Bergen Volunteers Buzz
May 2020
What is the Buzz?
Bergen Volunteers Buzz is our monthly 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!
Dear Friends,

As you read this newsletter, we will have been practicing our “social distancing” for 7 weeks. We have become experts on Zoom, taken our multi-tasking to new heights, and discovered our pets may not miss us during the day--as they have led us to believe.

While we have been physically distant, we have found ways to stay socially connected. At every turn, we are seeing people stepping up in amazing ways to help neighbors, friends and total strangers. And we are seeing great feats of leadership-- organizations supporting their staffs, thinking creatively, and adapting on the fly.

I once had the great fortune to have Bergen County Historical Society President--Kevin Wright explain Thomas Paine’s famous quote:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

Bergen County is full of those who do not shrink from service, who stand by it now. Everyday, we hear from those who deserve the love and thanks of man and woman.  

We continue to be humbled and honored to help you turn your caring into meaningful action--and know that your efforts are improving lives and strengthening the community.

Stay safe and be proud of Bergen County--truly a great place to live and work.

Lynne
Upcoming Events
Due to COVID-19 and the increased exercise in New Jersey all upcoming events are postponed. If you have any questions, please contact
Elizabeth at ereich@bergenvolunteers.org .
Program Updates
CHEER
Our Successful Aging team is ensuring that our CHEER clients are safe and healthy during these uncertain times. Staff and volunteers perform daily phone calls to check-in with our most vulnerable and isolated clients, alerting them of services that are currently available to seniors, particularly those that assist in delivering groceries and prescriptions.
Making-It-Home
Making-It-Home is actively reaching out to formerly homeless clients to make certain they have everything they need during this unprecedented health crisis. Clients have reported that they are doing well and offered heartfelt thanks for having received furnishings for their empty apartments before the pandemic hit. Though most can’t go outside, at least they’re comfortable, healthy and safe! To learn how you might help with our Emergency COVID-19 services to the homeless contact cmassarsky@bergenvolunteers.org
Mentoring Youth
Did you know that May is National Foster Care Month in the United States? 
New Jersey's Department of Children and Families (DCF) serves and supports at-risk families and provides support to the youth they place in foster care. One of these support systems is Bergen Volunteer's Mentoring Youth program. We are proud to be able to match youth with our dedicated, trained and supportive mentors. While our program runs for 18 months, we are humbled and inspired when we see relationships thrive and prosper after graduating from our program. To learn more about becoming a mentor, please email successfulfamilies@bergenvolunteers.org .
Redefining Retirement
Since the program began, Redefining Retirement has placed more than 125 retired, highly skilled, highly motivated volunteers to support our community partners along with many of our own programs. The liaisons for Redefining Retirement are 10 volunteers working out in the community to support retirees and agencies, matching the volunteers to important opportunities, and providing program support to Bergen Volunteers in the areas of marketing and communication.
Volunteer Opportunities
A great way to receive information about what is going on with volunteering in our area is for you to create a user account on our Get Connected database. While many opportunities are unavailable at this time due to COVID19, you can post your information including your skills and your interests. You will receive information on opportunities that match your information. Access the database here . While in person volunteering is limited during this time of the pandemic, remember how much our non-profits will need your continued support as community activity opens up and we get back to the business of helping others. 
Thank You
Thank you to our volunteers from Bergen Volunteers, Bergen County Center for Food Action, Community Food Bank, Bergen County Executive's Office, Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. We all came together in mid-April to pack 1,800, forty pound meal kits to support food insecurity in our county. The meals kits were distributed to non-profit partners supporting their clients by providing food to those in need.
Bergen Volunteers bergenvolunteers.org