November 2012 Newsletter

1,040,121 books distributed to date!

A Child's Thanks

It was like being a rock star for the day as we celebrated the distribution of our 1 MILLIONth book on Tuesday, November 13 at Whittier Elementary School in Waukegan!  We got screams and smiles and lots of applause when we announced each student would go home with a bag of 6 books to keep and read and love and share. Israel Trujillo-Vargas, a six year old student, received the 1 MILLIONth book from our former board President, Tom Clark.


Michelle Mejia-Galvez received book number 1,000,001 to commemorate the next million books to be distributed, from our former board Secretary, Dianne Johnson.  


There were 700 students, staff and Bernie's Book Bank guests, including Blake Costanzo from the Chicago Bears, our board members and biggest fans. What a day!

Ways to Include Bernie's in Your Holiday Giving
These gracious ideas were suggested by Maureen Grinnell of Lake Forest, a new friend of ours.  She recently hosted a party to share the story of Bernie's Book Bank with friends and associates.  She is the Co-Founder of Beyond Quota, a training and consulting firm that works with sales and service organizations.                                                  
1. Sponsor a book drive as part of your neighborhood holiday party - Bernie's can provide everything you need to be a success.
2. When you buy a children's book for a holiday gift, buy two and donate the 2nd copy to Bernie's Book Bank.
3. If you're hosting a holiday party this season, consider having a "no gifts" policy and request that guests make a donation to Bernie's Book Bank instead - right on the invitation.
4. For every hour you spend shopping, spend an hour volunteering at the warehouse. Bring your family and friends!
In This Issue
A Child's Thanks
1 MILLION Books!
Holiday Ideas
Thank You to Sponsors
Matching Gift
Dec. is Volunteer Appreciation Month!
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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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!

Special Thanks to Our Annual Sponsors
Bernie's Book Bank receives an unbelievable amount of support throughout the year by so many different individuals, families and businesses.   In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we'd like to take this time to highlight our major Annual Corporate Sponsors for all they continue to do to help Bernie's Book Bank connect children needing books with books needing children.
"The Chicago Bears and Bears Care have been fortunate to be involved with Bernie's Book Bank on multiple levels, at the processing facility, in the community and in our schools.  We have seen the passion and dedication that Brian, staff and volunteers bring to  their mission to increase book ownership among at risk children, and their enthusiasm for reading is infectious.  Improving educational opportunities for children throughout Chicagoland has long been a focus of Chicago Bears community and charitable activities, and we are thankful we have had the opportunity to invest in Bernie's Book Bank both as volunteers and as a donor, and to involve the organization in supporting our educational programs and goals." - Marge Hamm, Director of Bears Care

"As entrepreneurs who invest, we like Bernie's entrepreneurial efforts to invest in filling an unnecessary void in kid's lives." -
Tim Flannery, Founder
At Dr. Energy Saver, serving Northeast Illinois, we are fully trained and certified to provide all the services to upgrade your home to meet its highest potential for efficiency and comfort.  It is our mission to do all we can to help our customers improve the comfort of their homes, live more efficiently, save energy and money, and create a sustainable environment for our children. - Gary Swenson, Owner
"Federal takes pride in helping Bernies Book Bank with all its transportation and warehouse needs.  It's a honor to be part of a generous and giving organization. All of us at Federal will continue to support the Book Bank in any way possible so the children of Chicago-land can continue to  gain the benefits  of Bernies Book Bank." - Gene Wheeler, General Manager



Follett Library Resources is the largest provider of books, eBooks, AV and solution services into the PreK-12 market and is a division of Follett Corporation headquartered in the Chicago land area.
"Our interest in Bernie's is the value brought to the table by providing children access to books and the synergy in which Brian Floriani and his team also give others the opportunity to give back. Bernie's helps drive one of our key objectives at Follett, which is improving literacy. At the same time, Bernie's drives home the wonderful message of giving back. There is an incredible value and joy in advocating for Children, Bernie's approach is a testament to that!!!" -
Todd Litzsinger, Spokeperson


"GEM Realty Capital is a real estate investment company committed to helping underserved community members, particularly children, realize their full potential by providing meaningful experiences and resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them.  GEM appreciates the dedication, impact, and scalability of Bernie's Book Bank, and we are thrilled to support it in its worthy mission." - Jeremy Franklin, Managing Partner
United Services, a full-service restoration company based in Lake Bluff, IL, has been restoring homes and businesses damaged by wind, fire, water, or mold, for over 30 years.
"Bernie's Book Bank is a phenomenal organization, doing work that gets at the core of an issue that can transform our society...Bernie's Book Bank is one of the best run, most highly efficient charitable organizations I have ever seen, and our company is so proud to support it." -
Gary Swenson, Founder and President 
"All children deserve an opportunity to learn and develop through reading. We are proud to support the vital work of the passionate team at Bernie's." - Mike Smiley, CFO 
Zebra Technologies is a global leader respected for innovation and reliability. With enabling technologies such as barcode, sensor, RFID and GPS, Zebra converts the physical to digital to give assets, people and transactions a virtual voice. Through its community relations initiatives, Zebra supports local initiatives that will improve lives today and into the future.
2013 & A Matching Donation from the Sheridan Foundation

One million books is just the beginning.  Be a part of the next million books in 2013 by contributing to the Bernie's Book Bank Annual Fund.  Your year-end gift to the annual fund will be matched by The Sheridan Foundation, doubling your impact, up to the first $20,000. Click here to make your gift today.

 December is Volunteer Appreciation Month


December is Volunteer Appreciation Month at Bernie's Book Bank!  Come by during our drop-in volunteer times to help out and to let us show our appreciation!  Or email Jessie Urban to schedule a group of 4 or more volunteers! 


Happy Thanksgiving! A Message from Brian

Dear Friends,
Earlier in the year, one of our book recipients was asked what Bernie's Book Bank means to him.  He responded by saying, "I feel RELIEF that I can finally get new books."  RELIEF is a word that I never thought I'd hear in response to what we mean to children.  Relief is a word typically used when someone is cold and you give them a blanket, when they are lonely and you give them a hug or when they are hungry and you give them food.  In reality, like shelter and food, books ARE a basic need for the success of all children.  This Thanksgiving, in addition to feeding children's bodies, please consider feeding their minds through book ownership!  Whether you donate books, time or money, we hope you'll add Bernie's Book Bank to your list this holiday season.

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