URBANA, Ill.(WCIA) — UC Books to Prisoners is almost ready for its second book sale of the year.
Volunteers formed an assembly line to unload thousands of books.
It’s for a book sale which benefits people incarcerated in prison across the state.
“Incarceration rates are very high, no just in the U.S. but also around the world. One of the problems is that people just keep going back again and again and I thought books is one of the ways to break out of that system,” says volunteer, Gavin Ng.
He and other volunteers from the University of Illinois and around the community help get involved.
“Students come up to me sometimes tearfully saying oh my gosh this person asked for Green Eggs and Ham so that he could read it to his three year old over the phone. And that volunteer actually put that letter aside and actually went out and bought the book because it wasn’t in our donation library,” says UC Books to Prisoners Volunteer Coordinator, Rachel Rasmussen.
Elaine Sine is one of the volunteers who reads the letters to pick the best books. She has a love for literature and started dedicating her time to organization. After reading letters, she was inspired.
“It’s just a fulfilling experience to know that these people are getting the books that they want to or close to what they want and getting the knowledge that they deserve,” says Sine.
The book sale happens twice a year, once in spring and the other in the fall.
With the help from the community UC Books to Prisoners has sent off more than 140,000 books to more than 20,000 prisoners.
The sale will be Saturday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. It’s at the Independent Media Center in Urbana.
Paperbacks are 50 cents. Hardbacks are $2.