Thursday, May 31, 2012

Volunteers 55+ are Making a Difference for Generations

The Volunteer Center is joining with the Corporation for National and Community Service to honor the impact of senior volunteers and to encourage more Americans age 55+ to serve their communities during Senior Corps month in May.  The Volunteer Center’s RSVP program engages senior volunteers to perform such activities as tutoring and mentoring children, improving the environment, mobilizing additional community volunteers and more.

 Whether retired, semi-retired or still in the workforce,  volunteers with the Volunteer Center’s  RSVP Program can choose the amount of time they want to give, and whether they want to draw on their own skills, or develop new ones as they support projects and organizations that make a real difference in meeting important community needs.  Volunteer jobs at over 42 local agencies are carefully screened to assure that the volunteers get the most out of their experiences.  With RSVP, volunteers receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where they will serve, and supplemental insurance while on duty.  
 “At a time of increased need and declining resources, volunteers age 55 and over are stepping in to fill the gaps,” says Barbara Wiederecht, program director for RSVP.  “Today, more than ever, communities need the talents and skills of all Bergen County residents to help move our county forward.  RSVP volunteers respond to the call for service by delivering enormous social and economic benefits to our communities and demonstrating that service is good for the nation and those who serve.”
In addition to helping others, older volunteers are also helping themselves by living active, healthy lives through volunteering.  A growing body of research points to mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations.  With nearly one in every five Americans projected to be age 60 or older by 2030, a great opportunity exists to engage older Americans in service to meet critical community needs while contributing to longer, healthier lives.
With the theme “Making a Difference for Generations,” Senior Corps month highlights the powerful impact of 55+ volunteers in the RSVP program and inspires others to get involved.  The initiative recognizes that service by older Americans benefits everyone—it helps volunteers by keeping them active, healthy and engaged; it helps the communities to have millions more skilled volunteers; and it helps the nation by saving taxpayer dollars and strengthening civic participation.
For more information about the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s RSVP program or to sign up for a volunteer project, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 130.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

IRONMAN US Championship - Volunteers Needed!

The IRONMAN US Championship will be held on Saturday, August 11, in NY/NJ this year and you're help is needed to make this event a success!  Volunteer registration is now open, volunteers and volunteer teams are needed to help at the event and before the race.

Before signing up, please take note of the following:  This race is spread out in New Jersey, New York State and Manhattan.  Before signing up for a volunteer position please take note of its location.  Volunteers must be able and willing to walk or bike at least one mile. There is NO VEHICLE ACCESS to many of the volunteer locations. Volunteer transportation will be provided to the transition area and finish via ferry from NYC and NJ locations, a more detailed plan will be provided closer to race day.   Large groups have taken over certain areas of the course, so if you do not see the position you want online, please select another one.

To volunteer as a group, email Sarah, the Volunteer Director:  Groups are considered to be 20+ volunteers.  For information on how you can get involved, visit the
Ironman US Championship at their website by clicking here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday to Feature Super Bowl Executive

On June 29,  Rich Petriccione, Senior VP of Philanthropy and Community Relations for the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee will be the featured speaker at Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday.  The Stony Hill Inn provides the perfect venue for this powerful networking and learning event.  Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance by calling 201-489-9454 Ext. 119, or by registering online here

For the first time ever, the Super Bowl is coming to New Jersey in February 2014.  And it’s not just coming to New Jersey, but to Bergen County at Met Life Stadium!  With this enormous event comes an opportunity to showcase all that northern New Jersey has to offer the estimated 150,000 visitors who will descend upon the region, bringing with them an estimated $500 million in revenue.

Dr. Petriccione will speak about building a local team to coordinate, align and integrate efforts with the Host Committee and the numerous festivities surrounding Super Bowl 2014.  Find out how you and your business can get involved and profit from this amazing opportunity.

Fifth Friday is brought to you by Bergen LEADS, the County’s premier civic leadership program sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.  The June 29 event is presented by Wells Fargo, with additional support from TD Bank, Archer & Greiner PC, PNC Bank, Synetek Solutions, Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, (201) Executive, Northern N.J. Community Foundation, PSE&G, United Water, The Wright Perspective, Kreisler Manufacturing and The Boys & Girls Club of Garfield.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Companies Needed to Fight Summer Hunger Pangs

Every school day, 18 million kids have a nutritious meal thanks to the free and reduced-cost school lunch program. But the summer is a different story. Only a fraction of those kids receive meals because their communities don’t offer meal programs when school is out. And many families find their budgets further strained during summer with increased childcare costs.

Companies and other caring people can help!  This summer, the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) is calling on local businesses to host a Brown Bag Buddies food drive, collecting nutritious, kid-friendly food to be distributed to low income families through local food pantries.

Since the BVC created the program 12 years ago, Brown Bag Buddies has generated over $334,000 in food and financial donations. This year, our goal is to collect and distribute 10,000 pounds of food in June and July.  You can help meet this goal!

Brown Bag Buddies is made possible through the support of its sponsors:
·        Sealed Air
·        United Water
·        Rockland Electric
·        BD

For more information or to request a free copy of the Brown Bag Buddies information packet, email or visit the BVC online at Can’t host a food drive? You can sponsor a Brown Bag Buddy online by clicking here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Margarita Valdez Named by Campus Compact as New Jersey’s First Newman Civic Fellow

Margarita Valdez, a student at Bergen Community College, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,200 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.  She is one of only 162 students from 32 states given this prestigious award that recognizes inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.
Margarita received the award because she demonstrates the type of civic engagement that sets an example for others, shining a positive light in a time when negativity has dominated much national conversation. A second year student at BCC, Margarita chairs the Volunteer Committee on campus and re-started the Community Services Club.  She serves in the Learn to End Hunger Initiative by planning, leading and recruiting students for fundraising and food drives for the food pantry on campus.
Christine Matthews, BCC’s Service Learning Coordinator, is very proud of the work that Margarita and other students do through Service Learning courses, club activities and other opportunities that foster community engagement.   “Colleges are developing students’ public problem-solving skills, such as the ability to analyze community needs, the willingness to participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about challenges, and the ability to inspire others to become part of solutions” according to Ms. Matthews. “Honors such as the Newman Civic Fellows help to highlight these important activities.
The only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum.
Campus Compact’s member college and university presidents from across the country nominated the college student leaders for the 2012 class of Newman Civic Fellows. Each was nominated because they are demonstrating a personal commitment to creating lasting change for the better in their communities. Through service, community-based research, and advocacy, the 2012 class of Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves and the root causes of some of the most pressing social issues that challenge us all.  “These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bergen LEADS presents the Forum on Economic Development in Bergen County

Visitors and tourists "love New York."  Now,  they're also being encouraged to "do Atlantic City."  But what about us?  What about Bergen County?  After all, we're home to rich cultural activities, world-renowned dining, historical and natural wonders, and   - oh yeah - the Super Bowl champions and the 2014 Super Bowl itself!  Add the Ironman Triathlon  and Formula One racing to the mix, and Bergen County is quite the destination!

So, what gives?  Why doesn't this great place we call home have a unifying message that promotes tourism, visitation - and in a much larger sense - economic development?  It's because no one has ever done it before.  The Bergen LEADS Class of 2012 is changing all that.

Join us Tuesday, June 12 at 3 p.m. at Bergen Community College, to find out how Bergen LEADS is set to brand Bergen County (we promise, no irons will be used!).  Register HERE.

This is a FREE event presented by the Bergen LEADS Class of 2012. Bergen LEADS is the premier civic leadership program for adults, sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Great Day at the Derby

Apple Ridge Country Club was THE place to be on Saturday, May 5, as the Volunteer Center of Bergen County celebrated it's 20th annual Derby Day PartyMore than 200 guests sipped mint juleps, grooved to southern rock and blues by the Stuff Brothers, took a chance at the Winner's Circle and Wine Pull, sampled fine wines and bid on fabulous items in the silent and live auction.  MC Leo McGuire and auctioneer Andy Russ led the festivities and encouraged enthusiastic bidding, and everyone cheered as "I’ll Have Another" came from behind to win the Run for the Roses.  It was a great way to spend the afternoon and also raise funds for the Volunteer Center's programs and services in the community.
Judge for the “Most Elegant Hat” contest was past winner Vicki Carr and judge for the “Most Outrageous Tie” contest was past winner Anthony Barbara. Winner of "Most Elegant Hat" was Derby Day committee member Evelyn Babich and "Most Outrageous Tie" was Keith Jensen.
Thanks to all who attended and to our generous corporate sponsors: TD Bank, Compensation Solutions, Synetek Solutions, Englewood Hospital, Inserra Shoprite, Oritani Bank, Reader’s Digest, United Water, 201/, BC the Magazine, Bergen Health and Life and PSE&G.
See ya’ll next year on Satruday, May 4, 2013!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Volunteer Center Named Daily Point of Light by National Volunteer Organization

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County will be presented with a 2012 Daily Point of Light Award on May 18  by the Points of Light Institute, the largest volunteer management and civic engagement organization in the nation.  The award was established in 1998 to honor individuals and groups who take action to create change in their communities.  It was launched in theory by former President George H.W. Bush, who, from his first day in office, devoted special attention to voluntary community service as a means to address serious social issues.

The Volunteer Center was awarded this honor in recognition of its selection as an Innovation Hub of the HandsOn Network, the volunteer activation arm of the Points of Light Institute. HandsOn Network affiliate centers help people plug into volunteer opportunities in their local communities, and partner with corporate, faith and non-profit organizations to manage volunteer resources, and develop leadership capacity for volunteers.

As an Innovation Hub, the Volunteer Center will be a learning lab for community involvement that will drive innovation, build strong leadership and advance volunteer engagement through acquired skills and knowledge.

“Innovation is key to addressing the challenges communities across the country are facing,” says Janet Sharma, executive director of the Volunteer Center. “As an Innovation Hub, we will be able to conceive and develop new ideas and programs that we will be able to share with the entire HandsOn Network for the benefit of all Americans.” Over a period of three years, the practices and learning emerging from the Volunteer Center and nine other Innovation Hubs will form the blueprint for evolving the model of civic engagement to meet 21st century needs of both volunteers and the communities in which they engage.

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County strengthens the community by connecting people with opportunities to serve, operating model direct-service volunteer programs, building capacity for effective volunteering, and participating in strategic partnerships that meet community needs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Guarantee your seat for Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday

             is a powerful networking and learning event that attracts 250 leaders from every sector in the County
             features intriguing speakers and timely, relevant topics 
             is presented by Bergen LEADS, the premier civic leadership program sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County 
             high visibility for up to 12 months on Volunteer Center and Bergen LEADS websites
             sustained exposure to Bergen County leaders from corporate, government, non-profit, academic and volunteer sectors
             extensive promotion to e-list of 2500+ 
             multiple publicity channels including websites, social media, e-mail, print and press releases
             recognition and signage at the event
             tickets to the event
             affiliation with the Volunteer Center and Bergen LEADS


             network with business and community leaders of Bergen County
             connect your company to this innovative and informative event
             support the leaders of tomorrow
             join the conversation about the future of Bergen County

Thursday, May 3, 2012

An Amazing Auction Is In Store

Guests can still RSVP to our Derby Day party this Saturday, May 5, at Apple Ridge Country Club in Mahwah.  Get your tickets online here.  All proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.
Here is just a taste of the auction:   
  • BRAND NEW- JUST ADDED! Makeover and personal styling session in NYC with celebrity stylist Wayne Scot Lukas, valued at $11,500
  • Yankees vs. Cleveland  - June 25th
  • Bruce Springsteen Tickets 9/21
  • Tickets to the Anderson Cooper, NY Mets, and much more
  • Coach Shoulder Bag
  • House in Martha's Vineyard (sleeps 8 - buy for a group!)
  • Fine fragrances, jewelry & more!

See you at the Derby!