Bergen Volunteers

64 Passaic Street

Hackensack, NJ 07601

201-489-9454

info@bergenvolunteers.org

Bergen Volunteers is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. 

Improving Lives

Successful Aging

 

CHORE

CHEER

CHORE Jobs Include:

 

Installing grab bars and wooden banisters

Replacing outlets and switches

 

Repairing leaky faucets

 

Installing door bells and locks

 

Changing light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries

CHORE is a dual impact program, helping Bergen County senior and disabled residents remain safe in their homes, as well as providing a satisfying experience for the programs talented volunteers.

All CHORE Service labor is performed for free by our volunteers; clients only cover the cost of materials. 

CHORE is funded by a grant from the Division of Senior Services of Bergen County and by individual donors.

FOR VOLUNTEERS

CHORE keeps active seniors  engaged in community service.

FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED CLIENTS

CHORE ensures that senior citizens and the those with disabilities remain independent and safe in their homes.

CHORE does not service emergencies.

"I used to worry about how I was going to stay here. I was unable to shop for food and do errands…I have a heart condition… CHEER makes all the difference."

"If it wasn't for CHEER, I would have no clean clothes, no food, and no one would care...Without Janet's help, her sunny disposition, my cupboard would be bare."

CHEER is a free service that provides a helping hand to seniors and those with disabilities to enable them to live safely and independently in their homes.

CHEER is funded by a grant from the Bergen County Department of Human Services, grants from community corporations and private foundations, and individual donors.

 

Trained CHEER aides and volunteers visit weekly to help with tasks such as shopping, errands, laundry, and light housekeeping. They forge lasting relationships by offering companionship and whenever possible, create opportunities for their CHEER clients to be engaged in their communities.

Very often, this type of minimal service is all that is needed to enable an elderly person to continue to remain safely in the comfort of home.
 

Michele Ogden and Jessica Leibe

Successful Aging Team

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 203/214

successfulaging@bergenvolunteers.org

 

Successful Families

The Successful Families mentoring programs serve youth and parents in Bergen County. Our team enlists, trains, matches and supports volunteer mentors to provide supportive relationships with mothers and other parental figures involved with the Department of Children and Families or other community support agencies. Our volunteers are also trained to partner with youth who need a trusted adult who can be a positive role model in their lives. The Successful Families team understands that anyone can become distracted or overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. Our staff and volunteers offer support without judgement and resources to help mentees tap into their strengths to identify and strive towards specific personal improvement goals.

Phillicia DaCosta and Lisa Tredici

Successful Families Team

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 207/208

successfulfamilies@bergenvolunteers.org 

 

Strengthening Community

We promote the importance of locally knowledgeable leaders through Bergen LEADS, College LEADS and Teen LEADS; civic engagement through our online database linked to hundreds of nonprofits to a community network; and volunteerism through our direct programs. 

Bergen LEADS

College LEADS

Teen

LEADS

Bergen LEADS has gained a reputation as a “think tank” for challenges facing our County. Each class focuses on a specific topic and in June of each year, the graduating class presents their findings and recommendations at a Public Forum. If the results of the class project have the potential for a long-term solution, then Bergen LEADS will seek out an appropriate agency to apply the solution.

College LEADS is a program for students to learn about local government and public policy. Students analyze community issues and develop new approaches to problem solving.  The students take a deep look into a compelling issue.  They look at the many facets of the issues figuring out where their generation can take a stand and make an impact.

Teen LEADS is a program for high school students to learn about local government and public policy. Students analyze community issues and develop new approaches to problem solving. The program is designed to get students involved in their community to become effective community leaders.

Debbie Emery

Strengthening Community 

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 202/206

demery@bergenvolunteers.org 

 

Volunteerism and Civic Engagement

Bergen Volunteers believe in the power of volunteers. We connect individuals with volunteer opportunities in an effort to create a thriving Bergen County where inhabitants are civically active. Check out our Volunteer Database where our nonprofit partners are posting opportunities in your area based on your interests!   

Melissa LaRobardier

Strengthening Community

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 206

melissal@bergenvolunteers.org 

 Community Volunteering 

All Wrapped Up is the Bergen Volunteers holiday giving program for low income individuals and families.  

The Holiday Hotline officially opens Friday, November 1, 2020. 

Debbie Emery

Strengthening Community

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 202

demery@bergenvolunteers.org

All Wrapped Up

Bergen READS combats illiteracy in Bergen County by training Reading Buddies to work one on one with students in grades K-4. Reading Buddies serve as tutors, advocates, friends and mentors, meeting individually students one half hour per week, every week from November through June.  Buddies help elementary public schools students enjoy and improve their reading skills in a comfortable and friendly environment.

 

Our Reading Buddies serve as tutors, advocates, friends and mentors in eight Teaneck and Hackensack public schools.

 

Join a group of over 150 volunteers working one-on-one with more than 350 students each week. You’ll need one hour a week between October and June.  No prior experience is necessary as we will provide you the training you need. If you can read, you can help a child who can’t.

Melissa LaRobardier

Strengthening Community

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 206

melissal@bergenvolunteers.org 

Bergen READS

Making-It-Home brings furniture to formerly homeless veterans, victims of domestic violence, seniors, and disabled people who are moving from emergency shelter into unfurnished apartments. Clients are referred by partner agencies including Bergen County’s Housing, Health and Human Services Center (the shelter); the County’s Division of Veteran Services; Catholic Charities; the Center for Hope and Safety; and many more.

 

Each week we coordinate with donors to pick up their gently-used furniture and we organize teams of volunteers to transport the furniture. Making-It-Home keeps thousands of pounds of quality pieces out of our landfills.

 

This free service enables our clients to live in safe and comfortable environments that improve their quality of life and ability to achieve greater self-sufficiency and a brighter future. We “make their house a home.”

Cynthia Massarsky

Making-It-Home

(201) 289-8444

cmassarsky@bergenvolunteers.org 

Making-It-Home

 

Redefining Retirement is designed to help Bergen County understand and benefit from the asset and valuable resource older adults are and will continue to be. By engaging this population locally in meaningful volunteer work, the Volunteer Center hopes to encourage and support retirees who want to age in place — in towns where they have lived for many years. Redefining Retirement works with interested nonprofits to identify their volunteer needs and connect them with retired volunteers who have the specific skills needed. There are two ways to get involved:

Redefining Retirement Matchmakers are trained volunteers who will make initial connections between the nonprofits and interested retirees.  Matchmakers hold “office hours” once a month, in locations within the five Age-Friendly communities, and Hackensack,  where they meet with prospective volunteers and conduct interviews.

Redefining Retirement Volunteers are interviewed by the Matchmakers who recommend them to the appropriate nonprofits, based on coordinating individuals’ skills, experience, and interests with the nonprofits’ requirements. All final volunteer engagement decisions are made by the nonprofits.

Melissa LaRobardier

Strengthening Community

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 206

melissal@bergenvolunteers.org 

Redefining Retirement

Volunteers In Tax Assistance(VITA) is an IRS-certified program to provide free tax assistance to low-to-moderate income individuals and families, the disabled, the elderly and English Language Learners, who might need assistance with the forms. All VITA volunteers must complete the IRS training program and take an Ethics and Code of Conduct Exam. Those volunteers who will assist in preparing tax returns must also score 80 or above on six tax law exams for Basic level certification or 12 tax law exams for Advanced level certification.

 

Each VITA client has a prearranged appointment scheduled through the NJ211 system and is met at their appointment by a greeter, who makes sure that they qualify for VITA help and have all the documents they need to complete their return. A VITA volunteer, trained at the Basic or Advanced level, then prepares the tax return through the web-based portal. Each tax return is then reviewed by an additional volunteer certified at the Advanced level. One of the focal points of the VITA program is to raise awareness and receipt of the Earned Income Tax Credit and other anti-poverty measures.

Debbie Emery

Strengthening Community

(201) 489-9454 - ext. 202

demery@bergenvolunteers.org

Volunteers in Tax Assistance