October 2012 Newsletter

943,423 books distributed to date!

A Mother's Thanks

We "fingerprint" every book to be distributed with a sticker that asks, "Need Books? Call 1-847-780-READ."  Every day, children and parents call, asking for more books - and we give them more! This note is from a mother who received a delivery of more books last week:

Yeyyyy!!!! We received the books today!!!  The kids were jumping up and down when they saw all the books.  We noticed that it was by the front door right before dinnertime and believe me they almost choked, just for dinner to be done right away... So far we learned about whales, blue jays, Mickey's adventure and value of patience.  I'm so amazed with kid's imagination when we read a book, it takes them places and opens a different adventure everytime.  The kids look forward to storytime everynight and they will look forward more because of the books...Bernie's Books sent us.  We will have pretend camping in our room and we will have a special storytime. We are really grateful!  Thank you so much! 

Join Team Bernie

Walkers, runners and cyclists are uniting around the mission of Bernie's Book Bank by joining Team Bernie! Founding Charter Member Brian Hides says, "Racing for Team Bernie adds meaning to my running.  Thinking of how we're helping to impact so many kids' lives helps me through those tough training runs.  It's a fun and supportive group of people, who motivate me over "the wall", and celebrate at the finish line!"  


Founding Charter Member Amy Kappele adds, "Through Team Bernie, I can continue to set personal goals to be physically active and challenge myself as a runner....while I am also working towards making an educational difference in the lives of children. On my own I can only reach a small population of children but with Bernie's Book Bank, I can be part of a bigger vision and mission!" Whether you walk, run half or run the whole thing, we want you to be a part of Team Bernie at the Des Plaines River Marathon! There's still time for you to join us this Saturday, October 20th. 
Thank You to Board Members
We want to give great big hugs and enormous thank yous to Tom Clark, Board President and Dianne Johnson, Board Secretary, as they complete their terms.  They have been with us since the beginning and will continue to be integrally involved, working in the warehouse and helping with our special events. Tom is our resident storyteller and can be found telling stories at assemblies and distributions.  Dianne, a retired educator, is responsible for bringing us many new volunteers and will continue helping out in the office and planning for our future success.  We couldn't do what we do without them!
Christie & Bernie Floriani, Jr., Jill Floriani, Dianne Johnson, Tom Clark and Brian Floriani in 2009 when we were still in the garage!
 The Early Days
We also want to welcome new members to the board and existing board members to their new positions.  Here is our amazing board for the 2012-2014 term: Ben Rubin, President, Jamie Wildman, Vice President, Brian Hides, Secretary, Jeff Minner, Treasurer, Graham Cook, Barrett Davie, Bernard P. Floriani, Jr., Dan McGowan, Mike Smiley and Gary Swenson.  They have an impressive combination of expertise and professional experience that help us continue to apply real-world business concepts to everything we do to be more efficient and cost effective.
In This Issue
A Mother's Thanks
Join Team Bernie
Thank You to Board
Big Event Success
Welcome New Staff
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.


Join Team Bernie!

Team Bernie 

Are you a runner, biker or walker? Join Team Bernie & turn your competitions into

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little girl

Every $100 donated to Bernie's Book Bank provides 12 age-appropriate books apiece to more than 30 children. 
Our cost to collect, process and distribute a quality book is just $.25!

Click here to make a donation, and help us connect more children needing books with books needing children!


Book Lovers Brunch + Birdies & Books = BIG EVENT SUCCESS
More than 90 friends and fans of Bernie's Book Bank enjoyed an elegant brunch, delicious drinks and an inspirational talk with bestselling author, Maggie Shipstead at the first Book Lovers Brunch, held on September 21, 2012.  Maggie, author of the bestselling novel, Seating Arrangements, flew all the way from California to speak. After reading a selection from her novel, she treated guests to a talk about her favorite children's books and read selections from Charlotte's Web, Harriet the Spy, the Harry Potter series, Bunnicula and Matilda, highlighting how important reading is to many of the characters' lives.
She commented that children "who don't have the opportunity to, like Matilda, read their way into mysterious corners of the larger world from their safety of their bedrooms or classrooms are at grave risk of living smaller lives than they otherwise might." She  added, "To read as a child is to take part in a cycle of cultural fertilization that produces thoughtful, productive, creative, kind adults. That cycle is as small as the bags of books this wonderful organization gives to underprivileged kids, and as large as our collective future." 

That same day, golfers teed off for the 3rd Annual Birdies and Books Charity Golf Classic to the sounds of traditional Scottish bagpipes. At this SOLD OUT event, over 125 people braved the drizzle to have fun and play golf in support of Bernie's Book Bank. Golfers enjoyed a box lunch, lots of games and challenges and the chance at adding their names to the coveted Birdies and Books Trophy.

We thank everyone who helped make these two events so successful - our chairs and their fabulous committees, our sponsors,volunteers, 

Maggie Shipstead and our attendees who had a great time supporting our mission!  

The first Book Lovers Brunch far exceeded our expectations and allowed us to expand our audience of supporters.  And the Birdies & Books Charity Golf Classic continues to attract new and old friends with fun new traditions!  The success of these two events will allow us to keep growing and reaching our goals!

Bernie's Book Bank Welcomes New Director of Logistics & Operations
Jessie Urban
Meet Jessie Urban, Director of Logistics & Operations

Jessie Urban first learned of Bernie's Book Bank through a local organization that she worked with that volunteers in our warehouse. She was inspired by the unique way in which Bernie's has been empowering young learners for a brighter future!  Her career has been focused on youth development, and she enjoys collaborating with schools, community organizations and volunteers to collect, process and distribute what will be over 1 MILLION books a year to promote a love of reading for all at-risk children in Chicago.

We're thrilled to have Jessie on the Bernie's Book Bank team, helping us continue to grow to serve every at-risk child in Chicago and beyond! 


Does your child's school sponsor a Book Drive?" What about your church, synagogue or civic group?  Our book drives offer your group goal setting, team building, leadership and communication opportunities. Plus, we make hosting a book drive easy and totally turnkey!


We supply marketing materials, sturdy receptacles and pick up.  We even offer a pep rally and incentives to help you create a competition - everything you need to make your book drive a success. Email Jessie Urban, our new Logistics & Operations Manager at [email protected] to get started. 


Happy Autumn! I personally love this time of year!


After much hard work, by many folks, and almost 3 years of gathering strategic information, we are now fully staffed! These additions will once again transform our capabilities, allowing us to collect children's books on a much greater scale, process them even quicker and distribute them to tens of thousands of more at-risk Chicagoland children - all the while continuing to focus on effectiveness and efficiency. As we continue to grow, it will remain our objective to maintain our cost per book (to collect, process and distribute) at no more than .25!


We take what we do very seriously and want you to know that we will continue to apply business and logistics concepts to EVERYTHING we do to assure that every $1 invested in our mission is leveraged to the fullest!


On a celebratory note, the beginning of November will see us reach a HUGE milestone, our 1 MILLIONth book distributed since our beginnings in December of 2009 (stay tuned for the November newsletter for all the exciting pictures and recap).


However...REMEMBER...it has been our goal since our founding to be distributing 1 MILLION quality children's books every year starting in 2013-hard to believe, but that's next year!


As I write this message to you, we are surpassing 943,423 quality children's books collected, processed and distributed to date...let the countdown to 1 MILLION begin!


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