Thursday, April 23, 2015

Derby Day is May 2nd!!

The Run for the Roses comes to Bergen County every year with the Volunteer Center of Bergen County's 23rd Annual Derby Day Party. This legendary fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd Apple Ridge Country Club, 269 East Crescent Avenue, Mahwah, NJ.
Derby Day features a winning combination of savory southern food, authentic mint juleps, wine tasting, great live music from The Stuff Brothers, cigar rolling from Maxum Cigars, and of course, the viewing of the Kentucky Derby! The party runs from 3:30 to 7:30 pm and features a silent and live auction in which guests can bid on unique items such as fantastic experiences, gift certificates, vacations, tickets to events and more. Guests are encouraged to dress in festive Derby-inspired attire as there will be a Most Elegant Hat contest for the ladies and a Most Outrageous Tie contest for the gentlemen.
Guests can also view photos from last year’s Derby Day and purchase tickets, which are $100 per person or purchase a table of 12 for $1,000 – great value! For more information call 201-489-9454.
Sponsors of the Volunteer Center’s Derby Day party include: Synetek Solutions, Inserra Supermarkets, Sharp Electronics, United Water, BC the Magazine, Oritani Bank Charitable Foundation, as well as many individual donors of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.
“The Volunteer Center’s Derby Day party is a great way to spend an afternoon - good food, good music, good fun – all to support an outstanding organization that does good work in the Bergen County community,” says Katherine Norian, Volunteer Center Board member who is chair of the Derby Day committee.  ”Reserve your tickets now and get ready to enjoy all things Derby!”
All proceeds will benefit Volunteer Center programs and services, including two Mentoring programs, the Chore handyman service for senior citizens and Bergen Leads, an exciting leadership development program.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Corporate Corner - Books in a Bag

Over 8,000 new children’s books were donated through the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s Business Volunteer Council (BVC), Books in a Bag program. Books in a Bag is a BVC initiative that collects new books for low income families and is distributed to early childhood education centers and families served through the Volunteer Center of Bergen County's Bergen Mentors program. 
Volunteers from Business Volunteer Council member companies United Water and Hudson City Savings Bank packed 2,760 of the books into drawstring bags in early March, which were then distributed to 460 pre-K and kindergarten students at the Quarles School in Englewood. On March 18th, in honor of Read Across America Day, volunteers from BVC member company TD Bank read the books to an attentive audience of children at the school.
The remaining books will be distributed at an annual book fair on April 25, 2015 for children and families mentored through the Bergen Mentors program. Bergen Mentors is comprised of two support programs, Mentoring Youth, which provides mentors to children who have suffered severe abuse and neglect, and Mentoring Moms, which provides support to mothers struggling to provide for their families. A combined 182 children are served by the two programs, 95% of whom are from low-income families. Buying books at a bookstore or at their school book fair is a luxury that is often not in the family budget for many of the children in Bergen Mentors, so this special book fair will enable the children to have books of their very own to keep and enjoy.
“According to Project Literacy of Bergen County, more than 150,000 people in Bergen County cannot read beyond the 4th grade level,” states Erica West, the Volunteer Center’s Director of Corporate Engagement. “The Business Volunteer Council recognizes that literacy is not just the responsibility of our educational system, but the entire community and is poised to change the statistics. Books in a Bag was created not only to teach our children the value of reading, but to educate parents on the significant impact family reading can have on a child’s development.”
Books were generously donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, United Water, KPMG, Konica Minolta, Jacome America, Scholastic, BD and Books and Greetings bookstore. Books in a Bag was sponsored by Business Volunteer Council member companies Konica Minolta, United Water, BD and Rockland Electric. Sonja Clark of United Water states, “The books donated for the Books in a Bag initiative are an important first step in promoting and encouraging the importance of reading in young learners. United Water has been a key supporter of the Books in a Bag program and as a result is making a lasting contribution to children and families in need throughout Bergen County.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Summer Leadership Program Planned for Middle and High School Students

Leadership and Community Service the Focus of Week-Long Activities

The Volunteer Center of Bergen County will be offering two sessions of a one-week summer service and leadership program for local students this summer. The program, Ready, Set, Serve, is scheduled for June 22-25 for students entering 9th or 10th grade this September, and August 31-September 3 for students entering grades 6, 7 or 8. Both sessions 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 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, students 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 2016.

“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 high school applications, 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 closing session. Students provide their own lunch the other days. The deadline for application is May 31. Tuition can be paid online by clicking here. Call 201-489-9454 Ext. 118 or email for more information or to obtain an application.