Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Derby Day has Just the Ticket

Only a ticket to our Derby Day party on May 7, will give you an exclusive opportunity to bid on FOUR Yanks vs. Red Sox tickets!

But that’s not all!  We have beautiful Tiffany pearls, a fantastic beach houses in Point Pleasant and Martha’s Vineyard, a trendy Coach bag, and great sports memorabilia!  Check out more Auction Items here or view our slideshow below.

All proceeds benefit a great cause.  Just a taste of what you are supporting is the Volunteer Center’s new online database that links prospective volunteers with volunteer jobs.  Our youth service activities are helping students, schools and groups do good work in the community.  Our two Mentoring programs are helping more than 100 abused or neglected children and over 50 overwhelmed mothers towards a brighter future.  Our Chore Volunteer Handyman Service keeps hundreds of seniors safe in their homes.  Bergen LEADS is developing a new generation of community leaders schooled in issues of critical importance to Bergen County.  Our Business Volunteer Council helps children and families in need.

So step right up!  Join us May 7 from 3:30 – 7:00pm at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth.  Get your tickets now online or call Jane He, 201-489-9454, ext. 125, to reserve your spot today!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Special Announcement

Francine Kaplan, pictured on the left, who is administrative assistant for our Mentoring Youth program, was recently honored as a Volunteer of the Year by the Bergen County Department of Health Services during Public Health Awareness Week, April 4-8.  Francine is the founding parent member of the Children’s Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (CIACC) (1992), chair of its Finance Committee, and an active member in several vital committees that set policy and strategy for helping youth with developmental disabilities and mental illness.  “We are so proud of Francine,” says Janet Sharma, the Volunteer Center’s executive director.  “She exemplifies the perfect volunteer – dedicated, knowledgeable and eager to play an active role in a cause she believes in.”

Francine received her award at a ceremony held on April 7, at One Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack.

Thank you for your service and congratulations, Francine!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is this weekend, and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County encourages everyone to do something to protect and preserve our most precious resource - our beautiful planet.  Pick up some litter... plant a tree... advocate on behalf of our natural resources... pitch in... lend a hand...do something!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hooray for Great Mentors

Our Mentoring Youth program recently honored several long-standing volunteers:

Ruth Schneider (left), of Ramsey, has mentored seven children during her 19 years with the program. At age 83, one would think Ruth is ready to throw in the towel and relax a bit. Instead, she’s patiently waiting to be matched with yet another child to whom she can provide friendship and support.

Ralph Rypkema, of Lodi, has the distinction of having been a mentor for 28 years, and has helped ten boys see and take steps to achieve a brighter future. Ralph believes that success in school helps establish a foundation that can change young lives.

Solange Griffith-Ruff of Teaneck has been a mentor for 15 years and has mentored three different children. “All three of these outstanding mentors bring tremendous patience and understanding to their role as mentor,” says Faith Samples-Smart, Mentoring Youth program director. “Each continues to make a difference in the lives of children.”

Mentoring Youth volunteers are positive role models, providing guidance, friendship and support as well as advocacy, when necessary, on behalf of the children they are mentoring. To learn more about Mentoring Youth click here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Big Thank You to Local Derby Day Sponsors

One of the area's best known spring events is coming on Saturday, May 7, when the Volunteer Center hosts its annual Derby Day party. The festivities run from 3:30 - 7:00 pm at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth.

Several companies are lending their support to the event. Sony is this year’s "Golden Horseshoe" Sponsor. Other major sponsors are BD, The Reader's Digest's Association, TD Bank, Bergen Jaguar, Compensation Solutions, Englewood Hospital, and Oritani Bank. Media Sponsors are 201 Magazine, Bergen.com, and Bergen Health & Life.

Guests will enjoy mint juleps, southern delicacies, wine tasting provided by Tri-Vin Imports, great music, and exciting live and silent auctions of unique items and, of course, viewing of the Kentucky Derby! In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, ladies should don their most lavish hats, gentlemen should sport outrageous neckties; prizes will be awarded for same.

Join us for a delightful afternoon featuring the “Sport of Kings" -- and support for the Volunteer Center. Tickets are $100 per person. Call 201-489-9454 for more information or purchase tickets online here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Volunteer Week!

National Volunteer Week is April 10-16, and the Volunteer Center wants you to celebrate big time -- by volunteering, of course! Volunteers are needed at hundreds of agencies throughout the county, so search our volunteer jobs database for a position that’s just right for you. You can also find out about volunteering in one of our outstanding direct service programs:
Chore Service—Volunteers perform minor home repairs to keep seniors and disabled persons safe in their own homes.

Mentoring Moms—Women volunteer as mentors and friends to support isolated and overwhelmed mothers and their families.

Mentoring Youth (formerly VIPS)—Men and women are mentors and positive role models for abused, neglected and isolated children.

Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) —Offers a variety of volunteer opportunities in which those over age 55 can apply their skills and life experiences.

NJ Business Volunteer Council (BVC) —Employee volunteers improve the lives of low income children and families, addressing issues of literacy, well being and hunger.

For 45 years, the Volunteer Center has been the best local source for connecting people with opportunities that address important issues. Make it a point to learn the myriad ways that our work benefits our community. For more information about the Volunteer Center, or about how you can join thousands of volunteers already working to make the community a better place to live and work, call (201) 489-9454 or email info@bergenvolunteers.org.

Monday, April 11, 2011

O What A Night…

By Debbie Emery

The evening of April 6th was a night to remember as we honored the spirit of volunteerism. Hundreds gathered to celebrate the important and selfless ways that volunteers support our community.

Brenda Blackmon, MY9News Anchor and Kathleen Donovan, Bergen County Executive led off the festivities, during which special volunteers and agency directors from non profits, schools, and faith based organizations, were saluted. Students from Bergen County Academies entertained with toe-tapping, finger-snapping selections from 42nd Street.

April is National Volunteer Month, so remember to say ‘thank you’ to friends, relatives and colleagues who give back through volunteering. Thanks also to our sponsors of the evening: Sony Electronics, Dassault Falcon Jet, Lakeland Bank, and TD Bank.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Derby Day Tickets are Now Available!

It's no secret that the first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, but you don't have to go to Kentucky to have a good 'ole time! The Volunteer Center is celebrating the "Run for the Roses" at our 19th Annual Derby Day party, on Saturday, May 7 from 3:30-7:00 pm at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth.

Our winning combination will include delectable southern fare, mint juleps, a wine tasting and live music from bluegrass band Risky Business. Trophies will be awarded for the Most Elegant Hat (ladies) and Most Outrageous Tie (gents), so dress your Derby best!

This year, our exciting live and silent auction features a weekend use of a Jaguar XJ, a beautiful string of freshwater pearls from Tiffany & Co., golf foursome at Fiddler's Elbow, a week at vacation homes in the Catskills and Martha’s Vineyard, plus much more. Try your luck at our Winner's Circle, where guests pay $20 and receive a mystery gift of up to $75 in value. The event will culminate in the viewing of the Kentucky Derby - live on TV, of course!

Tickets are $100 per person and on sale now. Call 201-489-9454 for more information or purchase tickets online here. All proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Join Bergen LEADS

REASON #1... 
“Because it helps to equip good leaders to become great leaders.
-Bishop Charles Singletary, CL10   

Bergen LEADS is an exciting, 10-month learning and leadership adventure for adults who live or work in Bergen County. Interactive, fast-paced and experiential, Bergen LEADS will help you see your community – and yourself – through new eyes.

Applications are due this Friday, April 8, to be a part of the #1 Leadership program in Bergen County.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Real Trailblazer

The Volunteer Center’s executive director, Janet Sharma, recently received the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Award, which was presented by Senator Robert Menendez in honor of his mother.  In presenting the award during the Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony at Middlesex County College, Senator Menendez cited the exemplary work of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County in addressing needs in the community and Mrs. Sharma’s leadership of volunteer engagement initiatives at the local, state, national and international level.