July 2013 Newsletter

1,562,822 books distributed to date!

Thank You Letter from a Child
Celebrating Grassroots Efforts!
This month we're celebrating some of the unique ways that volunteers and friends find to support our mission!  We rely

on individuals to help spread the word and GROW our mission by going out into the community and engaging others in support of Bernie's Book Bank!

Here are some examples: 


We'd like to say thank you to Bruce and Angie Carroll of Angie's Book Nook, who created a fundraising campaign on the website, indiegogo.com.  They reached out to their network and their supporters donated close to $350 for books to be distributed to the at-risk children we serve.


Special thanks to: Kimberly Barton, Rika Yasui, Annette Dickey

Kriss MacDonald, Donna Stonecipher, Susan Lanni and several anonymous contributors.

Cutest Grassroots Effort

Charlotte Andress and Mimi Gordon decided they wanted to help Bernie's Book Bank.  They started a hot cocoa stand this winter, which became a lemonade stand this spring.  They set up their stand outside of the Deerpath Rec Center in Lake Forest to maximize traffic - not only are they generous, but they're also smart marketers!  They donated $128.16, which allows us to collect, process and redistribute 512 books to at-risk children! Way to go!

Grassroots Party: RED Rocks Lake Bluff
Catherine Driscoll, President of RED Communications, is a master of getting people excited about a cause!  A longtime supporter of Bernie's Book Bank (she is a past Board Member and former employee), she and her staff put together a great night to benefit 3 local charities - including Bernie's Book Bank! RED Rocks was held on Saturday, July 13 on the Lake Bluff Green - it was a beautiful night to be outside, listening to great bands, eating delicious food and hanging out with friends.
Thanks for a great evening!  We are grateful to Catherine and RED Communications for their continued support!

RED Communications LLC provides integrated marketing, communications and public relations consulting for businesses, nonprofits, and Fortune 100 companies.

Catherine Driscoll speaking to attendees.
In This Issue
Thank You from a Child
Celebrating Grassroots Fundraising
Cutest Grassroots Effort
Grassroots Party!
Volunteer Spotlight
Start Your Own Grassroots Campaign
Join the Staff of Bernie's Book Bank
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 have distributed more than 1 MILLION books since 2009.

We will distribute 1 MILLION more quality books in 2013.  
Join Team Bernie!

Team Bernie

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

friend-raisers for Bernie's Book Bank! Click on the logo above to learn more!

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little girl
Every $100 donated to Bernie's Book Bank provides 12 age-appropriate books a piece to more than 30 children.

We can collect, process and distribute a book for just $.25!

scammon kids
Meet Mike Smiley: CFO of Zebra Technologies, Bernie's Book Bank Board Member and Team Bernie Member


Mike first learned about Bernie's Book Bank through his wife, Peg, who had volunteered in our processing center with a local group, Mothers for Others. When Mike needed a team building activity for his department at Zebra, he brought them to Bernie's Book Bank. While volunteering, Mike noticed that we needed more stickers and he says, "I thought my goodness, this is something Zebra can easily supply - which we did...Zebra has donated two million stickers to Bernie's Book Bank.  Zebra has also helped layout their current distribution and work flows.  It's wonderful to be able to help Bernie's Book Bank make a difference in the life of at-risk children in our community."


Mike is now active on the Board of Directors of Bernie's Book Bank. When asked what he brings to the board, he replied, "Pizza!" But we know that his business acumen goes much further than that! He has been instrumental to Bernie's Book Bank, establishing systems that allow us to efficiently and sustainably collect, process and redistribute 100,000 books per month!


Professional success is not Mike's only achievement. He recently lost over 60 pounds after a meeting with his doctor. He says, "The elliptical (machine) in the basement made it easy to exercise, no excuses. ...I then began using it 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening six days a week...I pretty much stopped eating junk food and downloaded an app on my smart phone that helped me keep track of what I was eating.  All this resulted in meaningful weight loss."


Mike says he knew that these changes "needed to be permanent." He ran in his first 5K a few months later. Inspired by contestants on the hit T.V. show, The Biggest Loser, Mike set a goal to run a marathon.  Just six months after setting that goal, at age 50, Mike achieved it by completing the Indianapolis Marathon (yes, that's 26.2 miles!). He now runs a spring and fall marathon every year.


Joining Team Bernie seemed the next step. Mike says, "First, I love what Bernie's Book Bank is doing!  My heart goes out to children who don't have a reasonable chance of getting ahead.  Second, I love running.  Being part of Team Bernie is just a natural thing.  They have cool shirts, too.  Cool shirts always help!"


Mike is a great example of a Bernie's Book Bank supporter that has found multiple ways to be engaged and help our mission. In addition to being a board member, volunteerZebra logoing with his department and donating on a corporate level, he joined the Zebra Technologies team that ran in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge´┐Ż in Chicago. Employees
promoted their involvement together and fundraised for Bernie's Book Bank. Mike said, "
It was extremely well received.  Zebra loves being positively engaged with our communities.  Bernie's Book Bank is just a natural for us to help out."

Start Your Own Grassroots Campaign to Help Grow Bernie's Book Bank!
There are lots of ways YOU can help Bernie's Book Bank grow! Here are just a few:
  • Join the Family 5,000 Club and work with your family to collect books. Click here for details.  
  • Become a member of Team Bernie - it's a great way to get started on a goal for your health and for Bernie's Book Bank!  Learn more here. 
  • Host a book drive at your child's school, your church or your synagogue this fall -  we'll set up everything for you! 
  • Plan a summer party and invite guests to bring books.  Tell them about Bernie's Book Bank.  Include our website link in your invite: www.berniesbookbank.org  
  • Simply send a email with the link to our recent video and ask your friends to watch.  Just copy and paste this link: http://vimeo.com/65528648 
  Got another idea?  Let us help!  Contact: [email protected] 

Join the Staff of Bernie's Book Bank

We're looking for a energetic, hardworking, team player to join our staff as Collection & Distribution Specialist.  This is a full-time paid position. Essential job responsibilities include:

  • Prepare, deliver and set up collection materials for Collection Partners
  • Efficiently and effectively pick up collections
  • Lead distribution process and volunteers while working with Distribution Partners
  • Assist in the overall operation of our processing center

Click here for a complete job description.  Interested? Contact:[email protected]

A Message From Brian

Dear Fellow Berniacs,


I looked up the word GRASSROOTS in the dictionary and thesaurus and here are some of the phrases/words I discovered:

  • people or society at a local level
  • the groundwork or source of something
  • the origin or essentials
  • essential, crucial, indispensable, integral, significant, supporting, sustaining, structural, key
  • the thesaurus even used "meat-and-potatoes"!

These phrases and words describe our supporters so well. 

You ARE the "meat-and-potatoes" of Bernie's Book Bank....you ARE indispensable.....you ARE sustaining!


On behalf of our staff, our Board of Directors and the now 75,000 at-risk Chicagoland children we now serve, THANK YOU!


Please continue to spread the word about Bernie's Book Bank; share this newsletter with your friends.

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