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Appalachian Jail E book Venture spreads vacation cheer, gives a lightweight within the darkness for incarcerated Appalachians

This vacation season, Morgantown-based nonprofit Appalachian Jail E book Venture (APBP) invitations the neighborhood to hitch its mission to ship books and supportive messages to people in prisons throughout Appalachia.

APBP was based by way of WVU English Professor Katy Ryan’s 2004 course on historical past and literature of imprisonment. College students, school and the neighborhood got here collectively to fundraise and collect books. After relocating to the Aull Heart in 2006, APBP despatched out its first e-book — and fewer than 20 years later has mailed greater than 65,000 books to incarcerated people in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

This Giving Tuesday, APBP invitations the neighborhood to help its new “Sponsor an Incarcerated Reader” program. From Nov. 28 to Dec. 5, each $10 donation acquired will ship a free e-book to an incarcerated particular person in Appalachia. Donors are inspired to incorporate a personalised vacation notice for the e-book recipients.

This marks APBP’s third yr internet hosting this fundraiser, with this yr’s objective set at 250 vacation messages and books for incarcerated Appalachians. This system originated throughout an errand run when APBP digital communications coordinator Lydia Welker was impressed by different charity fundraisers that encourage donors to write down their title or a message on a slip of paper; plus, the season of giving is the proper time to type connections and unfold pleasure.

Books often requested by incarcerated people embody reference books like dictionaries, almanacs and international language dictionaries; instructional books, sometimes those who educate a commerce, crafting, entrepreneurship; in addition to fiction genres like mysteries and science fiction.

Recipients all through the years have expressed the consolation and private development that studying has introduced them throughout their time in jail, demonstrating APBP’s mission to supply instructional alternatives and beacons of hope for these affected by mass incarceration in america.

“Since I’m in a 9-by-12 cell 24/7 with no TV and Walkman, I’ve little or no to do however learn … I sleep 18 to twenty hours a day, give or take just a few. And I’ve 9 years to go. So, I wish to be taught just a few issues,” mentioned one recipient from Virginia. 

“The Appalachian Jail E book Venture has broaden[ed] my understanding. [By] offering books, the Appalachian Jail E book Venture has supplied myself; Info is energy and energy is data,” mentioned one other recipient from Virginia.

This fundraiser goals not solely to ship instructional or entertaining books to incarcerated people, but in addition to type connections and unfold seasonal pleasure to those that typically are left with out this help.

“The second objective is to ship personalised messages to incarcerated individuals, remind them that they don’t seem to be forgotten, unfold vacation cheer and proceed constructing bridges between individuals on the within and other people on the surface,” mentioned Welker. “Recipients of those letters is not going to solely get a free e-book however may also know that somebody is aware of about them, cares about them and is considering them. We imagine creating these connections throughout obstacles and partitions is crucial to constructing a greater world.”

In earlier years, vacation notes have included encouraging messages that aimed to precise help and convey happiness to what could be the darkest time of somebody’s life.

“There are numerous of us on the surface wishing you peace & pleasure. Blissful holidays from all of us,” reads one message.

“I’m sorry the system sucks. I hope this e-book brings you pleasure! We’re preventing in your rights as we speak and at all times,” reads one other.

To help APBP’s Sponsor an Incarcerated Reader fundraiser and assist attain the $2,500 objective, go to To help APBP all year long, think about volunteering, donating books or making financial donations. Go to the web site,, for extra data on the mission and neighborhood alternatives.

“One of the best ways to help this fundraiser is to unfold the phrase,” mentioned Welker. “It’s OK in the event you can’t donate; we’d be grateful in the event you shared details about Sponsor an Incarcerated Reader with of us in your neighborhood.”