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.
Anne Paxton is a writer and documentary filmmaker who has been volunteering at BTP since 2003. She was inspired to join BTP by Malcolm X’s essay, “Freedom Through Learning to Read,” and has focused her efforts on community outreach and development of the organization. A 2015 graduate of Seattle University School of Law, she produced and directed the short film, “Books to Prisoners: Supporting Literacy, Opening Minds,” and directs the Social Justice Film Festival, which BTP co-sponsored in 2013.
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.
Kelsey is a woman of small, yet book-box schleppingly capable, stature. She has a degree in fine art and works as a gardener, but yearns to work with wild creatures in some aspect. She started volunteering for BTP in Sept. 2013 because she values social justice, believes in prison abolishment, and because she LOVES books.
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.