I have been a Bergen Reads reading buddy with first graders at the Hawthorne School in Teaneck for eight years. For most of that time, Bergen Reads was part of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. It was transferred to the Volunteer Center - seamlessly and efficiently - a year or two ago. Reading buddies help students selected by the teacher. We are typically not reading professionals. But between the wonderful reading specialists at Hawthorne and our supplemental efforts, there typically is a significant improvement in reading levels. Teachers also tell me that the students benefit merely by knowing that an adult from outside the school community is taking an interest in their reading. In a few cases, I've even gotten positive feedback from a parent, although I'm not sure that parents generally know that their child's reading buddy is a volunteer from Bergen Reads.
Review from Guidestar
I have been a volunteer for the Bergen Cheer program for a year. I have the opportunity to purchase groceries for an elder person in my community. I said its an opportunity because I am now friends with this person. We chat and exchange stories about our familes. I didnt expect that but love the idea of having this friendship.
I hope others who have 2 hours a week will aslo volunteer . There are many in need in our communities
Fair Lawn, NJ
Review from Guidestar
Curious to know why all reviews are written at the same time. 2011 includes 10 reviews all written on April 12, 13, 14 or 15. 2012 includes six review all written on June 6, 7 or 8. Seems odd. And all written by Board members or volunteers. No review written by people who have benefitted from the services of this organization. And does anyone else find it odd that no reviews have been written in the past three years?
Professional, well organized non-profit. I have met with Moms with young children as well as st-risk teens who have benefited from individual emotional support. At the other end of the spectrum, I have met professionals who depend on the programs to keep their staffs informed. This organization has its eyes on the future. We will all benefit from a well adjusted society.
I'm actually a volunteer and a Board Member. My first exposure has been as a volunteer in the Mentoring Youth program, where I have been matched with a youngster for more than three years. The training, and ongoing support and guidance have been extremely helpful in what has been an extremely difficult series of scenarios. The Mentoring Youth Direrctor, and her staff have been entirely supportive, and it is always a pleasure to interact with each of them. At a volunteer recognition night, I became aware of the fact that there were openings on the Vulunteer Center board. The Volunteer Center is the parent agency for the Mentoring program. I have been on the Board for more than a year now, and I find the Board to be a dynamic group of engaged individuals who are committed to the concept of "volunteering". Our Board is complemented by our executive director, and her highly professional staff, who are all well informed, and eager to be of assistance. This is a well managed organization that delivers to people who need and appreciate the various programs available through this dynamic program!
The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is a hub of activity addressing multiple constituencies and multiple needs. It's core activity serves a diverse nonprofit community, helping to match people seeking opportunities to volunteer with agencies needing their help. It also provides capacity building development assistance, particularly in the area of Board competence. Model mentoring programs for at-risk youth and young, potentially over-stretched moms have stellar results, as does a home repair service, staffed completely by volunteers, that aids elderly and handicapped people remain safe and independent in their homes. The organization helps build leadership through a highly successful program for rising community leaders that incorporates issues analysis, personal leadership training a stewardship for future action. In all, this more than 40-year-old organization has a unique and vital place in the the community.
Ths scope and quality of the activities at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County continues to amaze me. The organization is very mission focused and the staff executes flawlessly. Programs like the mentoring programs, Chore, Bergen Leads, RSVP and Business Volunteer Council are great examples of ways that the Volunteer Center improve the quality of life in Bergen County.
The scope and impact of this organization is amazing. From mentoring programs to training for not for profits and future leaders of Bergen County to senior and business programs - this organization does it all. The staff is extremely responsive to the community needs and how to implement program that provide an impact.
The Mentoring Youth program of the Volunteer Center does wonderful things for our youth and wonderful experiences for our mentors. They are well trained and supervised to be with children who have family situations that are challenging or they have challenges themselves. Having a special person in their lives to be a friend, confidant and role model is so important for our youth. Our mentors benefit from this relationship as well.
This is an organization which has a major impact on the lives of so many people and the communities it serves. Their programs directly effect the young and the old and without the Volunteer Center many of the poor and disadvantaged in the area would have no where to turn to. The Center is well run with a highly skilled and dedicated workforce and it uses it's resources in a cost effective manner. I am personally proud to be associated with a successful organization which does so much good for the people of Bergen County and neighboring areas.
I started with the Volunteer Center as a member of Volunteer Ventures and enjoyed the many volunteer opportunities I had the pleasure to participate in including but not limited to working at the V.A. Home, senior centers, and working with disadvantaged children. What separates the Volunteer Center from most volunteer organizations is the hard work and dedication of the Staff and the outstanding leadership of the Program Director. Like many social service agencies they are understaffed and have limited resources. Despite that, they continually strive to overcome any obstacles in their way and as a result are a major comfort and benefit to the the many people they serve. They are the pinnacle of volunteer organizations; a truly major asset to the residents of Bergen County and neighboring areas.
I've been volunteering with the Mentoring Moms at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County for over 10 years. After retiring from the Corporate World I wanted to find a way to give of my time and to give back to my community. The training was very informative, as are the constant meetings to network with other Volunteers and discuss mutual concerns and joys. I know I am helping the families in need of support and I am, at the same time, gaining new relationships with these families. The Directors and Supervisors at the Center are always willing and able to guide me through any rough spots and to lead me in the proper direction for more resources to share with my assigned family. I love what I do, I would never give it up, and the knowlege that I can help someone else is extremely satisfying; more satisfying than how I felt while working in the Corporate World.
Through the Volunteer Center's Mentoring Youth program, I have been mentoring a seven year old little boy for the past year. It has been, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding, enriching experiences in my life. The six week training program prepared all of the mentors extremely well, and was done very professionally. The matching process was also very thorough and the Mentoring Youth staff was in constant communication.
I've made it a point to take my mentee to some of the activities organized by the Volunteer Center such as a book fair, Halloween party and an afternoon of games, sports, and food run by a local Middle School graduating class. These events have been a lot of fun for everyone.
Perhaps most important, the magic of the Mentoring Youth program is the bond that forms between mentors and children. As for my own experience, my mentee and I have shared so much over this past year. We play sports, go to the movies, eat out, go for walks, cook together and sometimes just hang - simple pleasures that are equally enjoyed by us both. We laugh, have fun, trust each other and look forward to spending time together every week. Thanks to the Volunteer Center this is a relationship that I will treasure for a very long time.
I am a youth mentor with Bergen Volunteers and have some 40 years experience working with families and youth in New York and New Jersey. Bergen Volunteers is a premier service agency and one of the best in Bergen County, in New Jersey, and perhaps in the nation. Its volunteers are extremely well trained and prepared for their helping roles, the agency is professionally run, and its administrators are highly qualified and experienced. This agency is to be commended for their service to families, adults and children.
This organization is phenomenal. They have excellent communications between the social workers, DYFS children, foster parents and the mentors. This is a very rewarding experience for me because this is an agency that truly cares about the welfare of the kids that come through the system. They provide a host of activities to keep the children and mentors engaged together. I absolutely love this program. It is truly helping people.
The Volunteer Center has been amazing! They are constantly in communication with us and really continue to have strong focus on their initiatives and programs! I am a mentor for their Volunteers in Protectives Services (VIPS). I have been very happy with the consistancy with which business is conducted! The staff is so friendly and genuinely love their jobs!
Thank you to them all for their hard work and dedication!
I am a retired small business owner. I found the people at the volunteer center to be professional and genuinely interested in the adults, children and families they were trying to help. The training sessions were very useful and certainly help me with the 10 year old boy that I am mentoring
I have found a few volunteer opportunities through the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. The staff has always been very receptive to my needs and are so appreciative of whatever volunteer work you can do. I have recommended the Volunteer Center to many people. I look forward to continuing to work with them.
I found The Volunteer Center when I retired from the corporate world and was seeking something meaningful to do with my time. I found more than I ever expected. I have never ceased to be amazed at the level of commitment on the part of the staff and the board. As in any organization, not-for-profit or for profit, the key is top down management. The Executive Director of The Volunteer Center inspires everyone involved to make magic, often with extremely limited resources.
The Volunteer Center is truly a jewel in the crown of the community it serves.
I have been involved with Volunteer Center of Bergen County for nearly 15 years. The services they provide to Bergen County and beyond are critical. From mobilizing volunteers for hundreds of non-profits to their signature support programs, such as mentoring, chore services for the elderly and holiday gifts for the needy, they are an invaluable resource for the county and its citizens. With a fully engaged board and staff, the VCBC is efficiently run and remains a model for other non-profit organizations.