Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Appalachian Prison Book Project

Appalachian Prison Book Project
PO Box 601
Morgantown, WV 26507

August 2, 2011

"It turns out that the story I informed you of that was selected for publication has become a winner. I’ve enclosed a copy of the press release. I owe it all to a book [APBP] sent me called “The Toughest Indian in the World.” ~ A letter to APBP from a man imprisoned in Virginia

Dear Friends,

We write to you on behalf of the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) in Morgantown, West Virginia. APBP is a community and student organization that provides free books to men and women imprisoned in six states (MD, KY, OH, TN, VA, WV). The Project is staffed by enthusiastic volunteers who have mailed over 8,000 books since 2006.

Each month, we send out hundreds of books that positively impact prisoners' lives, from those who are avid readers to those who are struggling to catch up on their education to those in need of medical information. Take, for instance, a man from Tennessee who wrote to us:

"I received books from you over a year ago. I would like to receive more if at all possible. My situation has changed. I have MS and am bound to a wheelchair so I spend most of my time reading. I don’t have anyone on the outside that can help me with finances or packages. You are very special people to do this for us. It transports me to different lands, tests my ability to solve murder/mystery, and laugh at the comedy."

It is our hope that APBP will continue to serve people who so clearly desire the chance to acquire knowledge and information and to improve their lives while incarcerated.

For the last three years, APBP has benefited from a WVU Public Service Grant that has enabled us to pay for postage, our primary expense (approximately $4000.00/year). We are no longer eligible for the grant, which has put a great financial strain on our day-to-day operations. It is possible that APBP will have to close its doors, temporarily or permanently, if we are unable to raise a significant amount of money.

To continue our work, we need your help. Donating just $20.00 would enable us to send books to 10 people while a $50.00 donation would enable us to provide books to approximately 25 prisoners. NO GIFT IS TOO SMALL.

Appalachian Prison Book Project
PO Box 601
Morgantown, WV 26507

You can also donate paperback books to the project at any time. We are especially in need of the following:
Law dictionaries
Health/Medicine (asthma, diabetes, cancer, AIDS)
Native American and African American cultures
Foreign languages
How to Books (Drawing, Music, Construction, Home & Car Repair)

We accept donations of supplies as well, such as business envelopes, clear packing tape, and sturdy brown wrapping paper. Brown paper grocery bags can also be used. 

Please make your check payable to the Appalachian Prison Book Project, and send to this address:

Appalachian Prison Book Project
PO Box 601
Morgantown, WV 26507

You can also help us through PayPal at Additionally, if you join us on Facebook you can keep up with the latest news about fundraisers, press coverage, and how our work continues to make a difference to prisoners across Appalachia.
If you would like to be on our listserv or have any questions, please contact Katy Ryan (

Many thanks for helping us to promote literacy, education, and hope.

Katy Ryan, Founder of APBP
Dominique Bruno, APBP Intern
James Holsinger, APBP Intern

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