Ten years ago Urbana Champaign Books to Prisoners began its program of sending books through the mail at no cost to inmates in Illinois prisons. Since then, over 92,000 books have been sent out to more than 14,000 inmates. The books are almost all donated from community members, and are stored at the Books to Prisoners work room in the Independent Media Center (IMC) in downtown Urbana. Volunteers sort and shelve the donated books, then read letters from inmates and select, package, and send out the books free of charge to the inmates. Books to Prisoners volunteers also operate two lending libraries located in the Champaign county jails which are open on a weekly basis.
Books to Prisoners is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and to raise the funds needed for operation―especially to pay for the expenses incurred shipping packages and purchasing shipping supplies―a Spring Books Sale open to the public will be held at the IMC building (202 S. Broadway, Urbana) on April 4, 5, and 6, 2014. The hours of the sale are: Friday April 4th, 4-8 PM; Saturday April 5th, 9-5 PM; and Sunday April 6th, 12-4 PM. The sale includes books of all genres, ranging from fiction, nonfiction (including textbooks), and is held annually. In the past, the sale has been attended by more than 300 people.
There is also an opportunity for businesses or individuals to be a sponsor at the book sale. Sponsors will get advertising space on a dedicated table with lots of exposure and foot traffic. Additionally, B2P will distribute any flyers or promotional materials provided by the sponsors at the event. The minimum donation for sponsorship is $50.
New volunteers are always welcome to join Books to Prisoners by coming to any of the open work sessions, which occur three times per week at the IMC. The sessions are Tuesdays 7-9 PM; Thursdays 2-4 PM; and Saturdays 2-4 PM. There are a number of easy ways to get involved and no experience is necessary. Whether you have one hour a month or would like to volunteer more often throughout the week, you are invited to join the volunteers. If you would like to volunteer as a small group (4-5 people) or a large group (10-15 people), contact the volunteer supervisor.
For more information about the book sale, sponsorship at the book sale, or volunteering, please contact Lolita Dumas, the B2P volunteer supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see many people at the book sale April 4, 5, and 6!