Thursday, November 28, 2013

We are thankful for you.

Every day we are thankful for those who step up to help others through their acts of caring.  We deeply value your support and wish you and those you care about the happiest of Thanksgivings.
From your friends at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County strengthens the community  
by connecting people through service and developing civic leaders.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Family Volunteers ROCK!

Last Saturday, November 23rd, the Bergen VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) hosted Family Volunteer Day, thanks to a generous grant from Disney and generationOn.  The focus of the project  was the clean up and restoration of yards devastated after Hurricane Sandy ravaged areas of Little Ferry and Moonachie.  Many of the residents, especially seniors, have not been able to keep up with yard maintenance due to the overwhelming stress of storm recovery and home repair.  In addition, the flood waters destroyed yard tools kept in sheds and garages, which were not covered by insurance or other relief programs.  This was a great opportunity for families with children to help out in our recovery efforts!  
More than 60 volunteers, representing 30 families participated in the fun, hardworking day.  Volunteers helped local residents with fall yard work.  22 children, ages 6 – 17 were part of the group.  The group donated 231 hours total.  
Food and drinks for the day were provided by the Salvation Army, Dunkin Donuts of Hawthorne and Little Ferry, and Ben’s Bagel Barn of Little Ferry.  Additional equipment supplies for the day were provided by City Green, the East Rutherford DPW and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
Thanks to everyone who made this wonderful day possible.  When families band together to do good, results happen!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Joy in the Making!

GenerationOn, the youth-focused arm of Points of Light (which is the Volunteer Center’s national affiliate partner) has joined with toy-maker Hasbro in asking kids everywhere to “Be a Joy Maker” and join them in giving joy this holiday season. 
Here’s how the Be a Joy Maker initiative works: for every action a kid or teen takes to help someone in need, Hasbro will match it with the gift of toys or games to be distributed to kids in need!   For many kids, these toys will bring a special kind of joy in the knowledge that their community cares. 
Now, this is where Jade He, 12-year old middle school student in Northern New Jersey, comes in!  She is the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s very own Joy Maker.
Jade is no stranger to volunteering and helping others.  From a young age, she has always found opportunities to help out, whether involved in scouting activities, parish programs or working on projects for the Volunteer Center.  This holiday season, Jade is part of the Volunteer Center’s corps of elves for the All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program, which matches donors from the community with families in need.  Because she is doing amazing things to make her mark on the world through volunteer action, the Volunteer Center will receive 100 toys from Hasbro to donate to many of the kids in All Wrapped Up.  
Jade also received a $100 Visa Gift card to be used for supplies and materials to further help her spread the joy this holiday season.  Jade has decided that the gift card will help her purchase supplies needed to run a “Holiday Shop” for the children in our Mentoring Moms program.  These children will be able to bring cheer to their moms by using the supplies provided by our Joy Maker!
Jade He has always been a delight, and now she’s also our Joy Maker!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thank you TJX Foundation!

Thank you to the TJX Foundation for supporting the Volunteer Center's Mentoring Youth program with a grant for $5,000.  Funds will support the recruitment, screening, training and supervision of mentors for children living in Bergen County who have experienced abuse, neglect or isolation.  The TJX Foundation has supported Mentoring Youth for the past eight years, providing trained and caring mentors to help kids to see and take steps to a brighter future. The TJX Companies, Inc. is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide, with stores including T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods. Thank you, TJX Foundation!
For more information on our mentoring programs click here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Family Volunteer Day - Sign up Now

November 23rd is Family Volunteer Day, a day of service that demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together.  Created 22 years ago by Points of Light, the purpose of the day is to inspire families to serve and engage in civic activities geared toward improving their communities. It’s still going strong today! 

The Bergen VOAD and the Volunteer Center received a generous $2,000 national grant from Points of Light to host this special opportunity for families to work together, and give back together!

Join the VOAD and the Volunteer Center, along with other families on Saturday, November 23 from 9am – 1pm at the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Center located at 221 Moonachie Road in Moonachie. Families will work on yard projects for residents of Little Ferry and Moonachie who were deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Click here for the complete flyer.

To sign up to help or to learn more information please contact Marisa Santiago at 201-446-8585 or email her at

Friday, November 8, 2013

“Lunch and Learn” for Volunteer Managers

The Non Profit Training and Resource Center of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County will present a Volunteer Managers’ “Lunch and Learn” Roundtable on Thursday November 21, 2013 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Volunteer Center’s offices at 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack.
The Roundtables are free, but all attendees must be pre-registered to attend. To RSVP, call 201-489-9454 Ext. 118 or e-mail by November 15.
Participants must bring their own lunches; soft drinks will be provided. Driving directions and parking instructions will be e-mailed to registered attendees before each session.
All professionals who work with or manage volunteers in non-profit, corporate, community, governmental or faith-based settings are invited to attend this seminar—part of a series of bi-monthly meetings that are informal yet interactive, with time for networking and group problem solving activities.
Each Roundtable will provide an opportunity for professional growth and interaction with colleagues as well as a forum for sharing ideas and best practices in the field. Additionally, attendees will get updates on new programs and services that the Volunteer Center has available to enhance agencies’ volunteer programs.
“These meetings have proven to be informational as well as inspirational,” says Debbie Emery, Community Volunteer Services Director for the Volunteer Center. “The lively exchanges have helped participants keep their skills sharp, find out about new ideas, and get answers to questions about making the most of their volunteer workforces.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Come Build a Playground!

On Saturday, Nov. 16, come and join the fun when Kaboom! partners with local corporations and the Super Bowl Host Committee’s Snowflake Youth Foundation to build a playground in Moonachie, a town badly ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Volunteers are needed from 8 AM-3PM.  Breakfast, lunch and beverages as well as appropriate tools and gloves will be provided for all volunteers.
Want the details and to sign up?  Click here.