August 2012 Newsletter

830,658 books distributed to date!

Festivals Fill the Summer Gap
Bernie's Book Bank's lean operating model is based on our ability to serve large populations of at-risk children through established distribution funnels, mainly schools and WIC (Women Infant Children) locations. 
This summer, we added a number of WIC locations that we will continue to serve throughout the year, and distributed books to at-risk children through a number of festivals in partnership with other great organizations: at the James R. Jordan's Read with Me Festival in Chicago; through the Holy Family Food Pantry in Waukegan once per week; at the North Chicago Community Days celebration in North Chicago; at the African United Festival in Chicago; at the Mano a Mano Back to School Festival in Round Lake Beach; at the Third Ward's Back to School Festival in Chicago in partnership with the Ounce of Prevention; and at the Chicago Bears Bears Care Festival in Chicago (shown above). We cherish every opportunity to provide children with quality books that they can call their own! 
Making a Difference for 50,000 Children

In This Issue
A Child's Thanks
Warehouse Investments
Two Great Events
A Message from Brian
Our Mission  


Bernie's Book Bank facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of quality new and gently used children's books to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants, toddlers and school age children living throughout Chicagoland.


We plan to be distributing 1 MILLION books per year by 2013.

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Improving Warehouse Efficiency and Effectiveness

warehouse revampAt its very heart, Bernie's Book Bank is a logistics organization. We move books from where they are now and no longer being used, to where they are not but are desperately needed. In between, books are brought to our warehouse for processing. And like any logistics business, we pay close attention to processes, efficiencies, and expenses, speeding the time from point of collection to point of distribution.


In May, we began implementing improvements to help us prepare to distribute 600,000 books in 2012 and 1 million books in 2013. Based on recommendations from engineers at Zebra Technologies, we've reconfigured the workflow process and added racking systems to make the best use of vertical space.  


box truck

Next, we purchased two box trucks and new containers for outgoing inventories of books. Each box truck can hold enough inventory to serve two to three schools, allowing us to efficiently distribute books without having to reload between each stop. The new containers we are using for distributions stack four high and can be wheeled on and off the box trucks on custom-made dollies, alleviating the backbreaking work of picking up loads of books (see photo below at right). 



These necessary investments have allowed us to hire drivers to distribute books, which in turn frees up time for our Executive Director, Brian Floriani, to focus on fundraising and developing strategic partnerships to grow the organization.


While we look forward to a larger warehouse that will allow us to accommodate more books and volunteers, we're confident that these process improvements will make a significant difference in the number of books that we can collect, process and redistribute, and help us serve more at-risk children living throughout Chicago and its suburbs. Onward and upward!! 

Join us for Two Great Events at the Lake Bluff Golf Club on Friday, September 21!
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Wow, where has the summer gone? This has been an incredibly exciting summer at Bernie's Book Bank with all of our summer festival distributions, enhanced WIC programs, Rock the Bank and the completion of the warehouse improvements. These improvements have revolutionized our process and will allow us to increase our scope of impact by leaps and bounds as we have so many children yet to reach!


We also want to take this opportunity to give a big thank you to YOU for all your continued support, as well as all of our faithful volunteers and our summer Collection Partners for their continued dedication to our mission and the tens of thousands of children we serve. Believe us, they are so grateful.


In addition, I want to personally thank and acknowledge our stellar staff: Catherine Driscoll, Greg LeFebvre, Moira Morris, Andee Wilkov, Mark Pietrowski and summer intern Brandon Clarke for all of their hard work. Their dedication and work ethic is unmatched. And, I want to personally wish Catherine Driscoll and Brandon Clarke good luck as they move on to their next endeavors. You have been unbelievable CHAMPIONS for Bernie's Book Bank and I am eternally grateful.


So, we look forward to September and the beginning of another school year. We can't wait to see all of our reading friends again soon and anticipate making many more as 2012 comes to a close and 2013 begins!


Brian's signature
Brian Floriani
Executive Director
Bernie's Book Bank
847-780 READ (7323)