Bergen Volunteers Buzz
May 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

Welcome May, Older American's Month! We are proud to serve so many of our elderly population to help them age safely in place and/or utilize their remarkable skills and experience through our CHEER, CHORE, Mentoring, and Redefining Retirement programs.

In May we also celebrate Mother’s Day, honoring those who care for others, by blood or by choice. Our Mentoring program supports caregivers by providing wisdom, tools, and encouragement by trained mentors. If you are seeking a support system I encourage you to reach out to us at Bergen Volunteers to be matched with a caring mentor.
 
On Memorial Day we salute our fallen heroes, remembering the defenders of our freedom who did not come home. At Bergen Volunteers, we are proud to help improve lives for the veteran community, so many of whom have lost fallen comrades. Through our community program, Making-It-Home, we help furnish the homes for many veterans and their families moving out of emergency shelter. This valiant effort is possible thanks to generous community donors and supporters.

At the end of the month we will reveal the Bergen LEADS Public Forum date. The Class of 2021 will be taking a deep dive into the issue of food security, offering their perspective and solutions to help Bergen County battle hunger. In addition to the Public Forum, we will be offering new networking and training seminars and workshops as we continue to be the matchmakers for volunteers, nonprofits, corporate responsibility, and leadership.

I look forward to connecting with you throughout the month as we celebrate a month filled with volunteer opportunities and service projects that improve the quality of life for others.

Warmly,
Nina
Upcoming Events

Redefining Retirement
Office Hours

May 11, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
via Zoom

Are you looking for a way to repurpose your skills and life experiences?

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

Volunteers are needed for many roles across our member agencies. We will help you find the right opportunity for an enjoyable and worthwhile volunteer experience.

To register, email retirement@bergenvolunteers.org.
Lunch & Learn:
Navigating
College Financial Aid

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

Are you ready for the college financial aid process?

Join David Haas CFP®, Bergen LEADS graduate and owner of Cereus Financial Advisors for an information session on navigating the college financial aid process.
 
David Haas CFP® helps individuals navigate the college financial aid process by offering his expertise to families preparing for college. David helps create a budget and offers knowledge to minimize student loans.


Register here.

View sponsorship opportunities here.
Give Back with worldFlats!

May 19, 2021
11 am - 8 pm

193 NJ-17 South
Paramus, NJ 07652
Nvair Beylerian, a resident of Upper Saddle River, attributes her new culinary enterprise, worldFlats, to leadership skills gained while participating in the Bergen Volunteers LEADS program. 

Learn more about Nvair and her new business here and join us on May 19th for worldFlat's 20% give back day to benefit Bergen Volunteers!
Program Updates
Bergen LEADS:
Applications Due May 14, 2021!

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 in which you live/work. 

Apply here.

If you have questions about the application process, contact Debbie Emery at demery@bergenvolunteers.org.
CHEER & CHORE
The CHEER program is collaborating with Meals-On-Wheels and Heightened Independence & Progress to promote free wireless doorbell installations for seniors and individuals with disabilities. These doorbells are designed for the hearing impaired. The CHEER program will distribute the doorbells to clients in need and the CHORE program will install them in each individual's home.

To request a wireless doorbell or to seek help from the CHORE service, please reach out to Michele at mogden@bergenvolunteers.org or via phone at (201) 489-9454 x203.
Mentoring
After thirteen months of virtual in-takes and match-making, we are thrilled to be able to welcome mentors and mentees into our office again. While we continue to take COVID precautions seriously, nothing can compare to the personal connection felt at Bergen Volunteers.

For those individuals not ready to meet in person, we will continue to offer virtual intakes and mentor interviews. 
  
The program is open to the general public. We have trained volunteers ready to be matched within our long-term and short-term programs. All of our mentors have been screened and trained to offer non-judgmental support and resource guidance.

If you could use a mentor in your life or you want to learn more about our program, please contact Lisa Tredici at 201-489-9454 ext. 208.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
The 2020 VITA has come to a close. Thanks to 7 dedicated volunteer preparers, Bergen Volunteers assisted 80 low-income clients with free tax preparation services. Our volunteers helped clients save $89,000 in federal refunds and $12,052 in state refunds. Additionally, volunteers helped our clients receive $17,306 in anti-poverty tax credits, including earned income, child, senior, and education credits.
Volunteer Opportunity
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.
SPOTLIGHTS
Community Group Spotlight:
Donate Don’t Dispose
How Students are Battling Food Insecurity in Bergen County


With the help of Bergen Volunteers, four rising seniors at Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro are working with local community partners to help battle food insecurity in Bergen County.


Read more here.
Agency Spotlight:
Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County
Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing, supporting, and promoting the expansion of adult literacy in Bergen County, NJ.

They provide services for:
  • Adults who cannot read, write, or speak English, who need one-to-one tutoring by trained volunteers, and for whom classes are either difficult or not possible.
  • Adult literacy students who want to find free classes in reading, writing, and speaking English, or who want information on getting their High School Equivalency Diploma.
  • Employers who need an assessment of their literacy needs.
  • Policymakers who need information regarding the literacy field to inform their decisions.
  • Members of the media who want to inform the public and explain problems relating to illiteracy.

If you are interested in learning more or want to volunteer as a tutor please contact, read@project-literacy.org.
Sponsor Spotlight:
Rotary Club of Englewood
Bergen Volunteers is overjoyed to announce our new partnership with the Rotary Club of Englewood.

The Rotary Club will be supporting the Mentoring Program, allowing Bergen Volunteers to serve a wider demographic and provide well-trained support for individuals in need of a caring mentor.

“The Rotary Club of Englewood is delighted to support the Mentoring Program to meet the needs of individuals who do not have the support, education, or resources to become self-advocates,” shared Lisa Wisotsky, Rotary Club President.

If you are interested in being matched with a mentor or supporting the program please reach out to Lisa Tredici at ltredici@bergenvolunteers.org or (201) 489-9454 x208.
Donor Spotlight:
Lee Michelson
"I donate to Bergen Volunteers because of the diverse programs offered. These programs impact the lives of so many, from the very young to the elderly, and everyone in between. I am glad to give to important services that impact the community in meaningful ways."
 
-Lee
Recurring Donor
Make an impact today and support
Making-It-Home!
Making-It-Home
Making-It-Home provides gently used furniture donated by Bergen County residents to individuals and families who are moving from emergency shelters to permanent housing.

You can help make someone's house feel like a home!

A donation of just $100 rents a truck for an entire day of furniture pick-up and deliveries!
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