His name is Bill Nixon. If you have ever stepped foot into the processing center of Bernie’s Book Bank, you have seen him. Alright, maybe you haven’t seen him. But you have definitely heard him. It is the voice that many volunteers hear before, during and after their shift in the processing center. But where did this practically angelic voice come from?
Bill went to school and left with a Music Business major and a minor in Creative Writing. He worked in retail after graduation, and quickly realized that he needed more fulfillment out of his work. The idea of a nonprofit, working for a cause greater than just dollar signs, appealed to Bill. Coupled with his inherent love of reading and literature in general, he was on the hunt for a job where he could work impactfully with books. Eventually, this search led him to Bernie’s Book Bank.
Two years have now passed, and Bill is content as ever at a job that brings him the fulfillment he desired. His official title is now “Volunteer Experience Manager.” In a lot of words, Bill is in charge of communicating the needs and expectations of the processing center to volunteers on a day to day basis. He is also responsible for keeping the volunteer training up to date, and finding ways to streamline the training process. In fewer words, Bill makes sure the volunteers know exactly what they should be doing while they are in the processing center.
But more important to Bill than anything, is ensuring that the volunteer experience is as enjoyable for the volunteers as it is for him. No one could ever deny that the energy he brings is contagious, and that this friendliness is what most volunteers remember as they leave the processing center. This passion comes from Bill’s belief that the mission of Bernie’s Book Bank is one that will leave a lasting impact on the disadvantaged children of Chicago. Bill explains that when you volunteer for Bernie’s Book Bank, you are not only volunteering to combat the problem of illiteracy. When you volunteer, you are fighting against all the problems that are connected to the lack of access to books at an early age. Not being able to properly benefit from an education, the inability to escape poverty, the powerlessness against an unforgiving situation. When Bill is giddily telling you how many books you packed at the end of your session, and he can’t contain his enthusiasm, these are the reasons why.
If you haven’t gotten enough of Bill in the processing center, you’re in luck! Not only is Bill a popular face at Bernie’s Book Bank, he is also the distinguished frontman of the local band Bellwether Blues. They play covers of some of your favorite rock songs, as well as two albums of original tunes. Check YouTube and Spotify for their latest hits, and look out for a live performance near you. From time to time, Bill has even been known to perform solo at Bernie’s Book Bank!
Although Bill is a well-known face around Bernie’s Book Bank, he would be the first to tell you that he is only a small cog in the machine that is the processing center. Included in this machine are the rest of the talented and extremely capable processing staff, as well as the thousand other interchangeable parts that are our volunteers. Without any of these parts, Bernie’s Book Banks would not be able to accomplish the tremendous goals that are set. And from the outside, these goals do seem lofty. But to people like Bill, it is just the beginning. Bill faces new challenges everyday from the staggering growth that Bernie’s Book Bank is still experiencing, and these aspirations only continue to flourish. So spread the word about Bernie’s Book Bank, make sure people know this a cause worth the effort that so many of our volunteers already put in. As Bill says, “It is everybody’s duty to put more good in the world than currently exists.”