Archive for the 'fundraising' Category

Laughs Unlocked benefit show—Thurs., May 18

2017 Laughs Unlocked Web Graphic450
Recommended by Chicagoist and the Reader!
Tickets on sale now! Buy online or call 773.697.9693.

Prison is no laughing matter, but we’ll make an exception because some of the best improv actors in Chicago are throwing us a benefit. Again!

In this two-act show they’ll create scenes based on stories from our friend Colette Payne. Colette, who was formerly incarcerated, is a community organizer with Cabrini Green Legal Aid/Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers.

CAST Brooke Breit, TJ Jagodowski, Brett Lyons, Beth Melewski, Nnamdi Ngwe, Saurabh Pande, Dewayne Perkins, Asher Perlman, Sue Salvi, Jim Scheidhauer, Kevin Sciretta and Robyn Scott
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Julie B. Nichols

100% of the proceeds will go to Chicago Books to Women in Prison. Many thanks to all the actors and the theannoyance.com for donating their talent, time and space. Don’t miss it!

Download the poster.

Visit the Facebook event page.

Laughs Unlocked benefit show—Tues., April 5

Laughs Unlocked banner

Prison is no laughing matter—but we’ll make an exception this time because some of the best improvisors in Chicago are throwing us a benefit!

In this two-act show they’ll create scenes based on stories from Dionna Griffin-Irons. Griffin-Irons, who was formerly incarcerated, is a writer, alumna of Second City, and current Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the legendary comedy theatre. Continue reading ‘Laughs Unlocked benefit show—Tues., April 5’

Join Us for a Benefit Dinner—Tuesday, January 19

EatsSweetslogoUpdated January 15: SOLD OUT!

Our friends at Eats & Sweets Cafe are celebrating Dolly Parton’s 70th birthday with a fundraiser for us. Dolly is well known for her literacy program Imagination Library, and Eats & Sweets owners Tim and Margaret wanted to support an organization that works to improve literacy. We’re delighted to be honored in this way—all the more as Eats & Sweets is right in the neighborhood and their food is delicious.

There will also be a book drive the week before, as well as a photo booth and raffle at the dinner. Reservations are required and costumes are optional. Learn more and make your reservation today. We look forward to seeing you there! Continue reading ‘Join Us for a Benefit Dinner—Tuesday, January 19’

RSVP: Social Ways to Support Our Work

This time for once we’re not talking about Facebook or Twitter

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.

Continue reading ‘RSVP: Social Ways to Support Our Work’

Be a Part of #GivingTuesday

Black Friday has come and gone.
Cyber Monday too.
But the spirit of Thanksgiving continues.

Today is the third annual #GivingTuesday, a national day of generosity to non-profit organizations. We know there are many worthy causes you could support, but since you’re reading this, chances are you share our sense of the importance of our mission.

For more than 12 years, we’ve been meeting weekly to read letters and fulfill requests from women behind bars across the country. We do our best to choose just the right books from the thousands of paperbacks donated year round by readers in Chicago and beyond, in able to offer the women we serve the  education, entertainment and self-empowerment that reading provides.

In 2013, we mailed 2,274 packages of books—nearly 7,000 books in all—and it looks likely that we’ll surpass that for 2014. We couldn’t do any of it without people like you who care about this as much as we do.

We welcome all gifts, but here are some specific ways your donation can help:

  • $15 provides a week’s worth of packing tape
  • $35 pays Media Mail postage for ten book packages (three books each to ten women)
  • $70 buys First Class postage for one blank journal each to 20 women
  • $125 covers our rent for one month (we’ve recently expanded, which will help us do more, more efficiently)
  • $200 is a typical week’s worth of postage (multiply that by 52 and you get a good idea of our need throughout the year)

Please help if you can on #GivingTuesday. Paypal is handy at the top right of this page. Or send a check or money order to:

Chicago Books to Women in Prison
c/o RFUMC
4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ChicagoBWP so you can share in the energy of #GivingTuesday. And help us get the word out to your friends and followers!

Sunday, October 19—Books Behind Bars at Uncharted Books

Learn more about what we do and the difference it makes to the women we serve. We love Uncharted Books—they’ve been a good friend by helping us get hard-to-find books—and we appreciate Tanner’s support. Join us for:

Books Behind Bars
Hosted by Uncharted Books

Sunday, October 19, 6 p.m.
2620 N. Milwaukee (Kedzie & Milwaukee) in Logan Square
Light refreshments served

  • Hear guest speaker Reynolds Wintersmith—whose sentence was recently commuted by Presidential pardon after serving 20 years—on his experience and the importance of books for him in prison
  • Browse at Uncharted and buy books requested by the women we serve
  • Learn from our volunteers all the ways you can help provide books to people in prisons

Download event flyer


3,179 packages so far in 2017!

That’s 2,750 packages of books and 429 blank journals—and counting. In 2016 we sent 3,901 packages (3,310 packages of books and 591 blank journals). Many thanks to all our supporters! (updated August 13, 2017)

Donate quickly and easily

Or send your check or money order to 4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60640. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your gift may be tax-deductible.

Help us fill special requests

Learn what we’re looking for now (updated July 13, 2017)

• Check out our Amazon Wish List
(and feel free to use it at other stores)