Our group coordinated a book drive to benefit the patients at the Special Infectious Disease Clinic at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital through the Junior Council. We had two goals when we embarked on our mission. First, to raise as many books as possible for the kids in the Special Infectious Disease clinic of the children’s hospital, ranging from ages 1 to 25, and secondly raising as much awareness as possible for the Junior Council and Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The Junior Council is a 501(c)3 organization comprised of young Chicago-area professionals (75 active members) dedicated to supporting The Special Infectious Disease Clinic at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. The Junior Council was originally founded in 1988, following the establishment by Dr. Ram Yogev and Dr. Ellen Gould Chadwick of The Children’s Memorial Hospital’s multidisciplinary HIV program (1987). The Junior Council supports the hospital’s patient care mission of providing high quality healthcare to every child who needs it, regardless their family’s ability to pay. To date, The Junior Council has raised over one million dollars for Lurie Children’s Hospital. Patients of the Special Infectious Disease Clinic range in age anywhere from newborns up to 25 years old. Typically, they come from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds, and many lack strong familial guidance. The Junior Council provide these patients with funds for medical treatments and an Adolescent Outreach Coordinator, as well as a Scholarship program and a volunteer Mentorship Program to help guide the patients through their teenage years and beyond.
Analysis of Success
We initially set a benchmark of 150 books. No one in our group had ever coordinated a book drive, and we did not have an idea of what to expect in donations. We ended up with 300 being the target goal, and a high-end goal of 450 we have collected nearly 360 books to date, with about 50 books that are yet to be collected.
We also raised awareness was raised through a Junior Council official letter being placed on boxes in apartment buildings, and every group member sharing the mission of the Junior Council when they received book donations.
- ALWAYS have a backup plan… if your project experiences a challenge, it can be delayed weeks without a pre-planned alternative.
- To the greatest extent possible, try to eliminate intermediaries in communication channels – three-way communication can take twice as long.
- Think carefully about tasks: be specific and detailed, and consider the sub-deliverables involved with each broad deliverable. Considering these items beforehand will save you time.
- Agree on a date and time early, and verify that date works for your charity
- Think through all logistical hoops you may encounter
- Rely on your own personal networks, they are willing to help more than you think