Bookstore Raises Nearly $3,000 for Congo Support

Post a Comment » Written on December 21st, 2004     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (December 21, 2004)  – Nearly $3,000 has been raised in support of  various projects in Congo through efforts of Covenant Bookstore,  according to store manager Jeff Lennard.

Customers entering the store, which is located across the street from  the North Park University campus, are greeted with signs encouraging  them to donate directly to Congo projects or to take advantage of a  special “Congo discount” promotion that offers an additional discount on  store purchases for every dollar customers donate to the Congo effort.

The wall behind the cashier station (see accompanying photo) displays a  number of Congo project items that customers can support, such as  contributing $80 to purchase a hospital bed or as little as a dollar to  purchase a packet of seeds for a family to grow food. “That portion of  the promotion has raised $1,964,” Lennard noted earlier in the week.

The additional discount on store purchases has raised more than $900,  Lennard noted, though that total is expected to grow as the promotion  continues. The promotional discount works like this: if a customer  donates $5 to the Congo effort, the customer receives a five percent  discount on all store purchases; for a $10 donation, the discount is  matched at ten percent. The percentage of discount increases to a total  of 35 percent for a donation of $35 or more. (To see additional photos  that explain the program, please see Covenant  Bookstore.

“The idea for the Bookstore Congo promotion came from a discussion that  Mary Kainovic, Kate Cannon and I had on how we should merchandise the  wall space behind the registers for Christmas,” Lennard explained. “We  discussed how many stores offer ‘doorbusters’ to get customers into  their stores and how we wanted to address that. The idea came that  customers always like a discount, we then discussed how we wanted that  discount to work.

“Mary suggested that some retailers will give customers the opportunity  to contribute to a charitable organization at checkout and designate  that contribution with some sort of marker (like the paper shoes you  often see hanging),” Lennard continued.  “We all agreed this was a great  idea for the ‘Congo Project’ and if customers would like to contribute  to the project, we would pass that generosity along by discounting their  entire bookstore purchase for that visit. Everyone was excited about the  idea and Kate took over with the merchandising of the wall space behind  the counter so it would reflect our campaign.”

The promotion started the day after Thanksgiving and will run through  the end of the year. Those interested in supporting the Congo project by  purchasing items like hospital beds, infant scales, school supplies and  seed packets may request copies of either the Catalog of Congo Needs  and Projects or the Kids Helping Kids! Congo Project Kids’  Catalog by calling 800-621-1290 or by emailing

Congo support can also be provided online by visiting the online  Covenant Bookstore at and selecting the Covenant  Bookstore link under the “Resources” section (at right) of the Covenant  home page. The bookstore welcome page features four items related to the  Congo projects that are supported by the Paul Carlson Partnership,  including packets of Congo Christmas cards (net proceeds benefit Congo  projects) or gift cards that can be purchased in the name of an  individual with the funds going directly to the Congo initiative. Items  may be purchased online using a major credit card.

To learn more about the Paul Carlson Partnership and the Congo projects,  select the partnership link from the “Other Ministries” section located  in the upper left area of the Covenant home page.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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