COVID-19 Update: We are suspending guest volunteer visits for the time being. Please check our Facebook page for updates. Thanks, and be safe!

1.

Make a financial donation.

Each month we spend around $500 on postage. This is our largest expense. Your donation will ensure that we can continue mailing books directly to incarcerated people at no cost to them.

Make a donation
Boxes of books backaged in manila envelopes.
Each month we send hundreds of packages of books and other resources.

2.

We maintain a stock of over a thousand books spanning every genre. Below is a list of kinds of books that are requested often. We also keep an active wish list at FlyLeaf, a local, independent bookstore. We are notified of purchases from our Flyleaf wish list and bring books to our workspace once they’re ready. If you would like to donate books directly to the group, please contact us and we will work with you to schedule a time to pick them up.

Please note that we can only accept paperback books, as required by prisons, and cannot accept books with markings or highlighting, images of nudity, gang-related material, or anything related to tattooing.

View our Flyleaf wish list

Particularly in need. Last updated Nov 2020

A volunteer sorting through books of boxes.
There‘s nothing better than fresh new boxes of books to sort through.

3.

Purchase office supplies.

We always need more paper, 9×12 envelopes, and printer cartridges! Please consider donating office supplies listed on our Amazon wish list (you are welcome to donate any unused items of your own, too).

When you purchase items from our wish list, they are mailed to a volunteer’s address and brough to the work site. If you would like to donate items directly, please contact us and we’ll schedule a time to meet. Thanks!

View our Amazon wish list
A volunteer writing to a recipient.
We go through reams of paper, printing letterheads, resource guides, and zines.

4.

Volunteer during workdays.

Because we work in a relatively small space, we are waiting to allow guest volunteer visits until North Carolina raises quarantine restrictions. We will post updates to our Facebook page about our volunteer policy as North Carolina moves into new quarantine phases. We are keeping an eye on the North Carolina COVID response website to stay aware of changes.

A core group of PBC volunteers, however, is continuing to meet each week to fulfill book requests, and we continue to receive hundreds of requests each month.

Learn about workdays
A volunteer wearing a mask inspecting a book.
One of our volunteers inspecting a book before sending. New volunteers receive an informal orientation to PBC and our fulfillment process.

5.

Advocate justice reform.

While our work helps people survive an unjust system, we recognize that the work of reform requires advocacy on a state and national scale.

Support organizations that provide fair legal representation, advocate for prisoners’ rights, and act as a bridge between the inside and outside worlds (we list some of these groups on our resources page). Read books, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts about mass incarceration and the struggles of incarcerated people and those returning to society. Learn how to be intersectional in your activism, conscious of the overlapping struggles of imprisonment for Black, Latinx, transgender, non-straight, and other marginalized people. Call your representatives in support of reforms; speak out against the death penalty; support an end to cash bail; oppose for-profit prisons, which are moving to charge prisoners for e-readers and video calls; eschew performative activism. Resist the erasure of our brethren on the inside.

Our list of critical prison resources is intended to provide a primer on understanding and changing the United States’ system of mass incarceration.

View resources
A framed embroidery of the quote 'If you're not outraged, you’re not paying attention'
The more you learn, the more you want to change the status quo.