Andy Chan, PhD
Andy Chan has been volunteering at BTP since 1994. After many years of involvement with progressive organizations with somewhat abstract goals, Andy was motivated by the very practical nature of BTP, and the immediacy of the effect it had on people. In addition to years of answering letters from prisoners and wrapping packages, Andy has had several terms as BTP President, which has entitled him to perks such as using the rubber stamp to put return addresses on envelopes, and unlimited access to the paper cutter.
Kris Fulsaas started volunteering with Books To Prisoners in 1989 when she read that inmates at King County Jail had no books to read and the TV was on 24/7—which sounded like her personal vision of hell. Sending free books to U.S. prisoners is one of the most satisfying projects she has worked on. Kris has helped Books To Prisoners move at least 5 times and is grateful that BTP found our current home at Crown Hill United Methodist Church. Kris loves the books aspect of Books To Prisoners—picking up large-scale book donations, sorting donated books, shelving books, and finding obscure books for prisoner requests.
After gaining an encyclopedic knowledge of the authors of thrillers and publishers of urban novels through her work as the program coordinator at Books to Prisoners, Michelle is proud to continue working with such a meaningful organization from afar, continuing to help with our planning and social media despite relocating to the other side of the country. She is a master of library and information science (according to the University of Washington), has an open love for dystopian novels, and makes a party trick of the thickness of her glasses.
Joan has been volunteering with BTP since 2015, and worked as program coordinator from 2019 to 2022. A firm abolitionist, they can also be found working at Left Bank Books and the local harm reduction clinic, or following animal tracks around in the woods.
Elizabeth has been volunteering with BTP since 2017 and quickly fell in love with the direct, personal impact of the work. She also works for the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, a Seattle organization that provides higher education to people in prison. If you see Elizabeth at an evening shift she will happily talk to you about screen printing or help you identify a mushroom (but trust at your own risk).
Richard Bond discovered BTP in 2019, after finding a copy of “Dear Books to Prisoners: Letters from the Incarcerated” in a neighborhood bookshop. A local charity that supported books and reading was simply too much to resist, so he immediately joined up. He quickly found that while the work is its own reward, spending time with the organization’s staff and volunteers is an absolute delight. When not answering letters Richard enjoys spending time with his two teenage sons, playing with computers, and reading incessantly.
Mei is the current Program Coordinator at Books to Prisoners. Mei loves spending time with the volunteers, seeing what new books are coming in, and they enjoy the very tangible nature of the work. Mei is always excited when there are plenty of comic books to send to people inside. Outside of their work at BTP, Mei is a grassroot community organizer working alongside currently and formerly incarcerated community towards collective liberation.
A volunteer since 2020, Jeff loves the sense of connection, respect, and stimulation that Books to Prisoners provides its volunteers and the people we reach. He enjoys reading the letters, and the ‘hunt’ of finding great titles/authors to match to people’s requests. He also enjoys redistributing resources to the people with the greatest need. Outside of Books to Prisoners, Jeff works with other organizations in the areas of abolition, social justice, and mutual aid.