International Book Project
Who are they?: "...founded in 1966 by Mrs. Harriet Van Meter in the basement of her home... (she's one of us!) Still retains its tradition of person-to-person diplomacy by sending individually crafted mail bags... (AND.. she's one of you!) of a few dozen books to smaller schools, orphanages, and libraries. "
What are the rules? They prefer textbooks, and in multiples, in order to stock classrooms and schools. But fiction is also welcome. Send to or drop off at the warehouse in Lexington, KY
Anything wierd about it? Not that I can see. They have a certain religious bent, as missions tend to. But then, I don't think that's weird.
What else they got? A campaign to get Mrs. Van Meter a stamp.
Books Behind Bars
Who are they? Write a Prisoner.com. I promise.
What are the rules? You recall my chaplain friend who said many prisons won't accept books . Their search tool helps you find those who will by state and type of books, but it requires both fields. I had a hard time finding combinations that brought back results. The state sex offender registry was easier.
Anything weird about it? Besides writeaprisoner.com? You have to be 18.
What else they got? Print a Poster was unexpected, but not what you think.
Books for Soldiers
Who are they? The Order of the Red Grail.
Yikes - who the hell is that? An "umbrella" charity in NC whose only charity is this one.
What are the rules? Lots. On this site, soldiers make specific requests through a bulletin board forum, and in order to donate you must become an "official" (approved) volunteer. There are a lot of terms and conditions about "appropriate" behavior, which probably mean "sex," but you can test it by discussing "politics."
Anything weird about it? Plenty more. I enjoyed this in the FAQs:
"Can I send romance novels? Yes, there is not a problem with racy covers as was the case during the first Gulf War. Of course, many troops are not interested in romance novels, so only send them in response to requests for these types of books. " (oh....aren't they?)
What else they got? The grail, it seems, and some unimaginative merchandise.
Who are they? "Founded in 1954 by Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly... (I don't even have time to look that up, but count on her getting her own post later) Her husband was at that time Governor General of the Bahamas and during their travels Lady Ranfurly became aware of the desperate shortage of books experienced by many Bahamian children. "
What are the rules? Limited subject matter (reference and vocational training). They actually prefer the cash, unless you are a book publisher.
Anything weird about it? They seem very sweet, in fact. Focused on children, and Africa particularly. This was.. unusual:
Aid International had a stand at the Hay Festival in May. 100s of people visited our stand and created a 'Word Snap' - a polaroid picture of them with their favourite word underneath it. (out of which books for soldiers made a white t-shirt)
What else they got? The Reverse Book Token - donate in someone's name and receive a token to personalize for them.