Bike Trip Preparation/plans

Dear Friends, Family, and Allies,

I have been a volunteer with the DC Area Books To Prisons Project for more than four years and over that time have made lifelong friends, both with fellow volunteers and with prisoners around the country.  Since our founding in 1999 we have sent tens of thousands of free books directly individual prisoners all across the country.  We have been able to do this through volunteer labor, grassroots organizing and small scale fundraising, as well as the gracious help of our fiscal sponsor, the Quixote Center.  This year, as I part ways with the project to return home to Vermont, we find our budget isn’t looking good. If we don’t take some drastic action we may have to take a break from sending books.  Having to close up shop for part of the year and literally throw away hundreds of hand-written book requests would be a devastating blow to the hundreds of prisoners who rely on us for their book needs each month, and heart-wrenching to those of us who work hard each week to respond to the book requests we receive.  I’m reminded of the importance of our work with every letter I open.  As one inmate from Texas put it, receiving our package “was like getting oxygen.”  I simply can’t abandon this project which means so much to me and to so many others, in this time of great need.

Thus I’ve decided to take a drastic action of my own. On May 18th, 2010, along with two dedicated friends and allies in this struggle, I will depart from Yorktown, Virginia on a 4,200+ mile bike tour across the Trans-America Bike Route.  During this epic adventure we will spend 15 weeks traveling through 10 states and 4 time zones.  We’ll cross mountain ranges and deserts, camp in fields, stay with friends and strangers, and thrive on the generosity of people we meet. Our projected arrival in Astoria, Oregon will be mid-September.

I have a personal goal of donating a minimum of $4,200 (one dollar per mile) to Books to Prisons, all of which will be used to pay postage.  In order to do this, and still complete the trip, I need to raise a total of $6,000.  These additional funds will pay about one half of my expenses on the trip. Please consider sponsoring me on this great adventure by making a one-time donation or by becoming a sustaining member of Books to Prisoners.  Remember, for just $10 or $15/month, the cost of a few cups of coffee or a bottle of wine, you can truly make a difference in so many lives.

Donations can be made by clicking the “Make a Donation” link at www.bookstoprisons.org. Whether you’re making a one time donation, or becoming a sustaining member, please put “Bike Tour-Jamie” in the “in honor of” section of the donation form.  Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated, but just for fun here are some suggested donation amounts (exact mileage and length of trip are estimates only):

A couple of spare tubes:  $15
A Penny per Mile: $42
A cheap motel for a stormy night:  $80 (consider becoming a sustaining member at just $20 every 3 months)
A dollar per day:  $105
A Nickel per Mile: $210 (flat donations are great, or split it up at $17.50/month)
Ten Cents per mile:  $420 (feel free to split it up and become a sustaining member at $35/month)

The average postage cost per package is $2.75, which means we generally spend close to a thousand dollars each month on postage!  Please consider assisting me on this great journey of personal strength and courage to ensure the longevity of the DC Area Books to Prisons Project.  For more information visit www.bookstoprisons.org.

Please follow me on this blog for continual updates and photos as my trip plans come together and my launch day approaches.  I’ll plan on making updates at least once a week depending on internet availability along the route.  You can also follow my trip on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jmoorby).  Stay tuned for more trip details!  Feel free to email me (jamie at glut dot org) if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks so much for your support!

Jamie Moorby

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