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New Volunteers: Orientation this Sunday, September 28

If you’ve been thinking about getting involved, now’s the time. Join us for our next orientation session, led by one of our experienced volunteers. It takes place the last Sunday of each month, 1–2pm, right before our regular 2–5pm work session. Get the details here.
If you can’t make it this week, plan now to join us for the October 26 orientation. Not available on Sundays? There are lots of other ways to get involved and help get books in the hands of women in prison. We hope to see you soon!
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Poem from Florida

Forgotten and Alone in Prison

Here I am locked up again,
with no family or loved ones near.
All that’s left inside of me
is the sadness and fear.
I pray to God for salvation and
to lead me in his precious grace.
As I beg him to show me mercy
as tears roll down my face.
As I lay here in my cell sitting on my bed,
I shed another tear, because I feel
I’ve been forgotten
by those I love so dear to me. Continue reading ‘Poem from Florida’

Letter from Florida

To the Book Angels —

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I recently received a package of books and they were wonderful. I live in an open quad with 70 other women and 10 Greyhounds (we do rehab training for retired racing Greyhounds to help with their adoptions) and everyone gets excited when we receive books. Everyone is usually good about sharing, as it is hard for some to get to the compound library. The latest editions were all from popular authors so they are making the rounds.

Once again I’m gong to request any of the latest bestsellers. Other popular titles have been requested too. Please send authors like Nora Roberts, Fern Michaels, Danielle Steele, Susan Monk, Meg Cabot, Southern authors, Patterson and Grisham, any vampire books and cookbooks. Believe me, any sent will be shared and enjoyed.

Sincerely,
Cathy C.

Special Requests and How You Can Help

See our Amazon Wish List for hard-to-find books that are often requested
The next time you place an order, why not select one (or more!) of the books on the list for us? This will help you meet the $35 minimum for free shipping and it’s easy to have the books for prisoners sent directly to us.

Check out our most recent special requests
Here are just a few of the hard-to-find books we could use right now. (Some are also on the wish list. Some may be on your shelves or in that box in the corner of your basement.) We’ll be updating this list as needed, but for starters: Continue reading ‘Special Requests and How You Can Help’

New Volunteers: Orientation Sunday, August 24

To avoid possible conflicts with Labor Day weekend, we’ll be moving up our monthly orientation session one week in August.
Every week we pack and send books to more than 60 prisoners. If you’re interested in prison issues and would like to help make a significant difference in the lives of prisoners, we’re the place to be.
Join us Sunday, August 24, at 1pm. (Our volunteer orientations take place 1–2pm, right before our regular 2–5pm work session.) Get the details here. Of course, there are always other ways to get involved and help get books in the hands of women in prison. Looking forward to meeting you soon!

Wanted: Brown Paper Bags

PackedBooks

Every week we pack and ship more than 60 packages of books. To keep our costs down, we recycle brown paper bags—and now we’ve run out of bags.

So we’ll be happy to take that pile of bags off your hands. Just drop them off any Sunday afternoon, 2–5pm at 4511 N. Hermitage Ave. (Sunnyside and Hermitage). We’re only two blocks from the Montrose Brown Line stop and there is plenty of free street parking. Look for our doorbell at the top left of the church entrance. Continue reading ‘Wanted: Brown Paper Bags’

New Volunteers: Orientation this Sunday, July 27

Concerned about prison issues and want to get involved? Intrigued by the chance to make a concrete, personal difference in the lives of prisoners? Interested in offering women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education and entertainment that reading provides?
Join us for our next orientation session, led by one of our experienced volunteers, this Sunday at 1 pm. (Our volunteer orientations take place the last Sunday of each month, 1–2pm, right before our regular 2–5pm work session.) Get the details here.
And of course, there are always other ways to get involved and help get books in the hands of women in prison. See you soon!

New Volunteers: Orientation this Sunday, June 29

We’re pretty sure we’re on a few of those lists you see this time of year—”50 Things to Do This Summer” and such. So don’t miss out on our next orientation session, led by one of our experienced volunteers. It takes place the last Sunday of each month, 1–2pm, right before our regular 2–5pm work session. Get the details here.
But we know there’s a lot going on this Sunday… the Pride Parade, for one. So if you can’t make it this week, plan now to join us for the July 27 orientation. (And of course, there are always other ways to get involved and help get books in the hands of women in prison.) We hope to see you soon!

New Volunteers: Orientation this Sunday, May 25

Interested in getting more involved? Summer is almost here and is a great time to start something new.
Join us at our next orientation session, led by one of our experienced volunteers. It takes place the last Sunday of each month, 1–2pm—right before our regular work session, 2–5pm. Get the details here.
Of course, if Sundays are inconvenient for you and you’d still like to help us get books in the hands of women in prison, there are many ways to get involved.

Innovations In Reading Prize Winner

ImageWonderful news!

We are delighted to have been awarded an Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. Five organizations were recognized for “modeling creative approaches to sharing literature with diverse audiences.” The $2,500 prize will go a long way toward helping us continue to serve women prisoners in nine states.

Many thanks to our awesome volunteer Linnea who identified this opportunity and coordinated the initiative!

Read more about the award.


WE'LL BE CLOSED—NO DONATIONS Sunday, Sept. 29 & Saturday, Oct. 5

IMPORTANT: Learn more before donating books
Check with us before organizing a book drive or putting together a donation of more than a few books from your own library. We are well stocked and storage space is limited.

3,939 packages so far in 2019

Last year we sent 4,852 packages to women and trans people locked up across the country—nearly 13,500 books and composition books in all. Big thanks to all our supporters because we couldn’t do it without you! (updated October 13, 2019)

Donate money 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.

Shop our wish list today

Buy books we need online and we pick them up—no shipping fee, no wasteful packaging. (Or buy a gift card if you can’t decide!) Your purchase benefits not just the people we serve, but one of Chicago’s best indy bookstores.

MOST NEEDED NOW: GED review books

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