September 2013 Newsletter

1,784,869 books distributed to date!

Such Great Condition!
Welcome Our New Staff Member

Join us in welcoming David Sosa Paloma, our newest Collection and Distribution Specialist.  You may see him working in our processing center, loading our trucks with books, or distributing books to the children we serve.

David moved to the U.S. just 2 years ago from Cuba, where he was a lawyer.  He is an avid reader and has already proven to be a great asset to the Bernie's Book Bank team!


"When I knew about Bernie's Book Bank I did not have a job.  Even today (in a romantic way) I think that "I do not have a job".  I say this is because not everybody has the opportunity to feel every day the beautiful energy from children when they touch, browse and read a book. I have in my mind, as a photo, the first smile that I received from a kid when I gave him my first bag with books on my first distribution. I decided to keep this moment in my mind as a treasure. But that treasure has not left to grow up. Because after that smile came others, and others more! And I have kept a lot of "thank you" and expressions like "Bernie's is here"; words of gratitude and a hundred single and fresh expressions of happiness. Sometime I think that "I do not have a job". I am part of a big dream come true.

I am David; I love my family, music, to dance, ride a bike and read books.  And every day I try to take a step forward."

David, we're so glad your here!
Kohl Children's Museum Book Drive

We' are excited to announce that Kohl Children's Museum will be collecting books on our behalf throughoutnull the month of October.  They have set a goal to collect 10,000 books for us and will feature us in their art room windows!


In conjunction with their book drive, they are opening an exciting new exhibit, called Storyland, which "brings children and adults into the world of seven beloved children's books."

How perfect is that?! 
If you haven't taken your children there before or it has been awhile, we encourage you to visit during the month of October.  Check out the Bernie's Book Bank display, watch our slide show, bring some outgrown books - and spread the word!!

Thank you to Kohl Children's Museum for being such a wonderful partner!
Birdies and Books


Some of you have asked about our annual Birdies & Books Charity Golf Classic.

     This event is near and dear to our hearts -you may know that our Founder and Executive Director, Brian Floriani, is a former lead instructor with the Golf Digest Schools but now considers himself a "recovering golf professional" (see picture!).  AND, Big Bernie was an avid golfer and just loved to play and compete.

     Many fun and meaningful traditions for this event have been created over the years and we want them to continue.  However, in an effort to continue to grow our impact and fine tune our model, we have taken a break this year from any large scale events.  We are proud to report this decision has proven fruitful as we are now collecting, processing and distributing more than 100,000 quality books a month and serving more than 75,000 at-risk Chicagoland children with 12 quality books annually.  All the while, keeping our total cost per book at just .25! 

Stay tuned for our event plans in 2014! 
In This Issue
Thank You from a Child
Meet David
Kohl Children's Museum
Birdies & Books
Volunteer Spotlight
Team Bernie
Shop Your Cause
Buy Raffle Tickets
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!
Watch Our Video


Meet Amy Kappele.  She is a passionate Reading Specialist in her hometown of St. Charles, Team Bernie Co-chair and the mastermind behind the St. Charles Community Book Drive!  In addition, she is running one half-marathon a month to benefit Bernie's Book Bank (yes, folks, that's 12 half-marathons in one year!)  To support her fundraising for Team Bernie, go to:


"I came to Bernie's Book Bank in December of 2011 with a colleague who was led there by a null connection through board member, Barrett Davie.


We met with Brian and heard the history and mission and I knew I wanted to be more involved.  I had been collecting books at my annual holiday party every year and donating them to different local organizations in the area. Bernie's Book Bank was fulfilling the dream I had of getting books into at-risk students hands and homes!


That is how I became involved at Bernie's Book Bank and since then I have coordinated two all district books drives that together have collected over 50,000 books and we are soon to have our 4th distribution in St. Charles this fall. In the midst of all this.... I was lucky enough to be a part of the creation of Team Bernie and it was there that I was able to merge my passion for books and running."    Thanks for all you do, Amy!

Team Bernie Fall Celebration

 Team Bernie

Inspired by Amy's commitment? Take the first step and join us at the Fall Team Bernie Celebration on Saturday, September 28th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at our processing center in Lake Forest.


Bring your friends, family and kids!  There will be food, fun and new friends with NO OBLIGATION to join.  The fabulous Tom Clark, professional storyteller will be there, along with a registered nutritionist from Portrait Health.


If you've been thinking of joining Team Bernie, NOW is the time!  There are just a handful of spots left for Charter Members - who each receive a special edition long sleeve shirt in addition to the annual Team Bernie shirt. 




Shopping for your fall and winter wardrobe?  Find today's top designers AND support Bernie's Book Bank at the same time!  When you make a purchase at The Lake Forest Shop in Lake Forest during their Shop Your Cause event from October 9-12 - 10% of the purchase price of items sold will be given back to us!  Just tell them: "Bernie's Book Bank is MY cause!"


Don't miss the opening night fashion show! The President of Magaschoni will reveal some special pieces and the Laura Lance Collection will be featured.  Thanks to Janeane Sisler and Laura Gordon, friends of Bernie's Book Bank, who will be our models for the show! Wednesday, October 9th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 


Thanks to The Lake Forest Shop for your support! 



Even if shopping isn't your thing, you can support Bernie's Book Bank by purchasing raffle tickets for the Shop Your Cause event being sponsored by The Lake Forest Shop.


The next time you are in our processing center, you can purchase tickets or you can click here and order them online.

There are some great prizes donated by 8 local non-profits, including a volunteer ice-cream party for 25 at Bernie's Book Bank, a Kindle, tickets for 4 to the Chicago Wolves game and much more!


Tickets are 1 for $10 or 3 for $25.  100% of ticket sales purchased through Bernie's Book Bank stays at Bernie's Book Bank.  So when you purchase 3 tickets, it allows us to collect, process and distribute 100 books AND gives you the opportunity to win exciting prizes!!

Click here to see a complete list of prizes and to purchase tickets! 

A Message From Brian

Dear Fellow Berniacs,

As you have read, there is a lot going on.......and that's just the half of it!


It can not be stated enough, YOU are the lifeblood and driving force behind all that we have done, are doing and can and will do.

Whether you invest your time, treasure or talent, we are so privileged as a staff to have your continued support and encouragement.

As the Lorax so eloquently said, "Unless someone like YOU cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not."


In an effort to acquire more "YOUS", here's my challenge to you today, tell at least one person what we do at Bernie's Book Bank who would not know of us otherwise.


It's as easy as forwarding this newsletter........promoting us on Facebook......or just telling someone at the grocery store!  Your endorsement is our BEST "marketing tool".


Thank you in advance and thank you for your continued support!

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