$12 = 12 books for an under-served child
Donate Now

Children need books now more than ever


As we all navigate this crisis, the children we serve are being disproportionately affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Books at home are needed more than ever. This is especially true for under-served children, due to the challenges that come with remote learning. Therefore, access to reading materials ensures education can continue outside of the traditional classroom. Our books can do more than help with learning, they change the story and provide a much-needed escape for those we serve.

After careful review of the Governor’s Executive Orders, and obtaining a legal opinion, Bernie’s Book Bank decided to maintain operations as an “essential business” during these unprecedented times. We believe now is a critical time for those we serve and are committed to doing everything we can to provide books in a safe and efficient manner.

  • In the absence of volunteers, we have re-aligned the functional responsibilities of our Team Members to process our inventory of new and used books. This allows us the opportunity to continue serving those in need.
  • We have redesigned our Processing Center to implement social distancing best practices so our Team Members can continue working while adhering to the standards given to us by the authorities. We have also increased our cleaning schedule to include enhanced sanitizing practices throughout our facility. This provides us the ability to continue accepting new book donations (from our partners), while we engineer opportunities to safely accept used books.
  • We are collaborating with current distribution partners including school districts, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Women Infants and Children (WIC), North Chicago Community Partners, as well as other nonprofit organizations including Northern Illinois Food Bank, Reach Out & Read and many others. Our goal is to identify safe, alternative ways to distribute books to under-served children. We are very intentional in our planning, remaining nimble and affording us the opportunity to shift distribution methodology so that we can maintain focus on our mission.

On Friday, March 20th, 2020 Bernie’s Book Bank launched the “Change Their Story” campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ask is that everyone donate $12 to provide 12 books for an under-served child. Your support enables us to continue to meet the growing need for quality books at home.

Bernie’s Book Bank has distributed more than 1,928,378 FREE BOOKS to local under-served children in the months since we launched this campaign to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And we’re just getting started.

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 expectations.

We need your help to get books into the hands of these deserving children. Will you donate $12 to provide 12 books for an under-served child? 



Every $12 donation provides 12 books for a local under-served child.