Annie Ignoffo, of Lake Forest, regularly volunteers at Bernie’s Book Bank, 917 North Shore Drive, Lake Bluff. The book bank collects and distributes new and gently used children’s books throughout the Chicago area. January is their volunteer appreciation month. For information on volunteering or donations, click here.

Was there an event that inspired you to start volunteering?

My mom passed away (in October 2015) and she was an avid book reader, so I volunteered in honor of her.

What has the experience been like?

It has been wonderful. Everyone that works at Bernie’s is like a second family and knowing that they are helping these children who are at-risk and in need of books is just heartwarming.

Why did you choose Bernie’s Book Bank?

It was basically because my mom died and we were in such a state of shock that I wanted to come up with a place that would honor her.

What would you tell people who are thinking about volunteering locally?

You meet other members of your community and you know that you are giving back right in the area you live in. I think with it being local and convenient you are more likely to go.

You have two daughters, Madeline, 6, and Stella, 4. Do you enjoy exposing them to volunteerism?

They grow up in a pretty lucky environment and they need to know from a young age that not everyone is as lucky as they are. Being young children, you have to show them and take them there . . . giving them an actual experience is so much better than just telling them about it.

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