Archive for category Volunteer

FWD: Prison Book Program

Prison Book Program


February 2011
“Thank you very much for the thesaurus and the story about Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. Having a good book to read in prison is like sitting down to a steak dinner, well almost. I usually pass along your books to other inmates, so your gift keeps giving.”– A prisoner from Chattahoochee, FL

BWB Grants PBP $5000 for GED Initiative
220 PRISONERS WILL RECEIVE GED STUDY GUIDESGED BookPBP is a winner of Better World Books first annual LEAP award!  The $5000 award will fund GED study guides and dictionaries for 220 prisoners.   The funding for the LEAP Awards is part of BWB’s mission and promise to fund literacy and education from the sale of each and every book.  Other winners of the LEAP Awards include Room To Read, Books for Africa and Feed the Children.

Successful completion of the GED tests allows adults who did not complete a formal high school program to certify their attainment of high school-level academic knowledge and skills. The Department of Justice reports that 77% of prisoners did not receive a high school diploma.  According to a NY Department of Corrections study, prisoners who earn their GED are up to 14% less likely to return to prison in the next three years.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting new initiative!

Visit Better World Books for more information on the LEAP awards and the 6 other winners.

Closed Library’s Books Benefit PBP
OVER 10,000 BOOKS BEING SOLD TO BENEFIT PBPEast Milton LibraryAfter 126 years, the East Milton (MA) library has closed its doors and generously donated its unwanted books to PBP.  While the closing of any library saddens us, we are glad to give the books a second life.
After taking as many great books as we could use, volunteers packed up 250 cartons and sent them to our partner Better World Books.  A percentage of the profits made on the books are returned to PBP to fund the costs of mailing books to prisoners.
Thank you to the Milton Library for sharing their books with us and to the volunteers who braved the cold, ice, and the aftermath of a blizzard to make this possible.  We could not have done it without their dedication… and their strong backs!

Help Us Keep Books in the Mail
Winter is our busiest time at PBP.  We have legions of volunteers lined up to fill requests from our overflowing bookshelves.  The only thing that limits the number of prisoners we can help is the cost of postage.It costs an average of $4 to send a package of books to a person in prison.  Approximately $3 of that is postage.  Please consider a donation of any size to help us reach more people.

Donate NowOnline donations can be made at

Thank you for your support!

Thank You From A Released Prisoner
PRISONER WHO RECEIVED BOOKS FROM PBP WHILE IN PRISON PUBLISHES A BOOK We get many thank yous from prisoners who receive our books, but we thought this one was especially touching!

“While incarcerated I received books from your program. This helped me to pass the time while incarcerated and to later publish a book of my own(Songs Within My Heart). Today I work two jobs and presently stay involved within the fight for informing the public about harsh sentencing and the need to rethink prison as to the solution to crime. Making it to freedom was a hard fight, but I’m not really free while so many that are still behind bars suffer injustices. I hope one day to form something like a program geared towards assisting those that truly seek employment find jobs.”

Donny Ingraham

Details on Donny’s book can be found at

Thank You Volunteers!

  • Alpha Phi Omega, MIT
  • Boston Cares
  • Boston College Law School
  • Boston University
  • City Mission Society
  • Joggers for Joe
  • Suffolk University
… and numerous dedicated individuals!

Prisoner Writing:  The Letter

You will never know what
a letter can mean, until you
have been where I am, or
seen what I’ve seenI’m confined in a world
behind four walls
where no one can see me
and I receive no calls

Often I sleep and awakened
Thinking that my family,
loved ones or friends
may be harmed

Thank God it’s just a dream
as I come to my senses,
Then I look out the
window, and
still see the fences

I make it somehow through
out the whole day
awaiting mail call, but
none for me they say.

Not even a letter, a note,
or even a card
When nobody writes,
times really seems hard

A little word or two to say
Everything’s fine
A few small words
to ease my mind

Kind words, well wishes
Just knowing you’re there
Anything for me,
to show me you care

You will never know what
a letter can mean, until you
have been where I am, or
seen what I’ve seen…..

Saturday Hours
JOIN US ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26thCan’t make it to Quincy on Tuesday or Thursday night?  Join us on Saturday, February 26th for our monthly Saturday hours.  We’ll be there from 10 am to 4 pm picking and packing – and making post office runs!

We will also be open on March 19th, April 16th and May 14th.

In This Issue
BWB Grants PBP $5000 for GED Program
2000 Books Packed in East Miton
Help Us Keep Books in the Mail
Thank You From a Released Prisoner
Thank You Volunteers!
Prisoner Writing: The Letter
Saturday Hours
Support PBP
Every $3 pays postage for a shipment of books! Make an online donation today!
Donate Now
The Prison Book Program is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Prisoner Resources

Come Volunteer With Us!
Tuesdays & Thursdays
6:30 – 9:00 PM

Select Saturdays


February 26th
March 19thApril 16th

May 14th

Year to Date
Prisoners served:
Books sent:
Volunteer sessions:

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Prison Book Program

c/o Lucy Parsons Bookstore

1306 Hancock Street, #100

Quincy, MA 02169
(617) 423-3298

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Prison Book Program | 1306 Hancock Street #100 | Quincy | MA | 02169


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Volunteer Opportunity

Can you spare two hours – or more!?   If you are able to join us, please contact Susie at  We’d love your help!

Pappenheim Library TLC Days

February 19 & 20, 10am – 6pm

Community Change, Inc.

14 Beacon Street, Rm 605

Boston, MA 02108

The Community Change library houses some of the best sources of information on racism in the United States – and its right here in Boston!  Last year, four librarians came together to give some tender loving care to this amazing collection. We’ve updated the online catalog, and begun outreach to new communities, but we need your help to move forward.

On Saturday and Sunday, February 19-20, we will be conducting a comprehensive inventory of the collection. By going book by book, through the 3,000 volumes, we hope to catch errors in the catalog, determine subject areas in which to expand, and identify books that need repair. This is an easy task – but it takes time, and we need your help to complete the inventory in just one weekend!


Myrna, Rebecca, Patrick & Susie

Boston Radical Reference Collective

The Yvonne Pappenheim Library at Community Change is a free lending library of materials about racism and white privilege in the United States.

Community Change

was born out of the Civil Rights Movement and in response to the Kerner Commission which named racism as “a white problem.” CCI has done what few organizations are willing to do: shine a spotlight on the roots of racism in white culture with the intention of dealing with racism at its source, as well as with its impact on communities of color.

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FWD: Prison Book Program

Nearly 7000 People Got Books in 2010!

It’s been a record year at PBP!  We’re still counting a few more packages, but it looks like we will be just shy of 7000 packages sent out in 2010!  That’s 1500 more than 2009.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who donated their time, their books and their money to help us reach this milestone.  We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2011!


‘Tis the Season for Year-End Giving

As you consider your end-of-year giving, please keep the Prison Book Program in mind. Your support and generosity makes it possible for us to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people in prison. 

It costs an average of $4 to send a package of books to a person in prison.  Approximately $3 of that is postage and rates are going up on January 3rd.  Please help us reach even more people in 2011!

Online donations can be made at

Thank you for your support!


PBP Closed for the Holidays

So that our volunteers can enjoy the holidays with their family and friends, the PBP office will be closed 

  • Thursday December 23rd
  • Tuesday December 28th
  • Thursday December 30th.

We will resume our regular Tuesday and Thursday evening volunteer and book drop-off hours on January 4th.

From everyone at PBP, we wish you a safe an happy holiday season!


We Need Your Help on December 28th

A local library is closing and has donated all of their unwanted books to PBP.  Are you free on Tuesday 12/28 from 11am to 4pm? We’re still looking for 6-8 volunteers to help us sort, pack and prepare the books for shipment.  The library is in East Milton, MA.

Lunch will be provided.

Please note that this job does involve lifting and carrying boxes of books.

Contact us at for more details if you are interested and available!


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