The following are recepients of the 2018
Governor's Volunteer Service Awards.
East Central Award Recipients
Adult: Priyanka Bahel – Naperville
For service to: Carle Foundation Hospital
Priyanka Bahel is a sophomore double majoring in Chemistry and Psychology at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. She began volunteering when she was in 6th grade at a local library and gradually became involved with other organizations including American Red Cross and Feed My Starving Children. Last year, she took a service trip to Los Angeles where she had the opportunity to volunteer with Homeless Health Care Center, AIDS Project LA, and Women’s Resource Center. This was truly a life changing experience as she gained new perspectives while interacting with different population groups. Currently, she volunteers at Carle Foundation Hospital where she’s a Student Leader and Student Volunteer Coordinator for Carle Health Advocacy Team. She leads the team for the 2017-2018 school year, which engages and educates youth in the east central Illinois area about healthcare. Priyanka has spearheaded the program and made it her own. Outside of volunteering, Priyanka enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.
AmeriCorps: Brian Frapolly – McHenry
For service to: Illinois Justice Corps/McLean County Law and Justice Center
Brian Frapolly has lived throughout the entire state of Illinois, growing up in the south, completing high school in the north, and graduating from Illinois State smack dab in the middle. This state has helped him personally and professionally and living in different areas has allowed his point of view and perspective to broaden. He started his AmeriCorps position with JusticeCorps post-graduation to further his exposure to the legal world while simultaneously being able to give back and help the community. Brian is a key face in McLean County’s courthouse to help self-represented litigants become better informed of the court processes and paperwork. He has created a new staff manual and even a scavenger hunt for JusticeCorps volunteers to get to know the court staff so volunteers were more visible and knowledgeable about court staff and services. Brian’s commitment to his community drives his actions, and he’s been able to share that passion with his peers and encourage them to accomplish their own service goals.
Business: Land of Lincoln Credit Union - Decatur
For service to: Webster Cantrell Hall and other organizations
Land of Lincoln Credit Union is a State Chartered financial institution founded in 1947. LLCU originally served the employees of the Decatur Signal Depot, which was a Federal Communications Facility. The mission of Land of Lincoln Credit Union is to improve the financial literacy of communities through education. LLCU strives to bring financial products and services to its membership that offers maximum convenience and security. It is important to the Board of Land of Lincoln Credit Union and to its employees to give back to the communities in which they live and work. This is why it is a priority each year to have staff commit to a minimum of 2,000 volunteer hours throughout the 26 counties served. Each year, employees are charged with the task for finding organizations through our counties that are need of volunteers. This year, the charity of 2017 was Webster Cantrell Hall, but there were a myriad of other organizations that benefited from their Volunteer Pledge.
Senior: Alfred Hampton - Springfield
For service to: Central Illinois Foodbank
Alfred Hampton retired in 2013 after working for 38 years at Praxair. He and his wife, Denise moved to Springfield for the Lincoln attractions in 2013. He always had hobbies such as wood working, stain glass, and soap making. After retiring, he knew he wanted to do something else to keep himself busy and get some social interaction. His wife suggested he check out Central Illinois Foodbank because he had always had a certain passion for food and food safety. Alfred has been volunteering with the foodbank since 2014 and plans to continue volunteering with them for years to come. He has gotten into this fun routine of driving the retail truck on Mondays, then sorting, doing maintenance, or training others on Tuesday through Thursday. The foodbank has really become his second home, as he volunteers there 15 hours per week.
Senior Corps: Alice Bray - Decatur
For service to: Dove’s Children’s Clothing Room
Alice Bray graduated in 1945 from Decatur High School and went to work in the office for A. E. Staley Company. Alice married her husband George in 1949, and they have been married for 68 years. Together they have a son Gary and his wife Darlene who reside in Texas and a daughter Gloria and her husband Bill who live in Central Illinois. Also, Alice has three beautiful granddaughters. After retiring, Alice and her husband joined RSVP in May 1994 where together they served hours at several different agencies in Macon County. In October 2004 Alice began her journey at the Dove's Children's Clothing Room because there was such a need for families with children to have access to suitable clothing. By January 2007, Alice was asked to complete the monthly scheduling for the volunteers serving in the Clothing Room. Alice completed the scheduling of all volunteers for more than ten years before graciously handing it over to the next generation of volunteers. Alice is fully invested in seeing more families served yearly through the Clothing room and looks forward to helping for as long as she is able.
Youth: Gage Ford – Springfield
For service to: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region
Gage Hunter Ford is currently a Senior at Springfield High School. He will be graduating in June 2018 and attending Illinois State University in the fall. He plans to major in computer science, as he would like to enhance his knowledge and understanding of the technological world around him. He enjoys mentoring for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. In this program, Gage develops one-to-one relationships with elementary aged youth by meeting with his assigned “little” once a week. Gage is now a “big” brother but was a “little” in his own life as well, having been involved in the program for over 10 years. In fact, Gage just celebrated his 10 year Matchiversary with his own volunteer mentor. Gage is taking the lessons he learned from being mentored and reinvesting them back in the community in the form of serving as a mentor himself.
Northeast Award Recipients
Adult: Anna Stargardt – Chicago
For service to: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
Anna Stargardt was raised in Chicago and graduated from Wright College in Chicago, IL. She has been employed for 32 years with a restaurant company. Anna became a volunteer at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (ALGH) in Park Ridge 10 years ago after receiving treatment for alcoholism. Given a second chance to live, she wanted to help others struggling with this disease. She started by chairing 12-step meetings on the behavioral health unit at ALGH and helped expand the program to serve patients detoxing throughout the hospital. Wanting to learn more, Anna went back to school to become a certified alcohol and drug counselor. Anna is now a volunteer in ALGH’s new medically-supervised detox unit, which offers meetings, resources, and counseling for patients. She has been given multiple hospital awards for her dedication. Anna has raised more than $10,000 for the hospital’s substance addiction program by running the Chicago Marathon.
AmeriCorps: Brandi France - Grayslake
For service to: Waukegan to College
Brandi France graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology from The College of New Jersey. With a desire to continue developing her leadership skills, Brandi earned her Master’s in Leadership Studies - Higher Education from North Central College in Naperville, IL. As an AmeriCorps Service Member with Waukegan to College, Brandi is helping students on their path to college. After working with the current senior class, Brandi felt called to create a way for Waukegan students to be leaders in their community. Brandi formed the Youth Leadership Council (YLC), which kicked-off in October. The goal of YLC is to teach and help students lead social change in their community. Under Brandi’s leadership, students in YLC will create an action plan around an issue they want to work on, fundraise to support their work, and learn how to engage students, organizations, and elected officials in a collaborative effort to better their community.
Business: Northwestern Medicine-Team NM - Winfield
For service to: DuPage County Health Department Initiatives-Impact DuPage and FORWARD DuPage
With seven hospitals and more than 100 locations throughout northern Illinois, Northwestern Medicine is on a relentless pursuit of better healthcare. As a growing integrated academic health system, Northwestern Medicine is also committed to delivering the same caliber of care beyond the physical boundaries of the health system, to improve the overall health and well-being of the communities they serve. For more than 30 years, Northwestern Medicine has supported and encouraged its employees to volunteer their time and talent to provide assistance to those in need all across the greater Chicago area. Team NM was created to further support this effort. With more than 2,000 volunteers and growing, Team NM offers employees quarterly volunteer opportunities, community partner information and a vast amount of resources to help employees find the best way to serve in their community. Team NM symbolizes how employees of Northwestern Medicine stand together as an organization and care for those that are most in need.
Senior: Ann McAveeney – Lake Forest
For service to: Fill A Heart 4 Kids
Ann McAveeney gave up her career to take in homeless children, to help children without families, and children who have been abused, trafficked or abandoned have a brighter future. She works 60 hours per week without pay to help children feel loved so they can focus on what matters….their future. Fill a Heart 4 Kids began in 2007 when 48 children living in a children’s home needed to feel loved and remembered on Valentine’s Day. FAH4K has grown into an organization with year round programs reaching thousands of children in need, including homeless children trying to survive, with thousands of We Care packages, school supplies, and Survival BackPacs to give them hope for a brighter future. The momentum Ann has created is infectious. EVERYONE can make a difference including new partners and volunteers. With thousands of volunteers each year, Ann has truly created a community helping a community in desperate need.
Senior Corps: Arthur "Nick" Cordell- Yorkville
For service to: Senior Services Associates
Arthur “Nick” Cordell of Yorkville has been an RSVP Volunteer in Kendall and Kane Counties since 2013. He has volunteered as a home-delivered-meal driver, a friendly visitor, and volunteer driver for seniors in need. Nick has regularly visited four homebound seniors throughout the past five years and helped many others in need of rides to medical appointments. He also spends much of his time as a caregiver for an elderly aunt, several years his senior. Nick has been married to Helen for 44 years, and they have one daughter. He is a retired business owner and an “addicted” bridge player, playing competitively in seven bridge clubs. He also administers two sanctioned bridge clubs each week for up to 80 people. Nick is a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Nick hopes to make a difference in the lives of everyone he meets.
Youth: Nolan Rahm – Evergreen Park
For service to: Tinley Park Paws
Nolan Rahm is 14 years old and is a freshman in high school. Nolan completes over 200 hours of volunteer service hours every year for his community at organizations such as People's Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS), Mission and Care at Immanuel United Church of Christ, Park Lawn, Ronald McDonald House, Stuffed Love, Pediatric Heart Association of Illinois, Chicago Greater Food Depository, and Tinley Park PAWS. In assisting with disaster relief collections at PAWS, he noticed there was not enough room for all donations to be stored. To remedy this, Nolan has brought community businesses together to donate a new building to PAWS. Nolan is an honor student, member of many academic clubs including Scholastic Bowl, Science Olympiads, Mathletes, Worldwide Youth Science and Engineering team and is a part of the marching and concert bands and choir. Nolan is a Boy Scout and a member of the Scouting National Honor Society Order of the Arrow.
Northwest Award Recipients
Adult: Melissa Ryan Bergstrom – Sterling
For service to: Team Jess
Melissa Ryan Bergstrom attended Sauk Valley Community College and transferred to Western Illinois University where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration with a minor in Security and Management. She resides in Sterling with her husband, Chris, and their five children, Isaiah, Carter, Kael, Bella and Abigail. Melissa has an extensive history with community involvement and volunteerism. Her current position as Marketing and Community Engagement Director for Candlelight Inn involves Candlelight Gives Back Program and all community events/fundraisers. She started the food programs for the 21st CCLC program and program outreach sites in Sterling and Rock Falls and has number of other volunteer commitments to include April House Child Advocacy Center, Sunrise Rotary, and school-based activities. Melissa is being honored for her volunteerism and commitment to “Team Jess”. She and her team raised over $184,000 for six different organizations in the past 5 years for cancer awareness through the annual community touchdown event.
AmeriCorps: Christopher Black – East Moline
For service to: WQPT-Quad Cities PBS
Christopher Black was raised in East Moline, Illinois. He received his Associates in Science at Black Hawk College in 2017 and moved on to Western Illinois University studying engineering technology. Over 13 years ago, he became a little in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. During that time, he noticed the tremendous impact that programs like the Big Brothers Big Sisters program had on the life of children and on himself. During high school, he became involved in 4-H and was one of the few who pioneered the 4-H Teens for Teachers program. After high school, he became an ambassador for WQPT and after two years of being an ambassador he wanted to become further involved. After getting his Associates, he joined WQPT as an AmeriCorps member and became of the lead ambassador for the WQPT ambassador program. With this, he strives to inspire children with his love for reading, science, and technology.
Business: Culver’s - Dixon
For service to: Sauk Valley Community College
Sauk Valley Community College, which is located in Dixon, launched a new Agriculture program this fall, through Culver’s “Thank You Farmers” Project. Culver’s of Dixon raised nearly $11,000 for equipment and other program materials through a series of fundraisers between April and August of 2017. The dedicated True Blue Team sold $1 cards decorated with a barn, sold $1.00 dishes of custard on Culver’s “scoop of thanks” day, guests received a dish of custard when they donated spare change at the drive-thru, and held several silent auctions. Culver’s of Dixon raised $10,943, which went to the Sauk Valley College Foundation, the school’s fundraising and support partner. SVCC is offering Associate’s degrees in agriculture and agri-business, for students who directly enter agricultural work, want to seek jobs in marketing and sales, and who want to advance to a four-year program at another college or university.
Senior: Juanita Martin - Rockford
For service to: Northwest Community Center
Mrs. Juanita Martin can be found at Northwest Community Center in Rockford, lending her helping hand to the families and youth daily, serving more than 100 youth each day. Mrs. Martin is a native of Rockford, a wife, a mother of 3, grandmother of 6, and a great grandmother of 3. She enjoys sewing and working with youth. Mrs. Juanita Martin believes that youth are our future and that they need to be nurtured, encouraged, and guided through this society. She is a member of Liberty Baptist Church of Rockford, where she works on the kitchen committee, as well as other committees at Liberty. In her spare time, when she is not lending a hand to someone in need, Ms. Juanita enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys listening to music and relaxing. Mrs. Juanita Martin is dedicated to her community and she is always willing to step above her expected duties to serve others.
Senior Corps: Char Polis - Rockford
For service to: Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Winnebago County
Char Polis moved with her family to the United States from Germany when she was eight years old. After high school, Char went to college and became a teacher until she retired in 1995. Char donates her time each month picking up food from local pantries and delivering it to 4 or 5 of the 94 homebound seniors every month for four years through the Homebound Program. She has worked in the community garden by tending to the garden every week and donating the vegetables to a local pantry. She has also participated in a Kids Garden Experience where she helps teach 25-30 children in low-income neighborhoods about growing their own resources through gardening. Char started puppeteering for the Healthy and Strong program for three to five-year-olds, which presents songs and interactive lessons on healthy food choices and exercises. She has presented to over 5,500 children in the last 5 years. Char has also given 90 presentations at senior living facilities on exercise and healthy eating to motivate and refresh seniors with the latest information on wellness.
Youth: Sarina Goldie - Freeport
For service to: Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois
Sarina Goldie, a 17 year old Junior at Freeport High School in Freeport, the daughter of Michelle (Rex) Wiederholtz, Freeport, and Christopher Goldie, Dixon. Sarina is an Ambassador with the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI), an Associate Board Member for GSNI, President of ACROD Youth at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Rockford and active with the ECE program at Freeport High School, where she is a TA at Lincoln Douglas Elementary Pre-School. Sarina works actively with her Girl Scout troop 5047 to make a positive change in her community. Sarina recently completed her Girl Scout Gold Award by putting together a Girl Empowerment Conference where speakers came with the message to young girls that they can do whatever they put their mind to. Sarina also has worked to help with flood clean up in the Stephenson and Jo Daviess counties. Sarina will be pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education upon graduation in 2019.
Southern Award Recipients
Adult: Marleen Shepherd – Carbondale
For service to: Sparrow Coalition
Marleen Shepherd is the founder of Sparrow Coalition, a community partnership addressing issues of homelessness and poverty in southern Illinois. Marleen received her Master of Divinity degree from Phillips Theological Seminary, and is working toward becoming a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is currently completing a chaplaincy internship at Saint Louis University Hospital. Marleen earned her bachelor's degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she was editor of the Daily Egyptian student newspaper. She previously worked for the SIU Alumni Association as part of its communications team. She has also worked for the Southern Illinoisan newspaper among others. Marleen has served on the boards of many area charitable organizations including the Carbondale Interfaith Council, where she held the office of president. She is a lifelong member of First Christian Church Carbondale where she has been involved in outreach, education and mission. Marleen has worked tirelessly to educate the community on the needs of area residents and advocate on their behalf.
AmeriCorps: Zach Brookman – Opdyke
For service to: Opdyke-Belle Rive CCSD #5
Zachary Brookman is twenty-one years old and lives in Opdyke, which is a small southern Illinois town. He is currently pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Zach is in his second year of AmeriCorps at Opdyke Belle-Rive Grade school. At Opdyke, he helps tutor students as well as coach their baseball team. Also, he coaches with a summer baseball program and volunteer at a baseball camp. Zach has always enjoyed helping young children whether it is through academics or coaching and AmeriCorps has given him that opportunity. Zach plans to continue coaching after his AmeriCorps service year is over so that the children of his community can play. He is so glad that he joined AmeriCorps because of how much experience it has given him.
Business: Luxury Looks Barber & Beauty Salon – Fairview Heights
For service to: Men of East St. Louis
Luxury Looks Barber shop was established by Henry and Skyla Green in 2010. Mr. and Mrs. Green had always had a passion for giving back to the community and investing in the future of our youth. Luxury Looks Barber and Beauty Salon has always participated in back to school haircut events. They also host annual clothing and coat drives in the winter to assist the less fortunate as a part of their continuous service to the community. Mr. and Mrs. Green love being a blessing to others because they have been blessed along their journey. They also teach barber classes to high school students who are seeking to gain knowledge in the barber industry. With fellow barbers and beauticians along their side, the impact has superseded all of their expectations. Their service alongside Lessie Bates AmeriCorps has been a power partnership that they are all grateful for.
Senior: Alice McGowen – Jerseyville
For service to: Humanity Road, Inc.
Alice McGowen has been disabled for 21 years and spends most of her days at home in Jerseyville with her service dog Annie. Being isolated from the public and her community only helped to inspire her. She became a digital volunteer for Humanity Road and as she searched for information, it dawned on her that many individuals who are disabled also face the same challenges. She now serves as the Team Leader of the Vulnerable Population Team where she established the Disability, Accessibility and Functional needs social media awareness program and launched a new hashtag to track information for vulnerable populations, #DAFN. In her role she supports state, local and national campaigns. She is trained in CDC Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications (CERC), ADA Accessible Assembly Areas and tweets as @DAFNReady and @FoxRn1. In 2015, Alice received the Lifetime Achievement award from President Barack Obama.
Senior Corps: Ron Simpson- Carterville
For service to: Gum Drops NFP
Ron Simpson is the co-founder of Gum Drops, NFP along with his wife Amy Simpson. Gum Drops, NFP started in January 2008 feeding 12 children in the Carterville School district. Gum Drops, NFP quickly grew. Currently, Gum Drops, NFP is feeding over 1,700 at-risk children throughout Southern Illinois. They are in 6 counties 15 school districts and 43 schools. Before Gum Drops, Ronnie retired from Olenburg Mining where he ran and maintained the inventory as well as delivering mining equipment within the tri-state area. Ronnie thinks he is “retired”. He actually runs three volunteer shifts, orders the child-friendly food, and opens all the items for the backpacks and numerous other jobs. One of Ronnie’s passions is fishing! Most days that is quite a challenge for him to do. Together, Ron and Amy have three children and live in Carterville.
Youth: Kaitlyn Barnett – Troy
For service to: Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois
Kaitlyn Barnett is 17 years old and lives with her parents and sister in Troy. She attends Triad High School and participates in the Running Start Program at Southwestern Illinois College, where she will graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Science. Kaitlyn earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by completing a project called “Camp for Everyone”. With the help of local companies, Kaitlyn was able to make Girl Scout Camp Torqua accessible. In order to make the camp accessible, she installed a concrete ramp to the fire pit, a concrete sidewalk leading to the bath house, and an accessible rock trail. She has continues to volunteer in local service unit events and serves as a member of the Girl Scout Board. Kaitlyn is also a board member of Triad’s Science Club, Secretary for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and President of Holy Cross Lutheran’s Youth Group.
West Central Award Recipients
Adult: Jenny Lee - Mackinaw
For service to: TCRC and RSVP of Peoria and Tazewell Counties
Jenny Lee lives in Mackinaw with her husband of 22 years along with her four adult sons, some “adopted children”, 1 cat, 4 dogs (one being a grand fur baby), 2 albino African frogs and a couple of other fish. She graduated from Western Illinois University in May 1995 and later obtained her Master’s in Legal Studies, graduating in May of 2014 with a primary focus on the regulations/legalities of the Social Services field. Jenny has worked in the social service field for over 20 years, working in the field serving individuals with developmental disabilities as well as other disabilities. She is also involved with volunteer programs including working on homelessness issues. Her passion is the advocacy for individuals with disabilities and improving lives, while improving access in the community in which they live. Because of Jenny’s efforts, those with disabilities and agencies serving those with disabilities in the Peoria and Tazewell County areas now can be more involved in volunteer opportunities.
AmeriCorps: Justin Krohn - Macomb
For service to: Western Illinois Regional Council
Justin Krohn received his bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University in 2013. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi from 2014-2016 as an environment volunteer. His projects in Peace Corps included low-input beekeeping, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, permagardening, and making improved cook stoves. He is now a Peace Corps Fellow at Western Illinois University, pursuing his master’s degree in geography with emphases on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Community Development. He is an AmeriCorps Member at Western Illinois Regional Council where he is using GIS to further the agency’s impact on the communities it serves. Justin is currently working with Blandinsville, a largely farming community of 600 people, to map existing infrastructure to create comprehensive maps which will soon be available to all residents and employees going forward. This will allow for planning for future infrastructure updates and maintenance.
Business: Kassing Lumber Company – Mt. Sterling
For service to: Adams, Brown, and Pike Counties RSVP
In 1972, Vic and Mary Kassing opened the Kassing Lumber Company in Mt. Sterling. Both were very active in volunteering in with the American Legion and Red Cross Blood drives. Throughout the years, their 3 sons joined the company and eventually took over the ownership. They learned from their parents that volunteering helped to strengthen, not only the individual, but the business as well as the community. Owners as well as employees volunteer in the community in such places as the park district, churches, school boards, YMCA, and Boy Scouts among other places. Kassing Lumber Company employees volunteer both physically as well as financially to meet the needs of Brown County. They have always played a large part in the community, whatever the need.
Senior: William Durall - Pittsfield
For service to: JWCC Southeast Education Center
William Durall was raised in Pike County, Illinois. After college, he enlisted in the Air Force as an alternative to the draft and spent about 10 years as a Russian linguist. He earned his commission in 1982 and served another 27 years in the Air Force as a communications-computer systems officer. He and his wife moved 21 times in his 37 years of active duty, serving in Europe, Asia, and all across the United States. In 2009, Mr. Durall retired from the Air Force and returned to Pittsfield, where he now serves as an associate psychology instructor for John Wood Community College. Bill was instrumental in the many development stages of the JWCC Southeast Education Center. In addition, he is active in his church, the Pittsfield Rotary Club, and Rotary District 6460, where he currently serves as its Visioning Chair. He is also an independent certified facilitator for Leader Effectiveness Training and Parent Effectiveness Training workshops.
Senior Corps: Joseph Urbanc - Peoria
For service to: RSVP of Peoria and Tazewell Counties
Joseph Urbanc is from Peoria, Illinois. He has been married to his wife Ruth for 48 years. He is the father of three children and the grandfather of six. Joe is retired from Butternut Bakery in Peoria. He is an active member of the Madison Manor Home Owners Association. He enjoys spending his free time with his grandchildren or picking up litter. Joe has been an active RSVP member since it was re-introduced to the Peoria area in July of 2015. Joe is especially sensitive to the impact that litter has on our environment, and he has made it his personal mission to do what he can to help clean it up on a regular basis. In 2017 alone, Joe himself removed two hundred and ninety 40 gallon garbage bags of litter from Peoria county roads. He has been providing this service for over 10 years, cleaning up more than 110,000 pounds of garbage and debris.
Youth: Beckham Oldenettel - Jacksonville
For service to: New Directions Warming and Cooling Shelter and other organizations
Beckham Oldenettel is six years old and the son of Mike and Lori Oldenettel of Jacksonville. He has three older brothers, a dog. He is in the 1st grade and his favorite subject is math. He enjoys soccer, being a cub scout, karate, exchanging Pokeman cards with his friends and playing games. When Beckham gets older, he wants to be a back massager aka chiropractor. Beckham has been collecting used and new children's books for young people in need since he was three years old and in that time has distributed 5,038 books. The mission of "Beckham's Bookshelf" is to put books into the hands of children to enjoy at home. Books are distributed to children at elementary schools, hospitals, mission trips, and organizations serving children.