Bergen Volunteers Buzz
April 2021
What is the Buzz?
Bergen Volunteers Buzz is our newsletter highlighting organizational news, events, updates, and volunteer opportunities. Look out for our newsletter at the beginning of every month to stay connected with your friends at Bergen Volunteers!
Note From Nina

Spring is in full swing and with it comes exciting programming from Bergen Volunteers as we continue to fill the gaps in our social welfare network, matching resources with needs and needs with resources. 

Here are some updates:
  • Our direct service community programs are ramping back up to full capacity, so if you know of anyone needing assistance with grocery shopping, prescription pickup, light handy services, a check-in phone call, a caring mentor, retiree volunteer placement, or to donate furniture, please reach out to us. We’re here to help!

  • We are proud to use the power of our volunteers for the HealthBarn Feed the Frontlines initiative, distributing over a thousand meals a day from restaurants in Ridgewood to distribution sites all over the county. 

  • Special thanks to Greater Bergen Realtors for holding a necessities drive for our clients, providing cleaning supplies, toothbrushes, feminine products, and other items not covered under assistance programs. 

  • We are seeking social media ambassadors to help us get the word out about our programs and initiatives. Please contact us if you would like to participate.

In honor of National Volunteer Month, we thank all of our volunteers, social media ambassadors, drivers, visitors, handypersons, mentors, tax preparers, furniture haulers, reading buddies, retirees, gift givers, leaders, business partners, nonprofit collaborators, and Board Members for your incredible efforts on behalf of the clients we serve. We appreciate you ALL so much!

We are looking forward to an April filled with warmth, health, and of course, volunteering!

Warmly,
Nina
Upcoming Events

Redefining Retirement
Office Hours

April 13, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
via Zoom

Join Redefining Retirement as we hold virtual office hours. Liaisons will be prepared to offer attendees insight on the nonprofit community and how new retirees can repurpose their expertise and skills towards volunteer service.

To register, email retirement@bergenvolunteers.org.
Friday Forum
Mission Possible: Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

April 23, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
via Zoom

Join Bergen Volunteers for our first Friday Forum of 2021: Mission Possible: Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine. The Friday Forum event will inform attendees about how vaccines are disseminating throughout the State of New Jersey and how you can get yours!

Register here.
Program Updates
Bergen LEADS
Join Bergen County’s premier leadership program! Bergen LEADS Class of 2022 applications are now available. This dynamic and innovative program consists of seminars from experts across all sectors, interactive workshops, and eye-opening site visits. As a Bergen LEADER, you will learn about yourself, your leadership style, and the community you live/work in. 

View the information packet here. In this packet you will find FAQ’s, tuition information, and a sample application.

Please note that once you fill out your application you can only edit your application on the same computer and within the same browser. 

If you have questions about the application process, contact Debbie Emery at demery@bergenvolunteers.org or 201-489-9454 x202.
CHORE
The CHORE Program was featured in Autumn Years’ Spring 2021 issue. The story followed four of our volunteers and highlighted their connection to CHORE. Meet Thom, Sam, Mike and Bill and learn how they support the safety of Bergen County residents here.

To request the CHORE service or volunteer, reach out to Michele Ogden at mogden@bergenvolunteers.org or
(201) 489-9454 x203.
Mentoring
On March 19th the Mentoring team hosted our mentor training session virtually. With 18 volunteers in attendance, we are now ready to match mentors with eager participants. Our mentoring program is open to all, with long-term (12 month) and short-term (month-to-month) options. 

Mentoring: Seniors-to-Seniors
Are you a senior citizen (or do you know a senior) who would like to receive bi-monthly calls? 

We are thrilled to launch our new program, Seniors-to-Seniors. High school seniors will reach out to senior citizens in our community on a bi-monthly basis to do wellness check-ins. We currently have high school seniors from New Milford High School signed up to volunteer their time. 

To learn more contact Lisa Tredici at 201-489-9454 ext. 208.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
The VITA program is in full swing at Bergen Volunteers. The program is being supported by seven dedicated volunteers who devote their Saturdays to helping Bergen County residents complete their tax returns. Over the past three weeks our volunteers have prepared 60+ tax returns totaling to over $96,000 in refunds.
Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer drivers are needed to help with the Feed the Frontlines initiative!

Feed the Frontlines is a partnership led by HealthBarn between Ridgewood restaurants and food distribution centers in Bergen County. In an effort to distribute meals to those that are hungry, multiple volunteer drivers are needed daily. Drivers would need to be available at 4:30 pm to pick up 50 to 100 meals from Ridgewood restaurants and deliver them to a distribution center in Bergen County.


Learn more and sign up here.


Do you want to impact someone’s life?

Do you have the skills to help someone become a self-advocate?

Become a mentor!

Our next mentor training is scheduled for:

Saturday
June 12th
9:00 am - 4:00 pm.

View the application here.

To learn more contact Lisa Tredici at 201-489-9454 ext. 208 or ltredici@bergenvolunteers.org.
Agency Spotlight:
Center for Hope & Safety
The Center for Hope & Safety is dedicated to assisting victims, and their children, of domestic violence by turning fear into safety, helplessness into strength, and isolation into hope. Their mission is to help individuals heal and grow through a wide range of services that offer the tools needed to leave violence, and empower individuals towards new beginnings. The Center for Hope & Safety is currently in need of volunteer tutors, movers, and more! 

View their volunteer opportunities here.
Volunteer Spotlight:
In honor of National Volunteer Month Bergen Volunteers
would like to highlight a few of our amazing volunteers and their dedication to service.
Bergen READS
Thank you to our Bergen Reads volunteers that have continued supporting our students throughout Zoom school and beyond! Our volunteers learned new forms of technology and thrived while doing so. On behalf of the students, families, reading specialists, and teachers, thank you Bergen Reads Reading Buddies!
Making-It-Home
Making-It-Home continues to work with an incredible group of volunteers who help us move furniture from the homes of Bergen County residents to our formerly homeless clients who have leased a new but empty apartment. 

“I’m so grateful to be part of this effort,” said Cass, a new recruit. “This group is such a dedicated team of volunteers, with big hearts too. This hands-on work suits me perfectly and I am so thankful to be at a place in my life where I can give my time to a cause that truly matters. Thanks for making this opportunity available to me and others who feel the same,” she said. Thank you to Cass and all of our Making-It-Home volunteers that continue to support our clients and help improve their lives!
Redefining Retirement
A well deserved thank you to our Redefining Retirement volunteers for not missing a beat during the last year. Our volunteers continued to find ways to meet with retirees when the world shut down and continued placing over 30 new retirees at nonprofits agencies. These volunteers went above and beyond, flourishing in their roles as liaisons. 
VITA
Thank you to our VITA volunteers who work tirelessly to help Bergen County residents file their taxes, learn about anti-poverty tax credits, and more! Although we were limited by working virtually our preparers still found opportunities to make personal connections with the clients in order to really understand their financial circumstances and how to complete their returns.

Thank you to:

  • Jeremy Guenter
  • Ricky Hernandez
  • Patricia Harper
  • William Kennedy
  • Angela McCain
  • Swaminathan Natarajan
  • Fumiko Takada
Stay Connected to Bergen Volunteers throughout April as we highlight our volunteers and all of their accomplishments on social media!
Make an impact today and support
our CHEER clients!
Michele, Program Manager with CHEER Client, Gladys

Imagine the frustration you feel when you miss a package or a visitor because you did not hear the doorbell? Our CHEER and CHORE clients are all too familiar with this reality - but you can help!

A donation of $40.00 will have a tremendous impact on a person who is hard of hearing or non-hearing.  
Honeywell offers portable wireless doorbell units that feature an illuminated halo and an optional strobe light. The doorbells last for five years and can travel with our clients from room to room. Now, our clients with hearing deficits will never miss a delivery or visit again.
Sponsor Spotlight:
Cross River Bank
Meet our new partner, Cross River Bank

Cross River Bank is an innovative financial services leader that merges the product offerings of a technology company with the established expertise of a bank through its innovative, API-based platform, enabling its partners to deliver responsible financial solutions that empower consumers anytime, anywhere. 

We are thrilled to provide the impetus for Cross River Bank to be a model of caring, authenticity, and trust for the customers they serve and our greater community.

Looking for Ways to Give?
Do you have questions about any of the ways to donate to Bergen Volunteers?
If so, please contact Elizabeth at ereich@bergenvolunteers.org.
Bergen Volunteers
www.bergenvolunteers.org