Monday, April 21, 2014

A Special Thank You for a Community Leader

A special thank you to TD Bank Vice President and Ridgewood Store Manager, Jim Konzel, for his donation of toys to a participant in our Mentoring Moms program.   Georgia Brown has run a fully licensed, state certified day care program in her Englewood home for the past 4 ½ years and  is in the midst of renovating her home to build her business.  She carefully utilizes donations from people in the community so she can keep her rates affordable and help meet the child care needs of more families.  
 Jim graciously donated bags of his children's own gently used toys  to Tots Haven, Georgia's in-home day care center. Georgia, a long term Mentoring Moms participant, came to the program from the county’s Temporary Aide for Needy Families program.  A single mom to her three children and grandson, she continues her path to become more self-sufficient.
Mentoring Moms provides an informal network of support to mothers who have limited resources and struggle financially, logistically and emotionally with raising their families. For information about becoming a mentor, call the Volunteer Center at 201-489-9454.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Summer Program Planned for 9th and 10th Graders

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County will be offering a one-week summer service and leadership experience for teens this June.  The program, scheduled for June 23-27, will be held at the Volunteer Center in Hackensack from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily.
Ready, Set, Serve is an exciting and challenging summer program for Bergen County students who will be entering the 9th or 10th grades in September.  Teens will be immersed in a week of interactive, interesting and fun activities, learning leadership skills that will help them make a difference in their schools and communities.
The focus of Ready, Set, Serve is community service.  Through a state-of –the-art curriculum that includes both classroom instruction and experiential training, teens will participate in challenging exercises including community needs analysis, goal setting, team building, project planning, decision making and other dynamic leadership skills.
The Ready, Set, Serve experience continues beyond the one week in summer.   Participants will continue to meet monthly from September through March to discuss and work on individual or group service projects.  A graduation and project presentation will be held in conjunction with the Volunteer Center’s Celebrate Volunteers recognition event in April 2015.
“The ultimate purpose of  Ready, Set, Serve is to help create stronger communities - and a stronger nation - by igniting in young people the ability and desire to make meaningful, lifelong contributions to their communities,” says Debbie Emery, Community Volunteer Services Director at the Volunteer Center.  “Students participating in this program will have a great activity to add to their college applications and resumes, as well as service hours they can use to meet requirements of schools and religious institutions.
The fee to attend this program is $350 per student, which includes all class materials, snacks, beverages and lunch on the Friday, June 27 closing session.  Students provide their own lunch the other days.  The deadline for application is May 27th.   Tuition can be paid online at  Call 201-489-9454 Ext. 118  or email for more information.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Community Collaboration for Family Volunteer Day

Family Volunteer Day is fast approaching and, wow!, it’s going to be great!  Volunteers will help with the community garden at Bergen Community College, Paramus.  MEVO (Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization) developed and maintains the garden; will be leading volunteers and teaching all sorts of environmental info.
Boiling Springs Savings Bank is our Family Volunteer Day Sponsor and sending lots of volunteers of their own to participate in this great event! Other community partners include Whole Foods (Ridgewood), Snack Sponsor , offering up healthy treats Anthony Aluotto, owner of Giovanni’s Deli (Fair Lawn) is treating everyone to lunch.  All designed to nourish volunteers as they bring gardens and ground to life after a long winter.  
Thank you to all for coming together for what promises to be a special day of service.  There is still time to sign up for this fun-filled event.  No one is too young or too old to help out.  For more information click here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Deadline Approaching to Apply for Bergen LEADS Class of 2015

Applications are due April 11, for Bergen LEADS, an innovative, 10-month civic leadership program for adults who live or work in Bergen County.
Men and women from the private sector, nonprofit agencies and government organizations, as well as community volunteers, are encouraged to submit an application form, available at  
Bergen LEADS is a program of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, which has successfully engaged Bergen County residents in civic life for more than 40 years.  Bergen LEADS - led by former Bergen County Executive William “Pat” Schuber - carries on that tradition by providing an extraordinarily rich, diverse and stimulating program focusing on topical issues, leadership and community trusteeship. 
We’re seeking individuals from all ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds who espouse different political, religious and social views,” says Mr. Schuber.  “In short, we want our class to represent and celebrate the rich diversity of Bergen County.”
Participants will be selected on the basis of demonstrated interest in the community, achievement in their professions and/or volunteer activities, and potential for responsible and effective leadership.  
For more information on the Bergen LEADS program, go to or contact Amanda Missey at 201-489-9454. ext. 119 or