January Compassion Offering
LGBT Books to Prisoners
LGBT Books to Prisoners, based in Madison, WI, sends books and other educational materials, free of charge, to incarcerated LGBTQ people across the United States. We have been doing this for over 10 years and have sent books to over 10,000 people in that time.
We do this because:
- We want to acknowledge, and work against, the oppressive functions of the prison system. Our project shifts some control back into incarcerated people’s hands.
- Incarcerated people have little access to reading material, and LGBTQ people behind bars have a particularly hard time finding resources that meet their needs and wants. We are in a position to gather and distribute these resources.
- We believe that our work affirms the dignity of all individuals by providing access to knowledge of their choosing, so that they can learn and grow as they desire. We respond to individuals’ requests as directly as possible.
- LGBTQ people behind bars face many hardships, including — but not limited to — isolation and physical violence. We want them to know that they have a supportive community on the outside that cares about their wellbeing.
We are completely volunteer run. We host volunteer sessions every week where we respond to letters from incarcerated people requesting books. We respond with a personal note, along with books that best match their request. When asked for, we also help connect people to other resources, such as pen pals, legal services, etc. Our volunteer sessions are a welcoming space for the LGBTQ community and allies to work together to work towards abolition, racial justice, and to affirm the LGBTQ community.
We would use the offering to pay for postage. On average it costs about $5 to send about three books to someone in prison. We typically send 3,000 book packages a year.
Thank you for your generosity and for helping those who have helped us in our times of need.
You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online at orucc.org. Click the brown button “Contribute” in the upper right of the home page.