Lake Forest-based Bernie’s Book Bank received a boost to its book collection and its budget Thursday when representatives from Chicago area Goddard Schools delivered thousands of books and thousands of dollars to the organization.
The 18 schools, which promoted the effort to their families and through community drop-off boxes, aimed to collect a total of 25,000 books last month. In just over two weeks, they had amassed about 44,000.
Owners of each of the schools also chipped in for a $10,000 cash donation to the book bank, which collects, sorts and distributes donated books to at-risk children across the region.
“It’s an opportunity for us to give back to the communities we serve,” said Karen Wells, co-owner of Goddard School’s Plainfield location.
The effort also became a hands-on project for some kindergartners. Students from Goddard School locations in Vernon Hills, Third Lake and Round Lake traveled by bus to Lake Forest to help put green Bernie’s Book Bank stickers on donated books.
“Getting a donation of this size is one thing,” Bernie’s Book Bank founder Brian Floriani said. “And then getting the funding behind it is amazing.”