APBP is an official 501c3 organization!

Katy Ryan, APBP founder and amazing woman all around, sent out the following notice on our mailing list today regarding our successful application for 501c3 nonprofit organization status. I’m just cutting and pasting the message here, because there are LOTS of people who need to be thanked and she did the best job of thanking them. Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved! This is wonderful news and will help our organization grow for the better! 

Hi Everyone,

I am happy to announce that the Appalachian Prison Book Project is an official 501c3 organization. The IRS notified us yesterday that our application has been approved.

Many people helped to make this happen, and I want to take a moment to thank them. Last summer, APBP graduate student interns James Holsinger and Dominique Bruno began the long process by preparing paperwork. They were diligent, thorough, and, most importantly, undaunted by voluminous IRS instruction. James and Dominique continued to assist with this process long after their summer stipend had ended. I would never have taken this on without them. Thanks to the WVU Humanities Summer Internship for the student funding and to Dennis Allen who alerted us to the opportunity.

L.G. Corder, a law student with the the WVU College of Law Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, worked with APBP throughout the school year to meet the numerous requirements for filing. In addition to his generous legal assistance (securing fee-waivers for APBP, filing state and federal paperwork, helping us reconceive our organizational structure, telling me exactly what & where to sign), L.G. supported the program personally–and for that I am especially grateful.

Trey Wertz, a corporate accountant with WVU Tax Services, was available for all things financial, and his calm confidence that we could manage this transformation kept me from despairing on several occasions. His expertise and generous spirit have been essential.

Wonderful volunteers have agreed to serve on our board–as directors, officers, and members: Elizabeth Juckett, Mark Brazaitis, Nancy Key, Bob Roberts, Olga Gonzalez, Trey Wertz, Dominique Bruno, Mike Buso, Harrison Case, Bridget Ferris (a student in my first prison lit course in 2004), Jennifer Powell (Asst. Dean of Career Services at the Law School who put us in touch with the law clinic), Harrison Case, and Eric Hopkins. This core group has been unwavering in its dedication to the prison book project. Many, many thanks to each of you.

The same to Angie Iafrate who handles much of our online presence and to members of the student organization of APBP who respond to letters, sponsor bake sales, and spread the word. You are awesome.

As a 501c3, APBP will be eligible for more grants and for discounts (including on postage, our biggest expense.) We have two fantastic English grad students lined up as interns this summer, Mike Buso and Yvonne Hammond, who will be helping with grantwriting, fundraising, community outreach, and volunteer training.

Always my gratitude to the Aull Center and the Morgantown Public Library for our beautiful office space downtown.

Finally, thanks to all of you who have donated books, time, money, and ideas to the project. APBP sends books into prisons. It sounds simple, but the effort requires year-round labor, continuous funding, and always more books. Right now, we have a couple hundred letters that have not yet been opened. If you are interested in joining us, please write to Elizabeth Juckett at appalachianpbp@gmail.com.

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