A New Year of Connections with CASA
Join TBE's CASA (Community of Adult Social Action) as we make connections and build community through our small-group social justice activities. Working together is a great way to connect -- even more so as we do projects that express our Jewish values. Please join us for the first time – or join us again!
We will help prepare and serve a delicious lunch for clients of Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women. To RSVP or for more information, contact Barb Turk, [email protected]. Up to 15 volunteers.
Greater Boston Food Bank Mobile Market
Saturday, November 12, 8:00-10:30am
We will help deliver high-quality, fresh food to GBFB clients by setting up and staffing the outdoor farmers market-style mobile market. RSVP to Barb,[email protected]. 10 volunteeers.
"A Book Set Me Free”: CASA Volunteers Help Make Books, Education Accessible to Prisoners
The Prison Book Program (prisonbookprogram.org)
Saturday, November. 19, 10:30 am-1:00 pm
The Prison Book Program mails books to prisoners to support their educational, vocational and personal development and to help them avoid returning to prison after release.
CASA volunteers will read prisoner letters with book requests, search the inventory room for books to match the requests, and process, invoice, and wrap book packages. This is a unique and personal window into the American prison system. Education has been shown to reduce recidivism and the books we share can also offer connection, open doors, and change a life. To RSVP or for more info, contact Ilene, [email protected]. 6-10 volunteers. Read more about the Prison Book Project >
Housed in the historic Unitarian Universalist Church in Quincy, the Prison Book Program (prisonbookprogram.org) was founded in 1972 and comprises non-salaried dedicated staff and volunteers (individuals and groups). Some regular volunteer groups-include students from Bunker Hill Community College, Northeastern and Quincy Academy. The program budget last year was $55,000, received through grants and donations. The Prison Book Program pays rent to the host church, and its biggest expenditure is mailings to the recipients. Last year, PBR processed 11,000 packages of paperbacks for distribution.
From the Prison Book Program website:
Why Send Books to Prisoners?
Why send books to prisoners? The reasons range from the practical (education reduces recidivism) to the human (minds can rot in prison, books help them grow). The people who get our books say it better than we can. It’s letters like these that inspire us to do what we do.
- Because a dictionary helped him get a degree – “Nearly 10 years ago I enrolled in a GED class and needed a dictionary to assist me in the class. Another prisoner gave me your organization’s information and told me to write to you about getting one. Well I did, and now, all these years later I have obtained my associates degree in paralegal studies, and I’d like to think you’re sending me that dictionary so many years ago was a contribution to me getting this far in my educational endeavors. Thank you.” – Eugene from Wisconsin
- Because it helps prisoners to know someone cares – “Your job is literally putting smiles on peoples faces. I’m smiling now knowing someone cares.” – Luke from Kentucky
- Because knowing someone cares can change a life – “I never wanted to come to prison and ended up here under a bad set of circumstances. I have recovered from the primary shock (it took over three years) and I am trying to go in a new direction. What you did for me is part of that. I am doing the same thing in here that I did on the outside (help people). ” – Joseph from Arizona
- Because some prisoners use their time to improve themselves – “I am trying to use my time here to improve myself. I hope to rejoin society soon with a better appreciation of freedom and personal responsibility.” – Robert from Pennsylvania
- Because people can discover reading and learning in prison – “There was a young inmate here who just got his GED and had never read a book from cover to cover. Sharing The Lightning Thief with him has created a literary monster. He is now a nonstop reader and is reading his sixth book.” – Earl from Florida
- Because many prisons don’t even have a library – “The library in my facility has been closed for nearly three years; unfortunately it remains closed but now we finally have some fresh reading material thanks to your organization.” – Gus from Connecticut
Christmas in the City, December 21, 2014
Pine Street Inn, December 14, 2014
Rosie's Place, July 21, 2014
Quote from a CASA Participant:
"The CASA event at Rosie's Place was an amazing experience. As volunteers our TBE community came together with the unified goal of stepping beyond our own busy lives to try to make a difference in the lives of others. We worked hard, but I found the experience to be exceptionally meaningful. We worked well as a team and our efforts were appreciated by Rosie's guests and their dedicated staff. Tikkun olam was the spirit of the day and this particular Shabbat experience will remain with me for a very long time. It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet and connect with some other TBE members that I had not really known before. We shared the day and each others stories. Our CASA program is something you should all experience. If you are anything like me, these experiences will make you feel good about your role and enhance your pride in being part of our TBE family."
- Margie Nesson
Click Here to see photos from CASA's October 2012 Habitat for Humanity event
Click Here to see photos of CASA members, in the TBE kitchen, cooking meals for delivery to Rosie's Place on January 29, 2012
Click here to see photos of CASA's December 3, 2011 event at Pine Street Inn's Transitional House
Click Here to see photos from CASA's November 5, 2011 Habitat for Humanity event
Click Here to see photos from CASA's first fall 2011 event at Waltham Community Fields