MISSION: To be the go-to leader connecting retirees seeking engagement in their communities with nonprofits seeking volunteers, to enable them, together, to turn caring into meaningful action.
The Bergen Volunteer Center is proud to announce the launch of a new program — Redefining Retirement. Working with the five Bergen County Age-Friendly Coalitions— Englewood, Garfield, Ridgewood, Teaneck, and Westwood — the plan is to work with interested nonprofits in (and/or affiliated with) these five communities to identify their volunteer needs and connect them with retired volunteers who have the specific skills to best fill any capacity gaps necessary to meet their needs and advance their strategic plans. Later launch stages will broaden the reach of Redefining Retirement throughout Bergen County.
Another goal of Redefining Retirement is to help Bergen County as a community understand and benefit from the asset and valuable resource older adults are and will continue to be as our society ages chronologically, but not necessarily mentally or physically. 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.
The Volunteer Center will accomplish these goals in several ways: first, by engaging volunteer Redefining Retirement Matchmakers — trained volunteers who will make initial connections between the nonprofits and interested retirees. Matchmakers will conduct “office hours,” initially once a month, in locations within the five Age-Friendly communities, where they can meet with prospective volunteers, conduct interviews, and generally be available to talk about the Bergen Volunteer Center and the Redefining Retirement program. We have confirmed accessible “office hour” locations in all five Age-Friendly towns where the Matchmakers will meet with interested volunteers, who will thus not have to travel to our office in Hackensack.
We have also connected with Bergen County nonprofit and social service organizations, and have specific descriptions of how many volunteers they are seeking and what specific skills they need to ensure their ongoing success. Redefining Retirement Volunteers, who will be interviewed by the Matchmakers, will be recommended to the appropriate nonprofits, based on coordinating individuals’ skills, experience, and interests with the nonprofits’ requirements. All final volunteer engagement decisions will be made by the nonprofits themselves.
For more information, or to apply as a Redefining Retirement Matchmaker or Redefining Retirement Volunteer, or to be a host nonprofit, contact Louisa Hellegers, Redefining Retirement Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201.489.9454, X205.
“Use of the Ridgewood Senior Lounge in partnership with the Ridgewood Parks and Recreation Department.”