In November a friend of ours in Texas told us she was planning a fundraiser in her home. We heard back from her recently:
I hosted a small Christmas party at my house where I invited all my girlfriends (many from a book club I belong to). I asked everyone to bring a used book, which we laid out on a large table and swapped among ourselves. I had a separate table displaying the letters from the inmates you sent me as well as a donation box. (I’d read on your site that it was better to give cash than to incur the cost of shipping books multiple times.) That way people could donate if they felt inclined and everyone went away with a “new” book. I gave some door prizes as well. Everyone really liked the idea. I’m happy to contribute to your organization. My sister is incarcerated and I know how much books and reading has meant to her there.
The following day I posted a thank you on my Facebook page with a link to your Amazon wish list so that those who didn’t donate or couldn’t come to the party would have a chance to contribute after the fact.
We’re grateful for our friend’s thoughtfulness. The total donations enabled us to send nearly 50 packages of books. In addition, last year others chose to celebrate special days of theirs by supporting Chicago Books to Women in Prison. For example:
- One long-time supporter asked friends and family not to buy gifts for her big birthday party, but to donate to our organization instead.
- In planning their wedding, a local couple wanted to support their interest in helping people in prison. They made a generous donation instead of buying wedding favors.
Interested in hosting a small event in your home? It’s a fun, easy way to make a difference in the lives of people in prison. Or like the idea of combining a celebration with helping more women behind bars get the books they want and need? Let us know in advance and we would be happy to provide materials to help you.