Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Business Volunteer Council Celebrates 13th Anniversary - Open to All Interested Businesses

Members and supporters of the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) will celebrate thirteen successful years of service to the community on Wednesday, February 20th with a cocktail reception from 5 - 7 pm hosted by Hackensack law firm Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, PA.  Representatives from any companies interested in finding out more about the BVC are invited to attend.  Tickets to the event are $20 and can be obtained by contacting Ellen Lutvak at  or call  201-489-9454 Ext. 133 by February 13.
Since its founding in 2000, the BVC has mobilized tens of thousands of corporate volunteers to help children and families by addressing pressing issues like hunger, literacy and education, delivering over $1.3 million in resources to the community. 
Membership in the BVC provides companies with opportunity for networking, professional development, community impact, recognition as a good corporate citizen and free or discounted fees for BVC seminars, events and service activities.
 “Now is a great time for companies to join the BVC,” says Amanda Missey, BVC Manager.  “BVC member companies will have free access to nationally-recognized leaders in the realm of corporate social responsibility.  Their employees will have more opportunities for meaningful hands-on involvement, including county-wide volunteer events and customized projects.  Employee participation in hands-on volunteer projects are a great way to increase job satisfaction, build strong teams and get recognition for the company’s community involvement efforts.”
Companies interested in finding out how the BVC can help them to position themselves as good corporate citizens can go to or call 201-489-9454 Ext . 133.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Congratulations to an Outstanding Mom!

Jackie, a mentee with our Mentoring Moms program since 2005, is well on her way towards a Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University, with significant help via a $1,500 scholarship grant from the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program.  The grant was provided to Mentoring Moms so that, with the help of her long-time mentor, Christine, Jackie stays on track to complete her degree. 
A single mother, Jackie credits people around her, like her mentor and other family members, who always believed in her.  It has been a long, hard road for Jackie, who over 8 years ago started taking classes at Bergen Community College, while raising her 3 children and working nearly 30 hours per week.  But she has persevered and, now despite numerous challenges, is close to completing her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and International Business.  Jackie hopes to “pay it forward” in her Hispanic community, by inspiring other women to pursue their dreams. Way to go, Jackie!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Candidates Sought for Leadership Program

Bergen LEADS - an innovative, 10-month learning and leadership program for adults who live or work in Bergen County - is now accepting applications for the Class of 2014. Bergen LEADS, now in its fifth year,  is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.
Under the guidance of former Bergen County Executive William “Pat” Schuber, the LEADS Seminar Director, participants are immersed in a stimulating curriculum that introduces them to topical issues of local importance and encourages them to explore their leadership styles, enhance their leadership capacity and become meaningfully engaged in helping to solve some of the challenges facing Bergen County.
The onlineapplication for the Class of 2014, which begins in September 2013, can be accessed at and is due by April 12.  Each candidate must complete a simple individual profile form and provide essay answers to specific questions.  The new class of 30 participants will be announced in June.
“Our current economic challenges are certainly caused, in part, by a lack of effective leadership at many levels,” says Janet Sharma, the Center’s executive director.  “Consequently, a persistent question facing every sector is ‘where will the next generation of ethical, effective leaders come from?’” Enter Bergen LEADS, which prepares leaders to take the helm in the years ahead.
 “Diversity of participants is essential,” continues Ms. Sharma.  Applicants from business, nonprofit, civic and faith-based organizations and government agencies, as well as from the community at large, are encouraged to apply.  Bergen LEADS seeks representation from the broad array of ethnic, racial, religious and socio-economic groups within Bergen County.  Tuition for Bergen LEADS is $2,000 per person; scholarship assistance is available for those with financial need.
“Bergen LEADS will help participants see the community – and themselves – through new eyes,” says Ms. Sharma.  “The curriculum is interactive, fast-paced and experiential.  Field trips and site visits built into each seminar day will bring Bergen County to life.”
Additional information about the program is available at  or by contacting Amanda Missey, director at 201-489-9454 Ext. 119, or 

Friday, January 18, 2013

PNC Bank Wealth Management to sponsor Fifth Friday Networking Events

PNC Bank Wealth Management has signed on as the 2013 lead sponsor for Bergen LEADS Fifth Friday, a powerful networking and learning event that attracts leaders from every sector in Bergen County.

Fifth Friday luncheons will take place this year on March 22,  May 31 and November 22 at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack - the perfect venue for stimulating conversation, a delicious lunch and high profile speakers.  Fifth Friday is hosted by Bergen LEADS, the area’s premier civic leadership program, which is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. 
“Fifth Friday is an excellent fit with our stated purpose of developing networks and exploring current issues,” says Amanda Missey, director of Bergen LEADS.  “Response to the event has been overwhelming, and we’re very excited to have the support of PNC Bank Wealth Management for the series this year.”

“Bergen County continues to grow and flourish.  Today, with 32 PNC Bank branch locations and a new PNC Wealth Management office in the area, the region’s success is our success,” says Linda Bowden, PNC New Jersey regional president.  “Success, though, is really about being a good neighbor.  We are proud to be deepening our local commitment by supporting Bergen LEADS’ Fifth Friday.  I can think of no better way to act on the community values we share with the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.”

In addition to presenting Fifth Fridays, Bergen LEADS is currently accepting applications for its next class, which begins in September 2013. The online application form for the Class of 2014 can be accessed at and is due by April 12.  Each candidate must complete a simple individual profile form and provide essay answers to specific questions. Tuition for Bergen LEADS is $2,000 per person; scholarship assistance is available for those with financial need.

For more information about the Fifth Friday events, or about Bergen LEADS, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 119.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cyclist Supreme!

Congratulations and many thanks to Andrew F. Rubenstein, M.D., who  was both the top individual fundraiser and captain of the top fundraising team of the 17th Annual Bergen Bike Tour, which was held on Septmeber 30, 2012.  Dr. Rubenstein's individual fundraising and his team's efforts combined totaled $9,095 raised for the Bergen Bike Tour's two charities, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and Tomorrows Children's Fund. Since he began riding in the Bergen Bike Tour in 1999, Dr. Rubenstein has raised more than $86,000! He is also a member of the Bergen Bike Tour steering committee. 
Thank you, Dr. Drew!
For more about the Bergen Bike Tour visit

Monday, January 14, 2013

Want to be a Great Board Member?

The Volunteer Center’s Bergen LEADS program will present an evening workshop for individuals who wish to serve on a non-profit board or those already engaged as a board member.
BoardLink, the workshop will be presented on Wednesday, January 23, from 3 pm to 9 pm at IKEA in Paramus.   Cost to attend is $100 per person, which includes dinner and all course materials.  A group rate of 3 registrations for $175 is also available to agencies that are members of the Volunteer Center.  Pre-registration is required, and seats are limited.  Register on-line or call 201-489-9454 Ext. 119.
Amanda Missey, Director of Bergen LEADS, will give a general overview of the roles and responsibilities of a non-profit Board of Directors.  Ron Matan and Bridget Hartnett of CPA firm Sobel & Company will speak about board fiduciary responsibilities, including audits and reading financial statements.  Linda Czipo from the Center for Non-Profits discuss ethics, risk management, lobbying and advocacy for agencies.  Kim Caesar from Hackensack University Medical Center’s Sanzari Children’s Hospital, will join Jane He from the Volunteer Center to talk about the Board’s role in fund-raising.
“Serving on a non-profit board can provide recognition, visibility, networking, career enhancement and the ability to effect change by addressing important social needs,” says Amanda Missey.  “But along with the benefits comes responsibility to help the organization accomplish its mission and achieve its goals.”
Upon completion of the workshop, the Volunteer Center will help match participants to a board that is in need of their particular skills, talents and interests.
For more information about Bergen LEADS, or the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, visit, or call 201-489-9454.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Collection for Homeless Vets

The Volunteer Center will again be partnering with the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services in assisting homeless veterans in the area.  It is estimated that over 100 veterans are homeless on any given night in Bergen County, and over the course of a year, approximately twice that many can experience homelessness.

Donations of backpacks, toiletry kits (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, comb/brush, razor, shaving cream, small bag to hold items and a set of towels), sweatshirts  sizes large and extra large, and gift cards to Walmart, Shop Rite, McDonald’s, Subway,  and Pizza Hut are needed.  Donors can drop off these items at the Volunteer Center’s offices, 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack, during the week of January 14 to 18, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, with evening hours till 7:00 pm on Thursday; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 19.  Call 201-489-9454 for more information.  Monetary donations that will be used to obtain needed items for the homeless veterans can be made online here.

This drive is part of a national campaign associated with the MLK Day of Service to assist veterans.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Volunteer Center and VOAD featured in The Record

We are pleased and proud to share this wonderful article featured in The Record last week.  It highlights Volunteer Center Executive Director Janet Sharma's efforts in leading the Bergen County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Click here for article.

The Volunteer Center's 46 years of experience in working with volunteers, community organizations and leaders has enabled us to mobilize hundreds of volunteers (and counting) in effectively helping residents, businesses and community groups get back on their feet after Sandy swept through Bergen County towns of Little Ferry and Moonachie.  Thanks to Harvy Lipman and The Record for recognizing Janet and the Volunteer Center! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

All Wrapped Up Success!

Thank you to the hundreds of individuals, families, religious and civic groups, youth groups and companies, large and small, who supported the 2012 All Wrapped Up holiday giving program.  Your kindness and generosity provided holiday cheer to more than 820 families and 760 individuals living alone – nearly 3,600 people in all! 
Thanks also to the 42 nonprofit agencies whose program managers and caseworkers identified their neediest clients so we could match them with donors from the community.
All Wrapped Up continues to be an extraordinarily bright example of neighbors helping neighbors.  We are delighted to facilitate this process and wish you all a Happy New Year!