Book 'Em! Unlikely Partnership Gets Books to Prisoners

Non-profit calls on local wizardry fans to help -- and you can help, too.

Folks don't often view wizards as super heroes, but at a Wizard World Convention in Pittsburgh, PA, they're helping out in a big way.

Non-profit organization, Book 'Em, is pairing up with the otherworldly convention to gather donations for their books-to-prisoners program. Book 'Em collects and sends reading and education materials to prisoners across the state to help with rehabilitation efforts. While some prisoners rely on money from friends and family members to help purchase reading materials through the Department of Correction's channels, those without such resources rely on the contributions of organizations like Book 'Em.

Book 'Em is run out of the Thomas Merton Center in downtown Pittsburgh, where volunteers meet on the first three Sundays of the month to read prisoners' letters, select books and prepare packages for shipment. The non-profit currently mails an average of 450 pieces of literature out per month.

The program's co-chair, Jodi Lincoln, hopes that by partnering with Wizard World they'll fill an important genre gap in their selection for prisoners.

"There's a lot of books that people don't have just lying around that people who are incarcerated really request and need," Lincoln said in an interview.

Wizard World Pittsburgh is asking attendees to bring comics, graphic novels, puzzles, horror or other similar reading materials to their event this weekend at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Attendees who donate more than two books will receive a free, pre-autographed celebrity photo from one of the convention's special guests.

If you're not attending the Wizard World convention this weekend, you can still donate to Book 'Em by visiting the donate page on their website .

If you'd like to volunteer for a Sunday packing session with Book 'Em, or to become a community liaison, you can do so by visiting the volunteer page on their website .

(Source: images Book 'Em Facebook page )

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