th Annual Rutt’s Hut Challenge

The 6th Annual “Rutt’s Hut Challenge” took place on July 30 at one of N.J.'s most famous eateries, Rutt's Hut in Clifton.

Sponsored by Quest Diagnostics, the contest pitted nine very enthusiastic employees who ate a combined total of 61 hot dogs in 30 minutes. In a surprise win Sue Moran and Ro Moretto, the only women's team in the contest, consumed 6 hot dogs each for a combined total of 12 dogs and the title of champions. Reigning champ Art “The Animal” Diaz conceded graciously, after ripping through 11 hot dogs to finish second.

Quest employees supported their colleagues with cash contributions, and all the funds raised are earmarked to provide fun, enrichment activities for children in the Volunteer Center's mentoring program. To date, the annual charity event has raised well over $15,000. All receipts are not in yet, but judging from the overflow crowd that cheered on the contestants, we anticipate that this year will top all others.

“This contest has been one of the most fun and rewarding on-going events we sponsor,” says Dave Hertzel, coordinator of REACH (Remember Every Act Can Help), Quest's company-wide employee volunteer program. “The spontaneous spirit of fun, the collaboration of all involved, and the joy of sponsoring the children so deserving of our employees’ efforts, has been a wonderful spectacle to behold.”

Photo slide show:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fundraising for the Bergen Bike Tour Made Easy on Firstgiving

Attention Bergen Bike Tour riders – we’ve made it easy for you to fulfill your pledge obligation!

With the Bergen Bike Tour just around the corner, riders and volunteers alike are preparing to raise money for the Volunteer Center. Each individual rider at the Bergen Bike Tour is asked to raise a minimum of $100 and families are asked to raise $200. Technology has made it easier for riders to ask their friends and family members for donations through email, online giving, and social networking sites.

This year, many riders have set up Firstgiving Donation Pages to solicit donations. This is the second year the Volunteer Center is using Firstgiving; based on enthusiastic response last year, we anticipate even more riders will set up a page this year.

To find out more about how to set up and use a Firstgiving page, here are some you can take a look at:

Individual Rider Pages -,
Team Page -
Volunteer/Employee Page -

If you would like to make a donation to a rider without using Firstgiving, please click here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Food Drive Helps Kids

The Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) recently completed “Brown Bag Buddies,” an initiative to collect food for children of low income families. Fifteen companies took part, collecting and distributing over 5,000 lbs of food, valued at almost $16,000.

“The wages of the working poor have not kept up with housing, transportation and child care costs," says Tess Tomasi, BVC coordinator at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, sponsor of the BVC. "Northern New Jersey has the highest child poverty rates in the state. Without school meals, families must turn to the food pantries to provide nutritional meals for their children during the summer.”

Since 2000, the BVC’s “Brown Bag Buddies” campaign has raised over $200,000 in food and donations to help provide meals for children who aren’t receiving school meals during the summer.

For information about the BVC and its activities throughout the year, contact Tess Tomasi at 201-489-9454, ext. 114 or email

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Mentor Training Coming Up

The Volunteer Center mentoring programs want you! Training for the Fall is right around the corner.

Mentoring Moms are mentors and role models to isolated and/or overwhelmed mothers. Training for this program starts on October 5; please call Cindy at 201-489-9454, ext. 123 to register.

Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS), are adult role models to children who have experienced abuse, neglect, trouble or isolation. Training for this program starts on September 16; both men and women are welcome to call and register today. Please call Francine at 201-489-9454, ext. 111.

So if you find satisfaction in helping opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment...enjoy making new friends...want to get back as well as give, then call today.