Bergen Volunteer Center
Redefining Volunteerism (Since 1966)
Volunteering exists across a broad spectrum. It ranges from the casual to the intense; from one day projects to multi-year commitments. It is practiced at every age; from our youngest children to our most mature seniors. But as we endeavor to “redefine volunteerism” for a more complex time, we are learning that the greatest impact comes when volunteers are skilled, trained and focused on serious community needs.
Turning caring into meaningful action by engaging volunteers to meet community needs.
A Brief History:
The Bergen Volunteer Center was founded in 1966 by the Junior League of Bergen County and a group of concerned residents to serve as a clearinghouse, matching volunteers with agencies that needed help. Within a few years, we realized that a thriving community needed more than a matching service. Thus, we dedicated ourselves to more structured ways to turn caring into meaningful action. Over the decades, some programs have ended as community needs shifted and new initiatives have been started. Yet, have always maintained our commitment to volunteerism as the heart of the community. Today, we continue to ensure that anyone with a desire to give back can do so with impact.
Support for the Vulnerable:
Since 1977, the Chore Service has managed senior volunteer handymen and women who provide repairs for the elderly and disabled to help keep them safe in their homes. With approximately 45 volunteers annually. Chore serves over 1.100 unduplicated clients each year, in all 70 Bergen County municipalities.
In 1977, the Department of Child Protection & Permanency asked us to manage their mentoring program. Now called Mentoring Youth, it enlists, trains and supports mentors who provide friendship, guidance and support for children with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. With approximately 85 mentoring relationships annually, we have provided over 3,800 children with caring mentors.
In 1995, we launched Mentoring Moms, which pairs trained mentors with women whose children are at risk of abuse or neglect. Mentors help moms set and reach goals to provide a safe, stable home. We have provided mentors to over 500 mothers, helping to break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
Bergen Volunteer Center Programs: Turning your caring into meaningful action
The Chore Service is a dual impact program. Retired volunteers stay active by performing minor repairs that keep other seniors safe in their homes, such as installing grab bars, railings, better lighting and locks. Five days a week, 50 weeks a year, the Chore vans are serving seniors in the community. All repairs are free, except for the cost of the parts needed for repairs. Call to learn more about volunteering or to schedule Chore repairs for yourself or someone you love.
CHEER provides a helping hand to enable isolated, frail elderly people retain their independence. Trained CHEER aides and volunteers visit weekly to help with tasks such as shopping, errands, laundry and light housekeeping. They forge lasting relationships with the elders, offering companionship and whenever possible, creating opportunities for the elders to be engaged in their communities. At home but not alone!
This fast pace, 10 month program introduces participants to the public, nonprofit and private sector leaders who influence Bergen County every day. In addition, Bergen LEADS encourages participants to explore the opportunities and challenges facing the community and offer their ideas and solutions at the Public Forum. Become part of where Bergen County’s Future begins.
Did you know?
The Bergen Volunteer Center Blog keeps our supporters up to date on the great things we are accomplishing through the power of volunteers. Find out more at bergenvolunteers.blogspot.com. Bergen Volunteer Center Programs (201) 489-9454.
Turning your caring into meaningful action:
Mentoring Youth recruits, trains, supervises and supports volunteers to mentor children confronted with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. A caring, trusted, reliable adult can help a young person learn to trust again and to take steps toward a brighter future. “He saw potential in me that I did not see in myself”. Become a mentor and change a life.
Mentoring Moms recruits, trains, supervises and supports volunteers to mentor mothers whose children are at risk for abuse or neglect. Helping mothers set goals and take steps to transform their lives, transforms their families and helps end a cycle of abuse and neglect. “My mentor showed me what love looks like. Now I can show my son.” Become a mentor and change a family.
Youth Engagement-Teen leads-Ready, Set, Serve!
Introducing young people to community service, leadership and local public policy is the goal of Youth Engagement. Designing volunteer fairs and providing group and one to one consultation ensures that young people can find experiences to turn their caring into meaningful action. Preparing the next generation for service and citizens.
Bergen Volunteer Center Programs:
Turning your caring into meaningful action.
Making it Home:
Through donations of new and gently used furniture, Making it Home furnishes homes for individuals and families moving out of shelter and into permanent housing. In partnership with realtors, interior decorators, moving companies and ‘junk’ haulers, Making it Home empowers volunteers to use donations to make a house for vulnerable families. Making a House a Home.
Agency Services-Get Connected Database-Expert Exchange:
To support and empower the nonprofit sector, the Bergen Volunteer Center maintains a searchable database of volunteer opportunities for agency members. Get Connected enables each agency to customize its ‘page’ with photos and videos and puts potential volunteers in direct communication with agencies seeking help. Through the Expert Exchange the local nonprofit community comes together to share best practices and grow professionally. Strengthening the local non profit sector by learning together.
Corporate Engagement helps business leaders engage their employees in community service that has an impact. The Bergen Volunteer Center works with businesses to create and sustain workplace volunteerism. The Volunteer Center’s Business Volunteer Council hosts networking events for businesses to promote corporate social responsibility and share best practices. Corporate Engagement also provides consultative services to develop volunteers experiences as team building and social responsibility endeavors. Corporate Citizenship at the local level.
The Bergen Volunteer Center:
64 Passaic Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Bergen County Volunteer Center pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please call them or email them directly for more information.