5 Literary Organizations That Need Your Donations To Help Them Change The World Through Books
After the year we've all endured, it's impossible to deny that it's hugely important to do the most good we can, and to connect with others on a large scale. Thankfully, the sixth annual #GivingTuesday movement is here to help us out with that one. Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, #GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities, and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.
By harnessing the power of social media, #GivingTuesday provides a platform to encourage people to donate their time, resources, and talents to address both local and national challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness around the world.
It's exactly the sort of push we could all use right now, a way to truly celebrate the best of humanity when so much can seem so dark. And for readers, of course, the idea of contributing to a literary organization that is doing so much to not only foster reading in their communities and beyond, but are trying to enact huge social and political changes is hugely enticing. Below are 5 such lit-based groups you can get involved with who are changing the world for the better, one books at a time.
The National Book Foundation
The National Book Foundation, who you may know thanks to the yearly National Book Awards, has always carried the mission of bringing great writing to the forefront in America. And through their many educational programs like Book Up, an after school program for middle school students to foster a lifelong love of reading, and 5 Under 35 which awards young writers with a cash prize, The National Book Foundation continues to elevate and celebrate literature throughout the nation, and foster a love of books for generations.
We Need Diverse Books
If you're an avid reader, especially of YA and children's books, you probably already know a lot about We Need Diverse Books. For those unaware, the organization is focused on supporting and increasing the diversity of books available to young readers. By promoting the inclusion of characters from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, indigenous, LGBTQ, and other minority communities, We Need Diverse Books knows that representation is crucial, and they want to ensure that every young reader will be able to find themselves in the books they see on the shelves, with plots and protagonists that they can relate to
Prison Book Program
The Prison Book Program does exactly what it says it the name: provide books to incarcerated individuals. They mail books to people in prison to support their educational, vocational and personal development and, because we all know that stories have the power to change lives, hope to help them avoid returning to prison after their release. The Prison Book Program also aims to provide a quality volunteer experience that introduces citizens to issues surrounding the American prison system and the role of education in reforming it. With the very real issue of mass incarceration at the forefront, this organization is more important than ever.
Lambda Literary is the nation's leading LGBTQ literary organization, which supports LGBTQ writers and their creative projects. Lambda believes hat lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published, and read. If you want to continue to champion marginalized voices in literature and beyond, this is the organization for you.
Book Aid International
If it's important to you to focus on spreading literacy outside the U.S. then Book Aid International is the organization for you. Based in the U.K., the organization works in 14 different countries in Africa and occupied Palestinian territories to provide books and other necessary literacy resources to libraries, hospitals, refugee camps, prisons, and schools. You can volunteer time, donate money or books, and even buy a pack of beautiful Christmas cards that allows Book Aid to send even more books to those in need.