Book ‘Em is an all-volunteer organization that needs the support of people like you!

We welcome volunteers age 14 & up and there are several ways to get involved. 

Sunday Packing Sessions:

Book ’Em meets the first two Sundays each month from 4-6 pm at the Thomas Merton Center, and sometimes the third. Please check our calendar. The Merton Center is at 5129 Penn Avenue, 15224. There is plenty of parking on Sunday.

Volunteers read letters from prisoners requesting books and search the shelves of our library. After choosing two or three books, they complete an invoice and wrap the books in brown paper for shipping. Our workplace is somewhat chaotic – though always warm and welcoming - and while we don’t always have the exact books requested, we work hard to make sure each prisoner receives meaningful reading material. If you’d like to help out, don’t hesitate to stop by; walk-ins are welcome!


Sponsored Packing Sessions:

Book ’Em’s funding enables us to complete about half of the requests we receive from prisoners each month.  Volunteer groups that are able to help cover the costs of postage and packing materials can truly make a difference by empowering us to serve more people.

If your church, business or community organization would like to participate in a sponsored packing session, we can open our doors to your group during an evening of your choice.  It’s a great team-building exercise and participants gain the satisfaction of knowing that every prisoner that received books that day would not have without their help. For additional details or to schedule a packing session, contact us at bookempgh@gmail.com


Community Liaisons:

Our work depends on sustaining and cultivating grassroots support from the local Pittsburgh community.  If you care about what we do and are interested in reaching out to your friends, church, community group or business to help us raise funds or volunteers, contact us for details on our Community Liaison initiative. 


We hope to see you soon!