Open a book, give a book: Local nonprofit sends thousands of books to prisoners each year
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buy cheap synthroid online A handwritten letter unfolded Wednesday evening that read, “‘Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.’ – Albert Einstein.”
viagra discount online pharmacy Open Books Bookstore received this letter from an incarcerated Florida prisoner. The bookstore is a nonprofit organization located in the downtown district of Pensacola on Guillemard Street whose proceeds support the Prison Book Project in the state of Florida.
pet meds lasix 40mg Prisoners send letters that often contain heartfelt notes along with book preferences. In return, the prisoners receive three books and a National Prisoner Resource List, a packet that lists similar helpful organizations, upon request.
where to get canadian viagra best price Johnny Ardis, volunteer coordinator for Open Books, has been with the organization since 2010.
prednisone 50 mg “The prisoners themselves, who always write to us saying how much of a difference this has made in their lives, have something to read to pass time and also to improve themselves for when they get out,” Ardis said.
female viagra prices Volunteers gather weekly on Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until noon at Open Books to load packages of books in accordance to the letters received by Florida prisoners.
richard levitre susan bushey vt levitra plus A closet-sized designated room is packed from floor to ceiling with books organized by genres and authors. People disperse in groups to read the letters, pick the books and then package them individually.
where to buy brand viagra online cheap “I think in the beginning they sent letters to maybe like the wardens and chaplains of all the prisons in Florida, but now we don’t have to do any outreach,” Ardis said. “We are inundated by letters. We get 10 or 15 letters a day.”
This week alone, Open Books mailed 151 packages of books to Florida prisons and mailed 4,630 packages in 2018.
“There have even been people walk in the store and say, ‘Yeah, I used to be a prisoner and y’all sent me books. I want to come thank you personally,’” Ardis said. “We even had a couple volunteer here for a while helping us pack books. So, we feel like it’s a positive impact for the prisoner and society as a whole.”
According to the National Re-entry Resource Center, “At least 95 percent of people incarcerated in state prisons will be released back to their communities at some point.”
While the benefits of reading may seem to be a “no-brainer,” two crucial aspects gained are the advancement of analytical thinking and writing skills.
Open Books provides resources for prisoners that might be on death row or that will have the opportunity to be released. Self-help books or even thriller novels, like one of the many John Grisham books lining the shelves, allow prisoners to engage in literature and advance their well-being.
Open Books is a continuation of the mission started in the late ’90s by a group of individuals seeking to advance the welfare of the community and environment in Pensacola.
At one point, the Prison Book Project operated in the back of Subterranean Books on Gregory Street. After Subterranean Books closed its doors in 2007, founders of the collective project recalled a need to keep the system running and Open Books was created.
The bookstore houses a wide selection of works of classics and modern marvels for children and adults. The books sold fund the Prison Book Project and keep the nonprofit up and running.
Freddy Esposito began volunteering at Open Books after a visit to shop at the store over four years ago.
“The people here are collegial, pleasant and interesting. It’s nice to provide reading materials to those that are locked up,” Esposito said. “It’s fairly hectic and fairly rushed, both the packing and the picking of selecting the books, but this is pretty good camaraderie and people here have a lot of good give and take.”
Sara Ratliff, a local school librarian, attended an all-day “Pack-A-Thon” and has volunteered her time regularly since.
“I like being able to do something for the prisoners,” Ratliff said. “I like reading their letters and I feel like it’s worth my time. I’ll read the letters and that motivates me.”
Open Books is always welcoming volunteers as well as book donations from all genres. You can contribute books any day of the week from noon to 5 p.m. or during volunteer hours Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until noon. Monetary donations are accepted online or at the store as well.
Beyond facilitating the Prison Book Project, Open Books hosts several events for Pensacola spanning from book sales, movie screenings, book signings and poetry readings.
For more information, check out Open Book’s website: http://www.openbookspcola.org, follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OpenBooksBookstore, give them a call at (850) 453-6774, or stop by for a book of your own at 1040 N. Guillemard St.