This time of year finds holiday elves hard at work making the season bright. But at Anderson's Bookshops in Naperville and Downers Grove, the hard work is being accomplished by Book Angels, doing their part to spread the love of literacy.
As part of the store's annual Book Angels holiday program, books are placed in the hands of area disadvantaged children during the holiday season. The store's Book Angel tree is trimmed with angel tags, each bearing a child's name and age. Donors simply select a tag and purchase a book to match. Even simpler, the bookstore will make the matches for you.
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Anderson's offers a discount on all Book Angel purchases, wraps each selection and delivers the books to area charities. Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville is distributing books to the following local agencies: Bridge Communities, SmartStep Foundation, Humanitarian Service Project, Indian Prairie Unit District 204, the Kerry Wood Foundation, and Naperville Unit District 203.
In Downers Grove, books will be delivered to Lifelink's Early Headstart Program, Community Health Nursing Services, Humanitarian Service Project, Downers Grove Elementary District 58, Woodridge Elementary District 68, Cicero Elementary District 99, and Chicago Public School District 299.
Individuals, organizations and classrooms have donned their "angel wings" to help the Book Angel program. As in years past, the Downers Grove Delta Kappa Gamma service group has secured a grant and the organization's members will match (and exceed) those funds to support Book Angels. Big or small, all gifts are encouraged.
"Every year the number of children's names seems to grow, but so does our community's generosity," said Jan Dundon, the store's Book Angel coordinator.
"This year we expect a similar outpouring of support from our angels. Such gifts of the heart are welcome."
Above and beyond what Anderson's donors contribute, books also are provided by Anderson's Bookshops and Anderson's Bookfair Company, Anderson's Aurora-based children's book wholesaler division.
That shared enthusiasm and generosity mean merrier holidays for area children.
Last year, the effort delivered gift books to nearly 2,000 children who then had a chance to open and own a new book; to sense the smell of paper and ink; to anticipate adventure and to discover new worlds through reading.
"The state of the economy means that more children need our help," said Debby Bodnar, who helps Dundon with the program for Anderson's. "Your acts of generosity will be especially appreciated this year."
Anderson's also promotes the Andrea's Angels program, which is the bookshop's source for recycling gently used books. Your gently used titles -- both for children and adults -- are welcome at Anderson's, where our Andrea's Angels program finds new homes for used books year-round.
To participate in Anderson's Bookshops Book Angel program, call Jan Dundon at (630) 355-2665 or stop in to either of the Anderson's Bookshops, 123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, or 5112 Main St., Downers Grove.
To donate your books for Andrea's Angels, contact the bookstores in Naperville or Downers Grove.
For details, visit www.andersonsbookshop.com.