Author Topic: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program  (Read 4102 times)

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rmk1

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Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« on: May 04, 2007, 10:18:11 PM »
Hey, folks. If anyone wants to see the website I helped create about Book 'Em, the non-profit volunteer group I do a ton of work with, I'd really like to hear what you think of the site, and of our group. Our volunteer group exists to mail educational books to people in prison, who otherwise would not have access to educational materials.

We are always struggling-- trying to get enough money donated to cover our shipping costs, and always struggling to keep enough books on hand of certain topics. We especially always need paperback dictionaries (with as many word entries as possible) and anything on African-American history.

Thanks for listening!

http://thomasmertoncenter.org/bookem/index.htm

Clara Bow

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2007, 02:31:15 PM »
You are my new hero. I love that idea, I absolutely love it. How can I get a program going in my area??
I have finally found the bar I can't get thrown out of....

jais

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2007, 02:34:23 PM »
I have to agree with Auntie.

Any tips for starting a branch in my area?

AprilRenee

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2007, 03:27:31 PM »
That sounds like an awesome program!

rmk1

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2007, 09:34:25 AM »
Starting a program from scratch? Hm, I'd have to go looking for some resources for how to do that-- I have heard there is a manual somewhere... It's not a simple undertaking, I can tell you that!

But if you check the map at
http://www.booksthroughbars.org/pbp/
there may already be a books-to-prisoners program running in your area. Or, you could donate books or money to one of the existing programs. Most of them serve prisoners nationally. Ours serves all states except Oregon, and we don't serve men in Texas-- just women.

Our program is really hurting for money right now (seems to be a financial crisis every summer), so it's really on my mind.

rmk1

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2007, 02:41:29 PM »
There is a Books-to-Prisoners conference coming up in Champaign, IL two weekends from now, if either of you who were interested in starting up your own project might be interested in attending...

Also, if anyone is interested in sponsoring myself and two other people from my group, "Book 'Em", with our registration fees for the conference, there is a place on the conference website to donate directly--

We're very anxious about this trip-- We almost were not able to attend at all, but at the last minute one woman said she will pay for the car rental and gas, so now we're just looking at trying to cover the registration expenses-- Our organization is near broke as well, so we're in a tight spot. But it may be 5 years before the next national conference, so we want to make sure we have some representation at this one.

http://books2prisoners.org/conference/

AbbyW

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2007, 03:58:24 PM »
I noticed that the national site is just for a general fund.  Is it better to donate to your particular chapter and specify Conference Donation?

rmk1

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2007, 08:32:25 AM »
I noticed that the national site is just for a general fund.  Is it better to donate to your particular chapter and specify Conference Donation?

Well, it would work out fine either way.

If you specified Book 'Em when donating to the national conference, they would still be sure to direct the money to pay off our specific registrations.

If you did want to contribute to our specific program directly, you can select Book 'Em from the "For Project" drop down list at this webpage:
https://shop.vs2000.net/ThomasMertonCenter/Donation.cfm

Thank you so much for your interest in helping out a struggling non-profit!

Linley

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2007, 09:01:56 AM »
Unfortunately the site isn't working for me but the program sounds interesting and I probably have at least some books that I could donate. Both my parents are in the publishing/writing business so we have tons of books lying around and we have to beg places in the area to take excess books. Also I'm a historian so I have a fair number of educational books of that type that I no longer use. If you could tell me the kind of books you accept I can take a look around and see what we have.


I'm the kid who has this habit of dreaming
Sometimes gets me in trouble too
But the truth is I could no more stop dreaming
Than I could make them all come true.

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rmk1

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 09:14:46 AM »
Unfortunately the site isn't working for me but the program sounds interesting and I probably have at least some books that I could donate. Both my parents are in the publishing/writing business so we have tons of books lying around and we have to beg places in the area to take excess books. Also I'm a historian so I have a fair number of educational books of that type that I no longer use. If you could tell me the kind of books you accept I can take a look around and see what we have.

Oh, dear, I thought they had said that our donations page was working again! (sigh.)

Right now, for books, we are only able to accept:
Dictionaries (including "translation-type" with two languages)
African American/Native American/Latin American: History/authors/biographies
and how-to books (fixing cars, plumbing, HVAC, etc).

Because we have been just SWIMMING in donated books lately (two local universities' bookstores gave us huge donations recently and our space is really tight!)... we're pretty overwhelmed these past few months... 4 months behind in request letters, several of our hard core volunteers had to move out of state, and we're down to a bank balance of less than $100...

Of course, it's painful to turn down any book donations because I remember the days when we had like nothing on the shelves, and we had to dumpster-dive for books for the program... Also you might also check the link earlier in the thread and see if any other books-to-prisoners programs are closer to you...

Our mailing address if you feel like shipping books (or check/money order donations) to us is:
Book 'Em/Thomas Merton Center, 5125 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Thank you soooooooo much for your interest!

rmk1

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Re: Book 'Em: A Books-to-Prisoners Program
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2008, 05:28:26 PM »
If anyone is interested in seeing it, Book 'Em now has a film on YouTube.  :-* :)