Two years of giving back: men incarcerated at SCI Forest donate another $1,000
At the end of 2013, BTB received an unexpected and extraordinary gift: a $1,000 donation from a group of men incarcerated at State Correctional Institute (SCI) Forest in Marienville, PA.
An internal, prisoner-run committee called Hope For Change spent a year organizing a sport-a-thon to raise money for good causes. Because so many people had received books from Books Through Bars, they chose to donate part of the proceeds to us. For the whole story on that day, including the afternoon BTB volunteers spent meeting with two of the men responsible for making the gift happen, please read this article.
Their generosity inspired others to give…
We shared the story of this gift with all our BTB friends via Twitter, Facebook, and our year-end appeal letter. We hoped the hard work and generosity of the men at SCI Forest—for whom a gift like that requires significant work and sacrifice—would inspire people “on the outside” to give as well. And they did! BTB had one of it’s most successful year-end appeal results in its 25-year history. A number of donors wrote to say they were impressed by the story and realized that if people on the inside could give like that, so could they.
And this year they did it again!
Given what a special effort last year’s gift was, we did not expect to get another donation like that this year. So imagine our thrilled surprise when we received a letter from SCI Forest this December with another $1,000 gift!! Apparently Hope For Change continued its hard work in 2014 and decided to give to us again.
Needless to say, we at BTB are thrilled, touched, and so, so inspired. We can’t thank the people behind Hope For Change enough. We also can’t emphasize what a sacrifice it is for them to give on this level. On average, people incarcerated in PA make between 19 and 51 cents an hour (if they can even get a job while incarcerated). Just as our hard work has helped them, so their hard work has helped us.
And not only does it show how much people who are incarcerated can and do make a difference, but it of course enables us to continue to provide services to them and thousands of others. Without cash, we can’t send books!
We hope their continued efforts will move you to give as well.