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 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.

Hear from Elizabeth Blasko, Bernies Book Bank, Sarah Sullivan & Jessie Bozek about the importance of Books for children and teens:

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!  

Have books to donate?  As you enter the church parking lot from 53rd street, drive under the covered entrance.  Along the building is a plastic tote for book drive donations.  You’ll see a Bernie’s Book Bank sign by the tote.  Please place new or gently used books inside the tote and close the lid.  As the book drop is outside, come by when it is convenient to leave your books. We take books in at the end of office hours and periodically during the weekend. 

If you have questions about the book drive feel free to contact Janet Andersen.    

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. 

If you prefer to make a monetary donation please use the PCWS online donation site to make an electronic donation selecting the Book Drive option or make a donation by check (note “Book Drive” on the memo line) and drop off or mail to our church office at 5250 Wolf Road, Western Springs, IL 60558. 

We set a goal of 2,184 books!  As of June 27, we have received 4,136 books!  Our new goal is 4,368. How many times can we reach our goal?

Check out our Progress: