Saturday, October 30, 2010

International Exchange Broadens Horizons

Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, recently enjoyed an International Peer Exchange with the HandsOn Network affiliate in The Netherlands. Read all about her visit to Nederlands Cares!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Activity Outpaces Recession

By Janet Sharma

We hear a lot about how our country is in a recession. And, of course, it is. But the Volunteer Center's programs have seen little of this recession. In fact, to date this year, our programmatic efforts are soaring:

  • Our mentoring programs are overseeing large numbers of one-on-one mentor/mentee matches: 118 adult mentors are helping 125 kids see a brighter future, and 100 more are on the waiting list. 80 adult women are mentoring overwhelmed mothers who need guidance in parenting and life skills.
  • 45 volunteers with our Chore Service are performing minor but essential home repairs to keep nearly 1,300 seniors and people with disabilities safe in their homes.
  • We’ve counted 124,744 searches for volunteer opportunities, plus another 7,100 seeking information about volunteer opportunities specifically for youth.
  • Our roster of trainings to build capacity of nonprofits is fuller than ever.
  • Skilled leaders are in higher demand than ever, and our Bergen LEADS program is helping to prepare them to face the challenges that lie ahead.
  • Our Business Volunteer Council is developing a workshops around the issue of corporate social responsibility for as part of the N.J. Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism, which will be held on Nov. 10 in Trenton.

While this record of productivity is exceptional, we admit that our financial picture could be better. As you peruse the website, blog or newsletter, we hope you will be inspired – not only to give your time and talents to help others, but also to support our work with your financial contribution.

To read more about the outstanding work of the Volunteer Center view our current Newsletter online here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Frolic Fun

A great big THANK YOU to United Water for hosting a fabulous Fall Frolic on October 21st at its beautiful headquarters headquarters in Harrington Park. 100% of proceeds benefited the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. More than 160 guests had a frolic-ing good time with fine wine provided by Wine & Roses and spectacular delicacies from A Bite of Heaven, Dino's Cucina, Burke's On Old Hook, Chef Bob's Deli, Mortellaro's, White Beeches Golf and Country Club, Madeleine's Petit Paris and Sweet Grace. Our sponsors included Buck, Seifert & Jost; The Hunter Group; Lakeland Bank; Pascack Community Bank; PSE&G; Sanzari Companies; Control Associates; Environmental Waste Management Associates; Grainvew Designs and Quest Diagnostics. Thanks to all!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bet You’ll Have a Great Time at Night at the Races!

Time is running out to get your tickets to the 9th annual Night at the Races, sponsored by the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council. Tickets are only $50 and will get you a night of thrilling horse races, a barbecue dinner, beer and soft drinks, free parking, goody bags, and our own private betting window! We’ll also have fabulous silent auction prizes, a 50/50 raffle, and winner’s circle grab bags. Don’t miss the fun, food, and friends at this great night. Buy your tickets online here.

And it’s all for a great cause. Proceeds from the event support the work of the BVC, bringing resources to low-income kids and families in our community. You can help! All Night at the Races attendees are asked to bring a box of healthy, kid-friendly cereal that we’ll be donating to the Center for Food Action in Mahwah. For more information on the Business Volunteer Council, visit us online at For more information, call 201-489-9454 ext. 114.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How One Mentor Matters

Our Mentoring Moms program matches trained and caring adult women with overwhelmed mothers who need guidance in facing life’s challenges.

A mentor recently sent in the following note regarding the woman (and family) that she is mentoring:

When you get a family like J and her 5 children, you watch them work hard and try to stay positive yet struggle with their past and today's pressures. Then you realize the reward, for all of us, is being able to see them slowly but surely climb out of their abyss, knowing that you helped give them the strength and confidence to do it.

(Mentoring Moms) offers them hope and gives them a strong support system. Their lives are changed forever because they know someone cares and believes in them…Looking forward to a long and successful partnership.

Sincerely, Kathy H (mentor)

For more information about Mentoring Moms or our other Mentoring Programs please visit our Mentoring Page.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Corporate Volunteering Featured at State Conference

This year’s N.J. Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism and Service will feature a fully-blown curriculum specifically for corporations. Corporate sessions are being planned by the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council and will feature informative and interactive workshops about corporate volunteering and corporate contributions.

Sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism, the conference will also feature a broad range of workshops targeted to nonprofit leaders, Board members, volunteer directors and volunteers.

The conference will be held on Wednesday, November 10, at the Downtown Marriott in Trenton, NJ. Early bird registration is $100 for corporations and $50 for nonprofit organizations. For information about the conference and to register click below.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Frolic Food and Wine Tasting

Our Fall Frolic is shaping up to be a premier event! United Water is hosting a fabulous night full of fun on Thursday, October 21, from 6-9 PM at its headquarters on the foliage-intense shores of the Oradell Reservoir. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the important work of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Come and enjoy fine wines by Wine & Roses of New Milford (beer too!); fun and games with DJ Scott Reddin; and fabulous food from Burke's on Old Hook, Dino's Cucina, Mortellaro's Catering, A Bite of Heaven, Chef Bob's Catering; and save room for scrumptious desserts from Madeleine's Petit Paris.

Take a chance on auction items from Kate Spade, Swarovski, top restaurants and lots of other surprises! Tickets are just $50 each, 3 for $125 or 6 for $250. Buy online; or send check to 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601. For more information call Jane He at or at 201-489-9454, ext. 125.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Connecting School and Community through Service

A conference designed to help schools and community organizations learn about Service Learning will be held on Friday, November 12, at Bergen Community College. Hosted by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, with sponsorship by State Farm Insurance Companies, the Fourth Annual Service Learning Conference will run from 8:30am to 12:00 noon.

This year’s program will focus on students in special education and how to engage them in community service. A panel discussion facilitated by Maureen Kerne, Director, Region V Council for Special Education in Bergen County, will explore how becoming involved with volunteer activities can enhance the transition from school to adult life for special education students.

Service learning brings together academic work and service to the community through an intentional curriculum. Students learn by doing, through a clear application of skills and knowledge, while helping to meet needs in the school and community.

The conference will be held in BCC’s
Technology Education Center, 400 Paramus Road in Paramus. The cost is $35 per adult and $15 per student, which includes continental breakfast and all course materials. Pre-registration is required by November 8, click here to sign up today! Call Debbie Emery for more information at 201-489-9454, ext. 118.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It’s (Almost) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As the hottest summer in years winds down, we can’t help but ask “can the holiday season be far behind?”

Of course it isn't! We are already gearing up for the annual All Wrapped Up holiday giving program by enlisting agencies to provide profiles and “wish lists” of individuals and families in need. Later in the fall we will enlist willing donors from the community who are eager to fulfill the wish lists.

Check our website for details or to sign up for All Wrapped Up Updates. Click here!

Further information, contact Debbie Emery, Director of Community Volunteer Services, at 201-489-9454, ext 118, or send an email to

Thursday, October 7, 2010

RSVP Forum to be Held for Volunteers 55+

RSVP - a national program established by the Corporation for National and Community Service - is America’s largest volunteer network for people over 55. The local chapter, sponsored by the Volunteer Center, offers a full range of volunteer opportunities in Bergen County. A free forum – full of information about what joining RSVP can do for you AND for your community - will be held on Thursday, October 14th, from 2 - 3 pm at the Volunteer Center. Attendance is limited to people over 55; please call 201-489-9333 to reserve your space.

“When you receive an invitation to a party, an affirmative ‘RSVP’ tells your host that you want to be a part of that event,” says Barbara Wiederecht, RSVP Director. “When you join the RSVP Program, you are responding to the needs of the community and bringing about vital changes that make
Bergen County a better place to live.”

RSVP members get as much as they give, including a pre-service orientation, training for their volunteer assignment, supplemental insurance while on duty and mileage reimbursement for travel to and from the agency location.

RSVP to this event today! Call 201-489-9333.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bergen Bike Tour Success!

The 15th annual Bergen Bike Tour was a roaring success Sunday, September 26th. About 230 riders biked through Bergen County on the beautiful Sunday morning to raise funds for Tomorrows Children's Fund and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. Once the rider returned DJ Scott Reddin got the party going with great music, games, and fabulous barbeque of hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings.

View pictures from the event below.