BLAME IT ON Bergen LEADS
Daniele Cervino class of 2010 joined the program because she was a long time Bergen county resident and was asked to take a leadership role at work in an environmental consulting and remediation firm.
Previously my civic duties centered on politics or environmental concerns. The first was very local in scope and the second lead to a flourishing career as an environmental attorney. I was ready to give back and find something meaningful to get involved in. I had achieved what I wanted in my career and I was searching for something to give me personal gratification and use my organizational and nurturing skills to a higher purpose. I volunteered for National Rebuilding Day in 2011 as part of the volunteer alumni opportunities provided in the program. I found the experience initially frustrating. I arrived later than the others so the tasks I was able to do were already taken. I could see the homeowner really needed the help and the group appeared to be doing really good work. My colleagues from LEADS were handy and busy painting or hammering. Looking for a role I started to organize the left over breakfast as hostess duties were something I grew up doing as my family owned a restaurant. I took over the lunch brigade as no one seemed to know how to feed 40 people in an organized fashion. The Volunteer Coordinator left early so I then logged out the volunteers and trade volunteers. I found out that Volunteer Coordinator duties were much more in my skill set and a crucial role in the project as funding was a direct result of hours logged. The role required me to find and track volunteers, obtain food donations, provide the food and obtain signed waivers. I acted as Volunteer Coordinator in Hackensack in 2012 and Midland Park in 2013. Despite my initiaI hesitance in asking for food donations, I was able to help other projects obtain donations too. I was asked to join the board in 2013. I am excited to start in September. Rebuilding Together Bergen County is helping many Sandy victims and I hope to be assigned a greater role in the organization. Quite honestly, I would have never heard of the organization had it not been for LEADS.
-Daniele Cervino, Class of 2010
Daniele Cervino, left, and Elyse Beidner of Boiling Springs Savings Bank, the sponsor of Midland Park Reynaldo project April 2013 National Rebuilding Day.