Volunteering during Covid-19

Update January 2022

WPBP has decided to hold off on our in-person mailings for the month of January. We are still getting books out the door, but with a smaller group of experienced volunteers. Experienced volunteers will be contacted to help us wrap packages from the safety of their own homes. We hope to have in-person volunteer opportunities for new volunteers as soon as it is safe to do so, or if the weather allows outdoor activities. Follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) for announcements or check back at this page!

Book mailings: in-person | indoors | masks on | vaccinated

We have been doing in person mailings all of 2021 and plan to continue in 2022. For January, while Minnesota experiences a steep spike in COVID cases, we will curtail our Sunday in-person mailings. We will announce when we go back to in-person mailings again but will be asking all volunteers to be fully vaccinated and boosted and to wear a high-grade mask. Volunteers must sign-up in advance to limit the number of people in our space at any time. To get on our volunteer sign-up list, please email your request to womensprisonbookproject@gmail.com or use the form below

Covid-19 letter campaign: virtual | digital | zine

Our letter-writing campaigns are helping us stay in touch with our customers inside even while our capacity to send books is limited.

To stay in touch with our people inside and let them know we were thinking of them during Covid-19, we did a series of virtual letter-writing campaigns in April and May of 2020. Volunteers were supplied names and addresses of people who had requested books from us during the pandemic, and a template that used the amazing “What to do during a pandemic” series by Ricardo Levins Morales. They personalized these notes during a group Zoom call.

IMG_3085(1)
Our letter-writing template used coloring book images from Ricardo Levins Morales and Cory Teshera-Levye.

We have since received a myriad of responses from people inside, telling us about conditions in prison during Covid-19, and sharing words of solidarity with others inside. The responses were powerful, and we can’t wait to share the words with you. We are currently working on a zine that will be mailed back to people inside, and informational materials to share with our volunteers, donors and supporters on the outside.

If you have graphic design skills to develop web content around the letter responses, collage skills and feel inspired by what we’ve received, or the time to transcribe handwritten (cursive) letters to digital text, please get in touch or use the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Other volunteer opportunities

Other volunteer opportunities include soliciting donations from publishers and organizations, opening letters from women in prison to screen for special situations and requests, maintaining our Salesforce database of customers, and outreach to our volunteers and donors. If you have time and energy, we can find a way to help you contribute to WPBP. If you or a group you are involved in would like to organize a fundraiser for WPBP, or organize a special book mailing/presentation for your organization, please contact us. If you or your organization wishes to hold a book drive for WPBP, please contact us at our email or use the form below.