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Recipients Include Education, Safety and Health Organizations in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri

Chicago, IL (December 10, 2013) – The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Midwest Division, a non-profit organization funded by the insurance industry, announced today that it has awarded over $400,000 in community grants to local non-profit organizations in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri for 2014. The grants, largely ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, support 24 non-profit organizations in the Midwest.

IICF is a national foundation committed to positively impacting communities at the local level. As such, it maintains a philosophy of reinvesting back into the areas in which the funds were initially raised. The IICF Midwest Division focuses annually awards grants to organizations and projects that focus on education, safety and health.

"The insurance industry is committed to supporting and investing in the communities we serve," said David Helms, Managing Director at Macquarie Capital (USA), Inc. and IICF Midwest Division Grants Committee Chair. "By working together as a united industry through the IICF, we are able to increase our philanthropic impact to benefit the specific needs of our communities."

Receiving one of the Midwest Division's $50,000 community grants is Bernie's Book Bank, an organization that facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of new and gently-used children's books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

"Every child we serve becomes part of a long-term, sustainable program aimed at providing them with the books that will most effectively advance their reading level over time," said Brian Floriani, Executive Director and Founder of Bernie's Book Bank. "In 2013 alone, we have collected, processed and distributed more than one million quality books, and with the IICF's generous support we will be able to expand our distribution facility to reach our new goal of four million books distributed by 2016. We're especially excited to receive this award from IICF as they support literacy across the country through their Early Literacy Initiative."

Alongside Bernie's Book Bank, 2013 Midwest grantees include renewed funding to Boys Hope Girls Hope, buildOn, Chicago Youth Programs, Christ the King, Cornerstone Schools, Hesed House, Lazarus House, and Lydia Safe Families and new funding to Arts Refreshing The Soul (ARTS), Chicago Run, Children's Home + Aid, The Children's Place Association, Evans Scholars, The Hope Network, Horizons For Youth, Metropolitan Family Services, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Ozanam, Peterson Garden Project, Polish American Association Domestic Violence Prevention Program, Secret Santa, Inc., Sue Duncan Children's Center, and Women In Need Growing Stronger (WINGS).