The Volunteer Center of Bergen County is seeking men and women to participate in their volunteer Mentoring Youth and Mentoring Mom Programs. There is an especially great need for male mentors and bi-lingual, Spanish-speaking volunteers of both sexes.
The Mentoring Youth Program is seeking caring men and women to provide guidance, friendship and support to abused and neglected children ages 5 to 18. There are currently over 100 boys and girls who are waiting to be matched with someone with whom they can develop a positive relationship.
Mentoring Moms is seeking women who can make a difference in the lives of isolated and overwhelmed mothers of all ages. The volunteers spend time with mothers who have experienced difficulty in coping with parenting, managing households, providing for their children or other obstacles. The mentors listen, share ideas and offer encouragement, so that the mothers can improve their lives and that of their children.
Free six-week, 15 hour training sessions are provided to mentors in both the Mentoring Youth and Mentoring Mom programs. Over the course of six weeks, the volunteers take workshops on developing listening skills, communication and problem solving. Guest speakers such as current mentors and social services case workers share their experiences so that new mentors have the background and knowledge to help support their mentees.
All mentors undergo a comprehensive screening process which includes fingerprinting and other background checks.
Training for the Mentoring Youth program begins January 16; training for Mentoring Moms begins January 28. Both trainings are held at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, 64 Passaic Street in Hackensack, from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
For more information about becoming a mentor, call the Volunteer Center of Bergen County at (201) 489-9454, or visit their website at www.bergenvolunteers.org and click on Mentoring Programs.
Founded by the Junior League in 1966, the mission of the Volunteer Center is to strengthen the community by connecting people with opportunities to serve, operating direct service volunteer programs, building capacity for effective volunteering, and participating in strategic partnerships that meet community needs.