Photo by Sang Cho.

I volunteer with the Seattle organisation Books to Prisoners. It’s a pretty awesome initiative; in 2009 it mailed 12,000 packages to prisoners across the US.

Seattle is helped by satellite groups in Bellingham and Olympia in Washington, and Portland in Oregon.

Books to Prisoners has just been presented with a generous 2:1 matching grant by a local family foundation. That means if you donate $20 it is actually a $60 donation.

If there was ever a time to donate it is now!

Books to Prisoners engages volunteers from all walks of life and has lasting relationships with student volunteers from Mercer Island High School, Seattle University, Shoreline Community College and the University of Washington.

The UW Daily just published this article – quoting my buddies Andy and Kerensa – which explains a little more about the BTP community.

The tasks are simple, the impact huge.

Books to Prisoners is a very slim and simple operation; all donations go directly to operating costs (postage, wrapping paper, tape, and occasionally purchasing dictionaries). It is an all-volunteer staff, so no money goes to salaries, staffing or admin.

There are 2.3 million prisoners in the US, a quarter of the world’s prison population. Ignoring them doesn’t make a society safer, engaging their minds does. 95% of prisoners in the US will be released at some point. It is in all our interests to treat them with dignity and provide simple tools for them to aide their own rehabilitation.


Thank you