#b#No Sympathy For Greedy Bankers#/b#

Banking is “a very evolving industry, and it’s one that extremely over-regulates,” says Salvatore Zerilli in U.S. 1’s April 2 Survival Guide story, “Navigating the Maze of Bank Regulations.”

Excuse me. “Over-regulates”?

I’m sorry, but our hearts just do not go out to the poor bankers, who have to follow “all the regulations handed down by the FDIC, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Banking Secrecy Act, and a multitude of other laws and regulatory agencies,” in the words of your writer.

There is a very good reason why this “multitude” of regulations exists, in case Mr. Zerilli has forgotten. The banks brought the whole “maze” of regulations on themselves by knowingly bringing ruin on multitudes of honest, hard-working people, who placed their trust in an industry that could have been making very, very good money simply by doing business in a fair, forthright manner. It is nothing other than their inability and their unwillingness to play fair — wait, let’s call it what it really is: greed — that the banks can blame for all their “headaches.”

Hey, bankers, take an aspirin.

Peter Gruen

Editor’s note: The writer and his wife own a house — with a mortgage — in Lawrenceville.

#b#Volunteers Meet Strategic Needs#/b#

In an age when we have a “National Week” for many worthy causes, I would like to call attention to the importance of National Volunteer Week. This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, which recognizes the country’s volunteers for their vital contributions.

There are more than 2,500 registered nonprofits in Mercer County alone. As nonprofits continue to do more, with fewer resources, the role of the volunteer continues to grow.

The traditional need for volunteers to roll up their sleeves to serve meals at soup kitchens, pass out water at a 5K, or “stuff envelopes,” has not gone away. But today volunteering has also expanded to support the strategic needs of a nonprofit.

Business professionals — whether employed, in transition, retired, or at-home with children — are using their skills, degrees, and talents to complete mission-critical projects that nonprofits otherwise might not be able to afford. These “skills-based volunteers” are working in our community to help nonprofits with business plans, marketing efforts, technology advisement, program development, financial planning, grant writing, and much more.

VolunteerConnect would like to thank our many skills-based volunteers who have gone into the community to help area organizations such as the Friendship Circle, Habitat for Humanity of Trenton, the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, Trenton Community Music School, and the West Windsor Arts Center. By sharing their professional talents, skills-based volunteers allow nonprofits to better serve their clients while continuing to direct their finances to client services and needs.

In this new age of volunteerism — when the definition of how we give back continues to evolve — I encourage everyone to make time to support a nonprofit this year. It will not only prove rewarding to the volunteer, but your work will be vital to the success of your chosen nonprofit. I know VolunteerConnect speaks on behalf of the region’s nonprofit community in expressing gratitude to all of our fellow citizens who have answered the call to give back.

To learn more about skills-based volunteering, I invite you to browse our website at www.VolunteerConnectNJ.org. View our open projects, read our skilled-volunteer spotlight article, and get inspired to step up and get involved.

Amy Klein

Executive Director,

VolunteerConnect

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