I may have mentioned that my awesome employer allows for each of us to have two work days each year for volunteering events. Last week we spent some time at Bernie’s Book Bank. Their mission: “facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants,
toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland.”
They receive donations of used books from individuals and groups as well as new books from publishers. The volunteers sort, label, and package up books for the kids. My group did the packaging for second and third graders. It was sort of like wrapping Christmas presents! Except instead of wrapping paper, the books were in plastic bags. The regular volunteers told us to mix up the traditional gender books because the kids get an opportunity to trade with their classmates. (Or, I might add, second graders might be less hung up on the traditional gender thing.) So it was pretty easy.
When our session was over, we were shown a video of a school delivery and we could see how excited the kids were. And check out this Thank You note that was blown up and put on the wall:
Bernie’s has plenty of “drop in hours” so that people can show up and volunteer whenever they like without making a big commitment. And they can certainly accommodate groups by appointment. Even little kids can get in on the action, as one of the jobs is to put Bernie’s labels on each of the books. So obviously, I am endorsing this place as worthy of time and donations.