2020 Summer Mission Project

The Mission Committee is thrilled to announce our 2020 Summer Mission project in support of  Bernie’s Book Bank.  Through the PCWS book drive, we will help this vital organization process and distribute books to under-served infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout the Chicagoland area. Bernie’s distributes quality new and gently used children’s books to provide book ownership among children.  In the 10 years since their founding, they had placed 15 MILLION books into the hands of children who don’t have books.

Starting our book drive during May seems a perfect time for our housebound congregation.  As we continue our ‘stay-in-place’ protocol during the month of May, we ask you to check around your home for gently used books that would be appropriate for children from birth through 6th grade reading level. The books can be fiction, non-fiction, chapter books, picture books and everything in between. Bernie’s won’t accept collecting textbooks, dictionaries, coloring books or religious books.  Bi-lingual books are accepted as long as English is one of the languages.

During this pandemic, Bernie’s staff has continued processing and distributing books to under-served children across the northern half of Illinois. The extended Stay-At-Home Order means that students now face the remainder of the school year at home. Many of these students don’t have access to educational resources or age-appropriate books in their homes. This disruption will inevitably widen the learning gap and leave students struggling to keep up with grade level expectation

If books have been an instrumental part of your life, or during these ‘stay in place’ days, please consider a donation.  Books can provide an escape from the real world, teach new things or provide a well needed laugh!  

If you have immediate questions about the book driver or what books are desired feel free to contact Janet Andersen jrande22@gmail.com.    

We’ll be providing more details through the Weekly Connection, this page on our website and further announcements in Worship in the coming weeks about getting the books to Bernie’s from our members and friends at PCWS.  


If you want some sobering statistics to share and support the need….

  • Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. 
  • In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.
  • 80% of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children.  
  • 61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.  
  • More than $2 billion is spent annually on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems.