Friday, July 29, 2011

Charity and Spice!

Join the Volunteer Center for Community Night at Blue Moon Mexican Café, Tuesday, August 9th.  Blue Moon will generously donate 20% of all Dine In, Take Out, and Gift Card purchases to the Volunteer Center.

Visit one of the three Bergen County locations: Englewood, Woodcliff Lake  or Wyckoff from 11:00am – 9:00pm to partake in this truly spicy fundraiser.

All guests must print out the flyer, found here, and hand it in to your server upon arrival.  Without the flyer we receive no credit. 

Invite your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or anyone else who might not want to cook on August 9th and have a fiesta for the Volunteer Center!  You have to eat somewhere - why not Blue Moon Mexican Café?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Community Gardens to Promote Healthy Eating

The Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC), a coalition of companies whose members work year round to help children and families in the community, has kicked off a brand new initiative, BVC Community Food Gardens.

A component of the long-running Brown Bag Buddies, a summer food collection program, the BVC Community Food Garden Program will address the nutrition needs of low-income children by expanding access to fresh produce and promoting healthy eating.

“Too often, families don’t have enough money for the monthly food bill, and fresh fruits and vegetables don’t fit into that budget,” says Tess Tomasi, BVC Coordinator. “But according to the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition’s Every Child, Every Day Campaign, fresh produce is a critical part of the fight against childhood hunger.”

BVC member agencies identified neighborhoods with a high prevalence of family poverty, and contacted community based organizations serving those families, so that there would be a way to distribute the harvested fruits and vegetables.

The BVC is sponsoring four community gardens in 2011, in Garfield, Hackensack and Teaneck.  Companies and individuals are still needed to support the existing gardens in the form of donations of resources like tomato cages, watering cans - even salad spinners - or money to cover any unexpected expenses as the gardens grow, and to support future gardens in Bergen County.  Visit the BVC website at to make a donation to the Community Garden Project.

Visit the BVC's website to find out how to get involved with this or other projects of the Business Volunteer Council.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Volunteer Opportunities Posted

Visiting Homemakers, Hackensack, is looking for volunteers who can stain a brand new handicap ramp and stairs at their home office located on Union Street in Hackensack. Volunteers can contact Michele Ogden at 201-488-0041 ext. 15.

Family Promise of Bergen County, Ridgewood, needs volunteers to assist with a new weekend program for families at the Family Promise shelter in Ridgewood. Volunteers are needed to work in 4 hour shifts between 8:30am - 6:00pm. Volunteers will assist in activities and monitor the group. Volunteers can call Jane Bellis at 201-833-8009.

Christian Overcomers, Garfield, is looking for volunteers to assist disabled patients at their retreat in Canadensis, Pennsylvania from July 18-22 and August 22-26. Volunteers will be trained to work with patients. Minimum age is 17. Registered Nurses and LPNs are also needed to assist in distributing medication to campers. Volunteers can call Debbie White at 973-253-2343.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Volunteer Management for Results: How to Create and Sustain Success

The Volunteer Center is offering a comprehensive, six-hour course on “Essentials of Volunteer Management: From Development to Achievement” on Thursday, August 4, 9am - 3pm.  The $75 registrationfee includes breakfast, lunch and extensive course materials in a binder.   Participants from Volunteer Center Member Agencies pay only $50; contact the Volunteer Center for more information on becoming a Member Agency.

Participants will “learn the ropes” of volunteer management  as they cover important benchmarks for success, including:

  • Planning the Volunteer Program
  • Volunteer Recruitment and Placement
  • Orientation and Training
  • Supervision and Recognition
  • Evaluation of the Program

Best practices and new trends in volunteer management will be discussed, including how to use social media and traditional media to market to volunteers and other stakeholders, how to engage leadership-level volunteers, and how to target recruitment efforts to specific demographics.

Volunteers are a major economic factor in communities across the country.  The most recent data from Independent Sector values volunteer time at $21.36 per hour.  Combined with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data showing nearly 64 million people volunteering an average of 52 hours per year, the value of volunteering is more than $71 billion.  This means that volunteering is worth the investment of managerial talent.

“Volunteering is definitely worth the investment in managerial talent,” says Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center.  “The Volunteer Sector has been facing numerous challenges due to the economy and shrinking work force.  By implementing the practical solutions offered in this workshop, volunteer coordinators can improve their professional skills and learn to manage people who are eager to give their time and talent to help our community.

“We know that volunteers must be engaged to be effective,” continues Sharma.  “Ensuring that those who manage volunteers have the necessary skills is critical to the success of non-profit organizations.  This day-long workshop will benefit newcomers to the field as well as those already deeply invested.”

For more information about customized training or to register for “Essentials of Volunteer Management”, send an e-mail to:, or call Tess Tomasi at (201) 489-9454 Ext. 114.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Register Now for the Bergen Bike Tour

Sign up now for Bergen Bike Tour! This family-fun event on Sunday, September 25, benefits the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and Tomorrows Children’s Fund.  The event ride features routes for cyclists of every ability from novice to expert!   Each ride begins and ends at Darlington Park, in Mahwah, and family fun includes a special Kids’ Ride, barbeque, clowns, face painting, crafts, music, games, prizes and more!

You can register any of four ways - 1) Online at; 2) Download and print a registration form; 3) Call 1-877-BER-BIKE; or 4) Register at the event on 9/26/10.

All riders are expected to turn in $100 per individual or $200 per family (4 members), with all proceeds split between two outstanding organizations:  the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and Tomorrows Children’s Fund.  Every pre-registered rider will receive 5 silicone bracelets to give as a 'thank you' to friends and family who support your ride.

Several local companies are stepping up to support the Bergen Bike Tour:  TD Bank; Peterson’s, a Nelnet Company; Apax Partners; Jamis Bicycles; Inserra Shoprite; Oritani Bank Charitable Foundation; and PNC Bank. Sponsorship opportunities begin at $500, and sponsors of $1,000 or more get their logo on the t-shirt and can register an unlimited number of employees at no extra charge. (All riders are expected to raise at least $100 - $200 for families - in donations.)

For further information, call 877-BER-BIKE, or visit

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Food Drive for Kids

The Northern New Jersey Business Council (BVC) is helping needy families this summer through "Brown Bag Buddies," a summer food drive. The BVC is spreading the word to area businesses to enlist their help in ensuring that low income families and their children don’t go hungry this summer.

"Believe it or not, July and August are the busiest months of the whole year because the kids are home from school,” says Thelma Fedele, director of community and government relations for the Center for Food Action. “Children are not getting school lunches or breakfasts and, at the same time, donations of food go down."

Now in it's eleventh year sponsoring "Brown Bag Buddies," the BVC welcomes participation from businesses large and small as well as from civic and faith-based organizations. Our goal is to collect $30,000 in food and cash, which will be donated to the Center for Food Action, by the end of July. You may request an organizational packet, which gives step-by-step instructions for organizing and promoting your Brown Bag Buddies campaign, by calling the Volunteer Center at 201 -489-9454 x 114 or emailing  You can also make a donation to the program here; your cash will be used to buy discounted gift certificates at grocery stores for needy families.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Free IT!

The Volunteer Center’s Non Profit Training and Resource Center will present a workshop on technology, “IT Virtually For Free,” on Monday, July 11 from 10-noon at the Volunteer Center, in Hackensack. 

Free or low-cost information technology is available, and non-profits can easily learn to utilize it.  Attendees at this workshop will learn how to manage IT needs on a minimum budget, save files, maintain and organize donor lists, and manage their non-profit’s day-to-day operations.

Topics will include:

  • Google docs
  • Search engines and how to use them
  • The basics of internet marketing
  • Google Apps
  • iContact Free
  • TechSoup
  • Smartphones 

Course leader is Richard Luna of Protected Harbor, a computer services outsourcing provider which offers numerous services in for non-profits and growing companies in New York, New Jersey and Texas. Mr. Luna has been involved in the computer and programming field for more than 25 years. His customers include the Library of Congress as well as such Fortune 100 companies as Mellon Bank, CSC, Xerox, Bankers Trust and others.

The cost to attend is $15, which includes all course materials.  Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, e-mail, or call (201) 489-9454, ext.114.  Register on-line here.