As of 3/19/2020, LAB2P is no longer holding worknights.
We are continuing to send out books, but our worknights are suspended until further notice due to Coronavirus. Please don’t leave books at the book drop or try to come volunteer– the shelves are gone and we’re not home. We miss you and we hope to see you soon!
WORKNIGHTS: SUNDAYS 4-7 PM
Interested in helping out at B2P? We encourage you to drop in to our worknights and help us respond to prisoners’ letters and wrap packages. All are welcome: individual volunteers do not need to sign up, register, or RSVP– you can drop in anytime during our open hours. If this is your very first time volunteering with us, we encourage you to come at 4:15 to get oriented.
Worknights are at 2523 George Nick Connor Dr., New Orleans, LA 70119 any Sunday between 4 and 7 p.m. Parking is limited but a bike rack is out front. Please be courteous of our neighbors and do not block their driveways or lock your bikes to their fence.
Feel free to stay for a single worknight, come back every week, or ask us about joining the collective and helping organize B2P. Check our Facebook page for updates and additions to our worknight schedule.
Interested in joining the collective? We encourage you to check out several worknights and be prepared to make a commitment to help facilitate worknights and attend very occasional meetings. (It’s not that big of a commitment, we promise.)
Not ready to sign up for that yet? That’s cool! We could also really use a hand with mid-level tasks like dropping off packages at the post office, picking up the mail, trading in books at used bookstores or just bringing books to Goodwill, tabling at events, etc. At our worknights, we could use help sorting donations, organizing the shelves, and doing some kinda involved computer tasks.
We welcome volunteers who need community service hours. If you need any paperwork signed by us, please print it out ahead of time and bring a copy with you.
B2P also welcomes a variety of groups including universities, interfaith groups, and community service organizations. We welcome groups of up to 12 people. Our workspace is small, so please contact us as possible to confirm we will have enough room for your group. Please include the size of your group and prospective date of your visit. Please do not drop in with a group. We want to make sure everyone can fit inside the building.
Are you a great grant writer? A successful fundraiser? Have other special skills and talents you want to share? Let us know.
To give you an idea of what goes on at a worknight here are the Package Preparations Instructions for Volunteers.
1. Open letter and read requests. If the letter is a request for anything besides reading materials ask a collective member for assistance.
2. Check the shelves and pick out 1-3 books. We ask that you do not send more than three books, as our funds are limited. Try to find the closest book to what has been requested. We do not fulfill requests for specific books (but if a specific book is requested and we do happen to have it, by all means send it.)
3. Fill out a package invoice. Indicate each book’s title and quantity.
4. Wrap a rubber band around the books and invoice and place them in the stack waiting to have their shipping labels printed.
1. Take a package from the stack of books that have already had their shipping labels printed. Remove a grocery bag from the box near the desk and cut out an appropriately-sized sheet to wrap the package. When you wrap the package, make sure that the printing faces the inside of the package, so no markings are visible on the outside.
2. Wrap the package and be sure to place the invoice inside (if you accidentally wrap the package without including the invoice, don’t worry. It happens a lot. But do unwrap the package and insert the invoice.) Please make sure that the package is properly wrapped and that there are no holes or tears in the paper. Tape is cheap! Postage is not.
3. Apply the shipping label to the outside of the package. Take a piece of tape and cover the label completely. This allows us to make note of which packages are returned. When packages are returned the prisoner name and ID number are often marked out.
4. Give the package a quick once over for potential problems, and then place it in the outgoing mail stack. You’re done! If you have time, grab another stack of books and do it all over again.
That’s it! Thank you for helping us out.