We at Twin Cities Geek know from experience that the geek community in Minnesota can be an amazing force for good, so this year we have organized a toy and book drive to benefit two very worthy local organizations: The Hallie Q Brown Community Center in St. Paul, MN and the Women’s Prison Book Project in Minneapolis, MN. From December 5th through December 17th, please bring new and gently used toys and books to our 2015 Holiday Toy & Book Drive donation box locations around the metro!
What is Needed
Gifts for Kids & Teens
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center is collecting new and gently used toys to distribute during the holidays to St. Paul families in need through Hallie’s Toy Shop. Something as simple as your old Charlie-In-The-Box can bring a smile to a young person. There is a great need for items that will appeal to teenagers, so please consider donating some cool stuff for teens!
- New Toys (for kids of all ages)
- Gently Used Toys (must include all the pieces)
- Electronics (video game systems, mp3 players, etc.)
- Children’s and YA books
- Good Condition, Quality CDs and DVDs
- Games and Puzzles
- Video Games
Books for Adults
The Women’s Prison Book Project is collecting new and gently used paperback books of all kinds. The organization sends 3 paperback books per prisoner per month to cis and transgender women, and genderqueer persons in women’s prisons across the USA who write to request either specific titles/authors or just genres they enjoy.
- Craft books (not patterns)
- Fiction and non-fiction by African-American writers
- Contemporary books in Spanish
- LGBTQ+ books
- True Crime books
- Vampire books
- Women’s Health books
- Books about Family
- Self-Help books
- Books on Recovery from Chemical Dependency
- Pagan, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious, nonfiction, and fiction texts
- Any other good condition paperback books you would like to give
Donation Box Locations
Many geek-friendly businesses and organizations throughout the Twin Cities metro have generously offered to host a donation box for the 2015 Twin Cities Geek Holiday Toy & Book Drive! Pick the location most convenient for you to drop off your donations. Please do take some time to check out the stores/spaces while you’re there—it’s a perfect opportunity for some geeky holiday shopping, too!
Source Comics & Games Holiday Jubilee on Dec 12th, 2015 ONLY
2057 Snelling Ave. N
Roseville, MN 55113
(Want to host a donation box or accept donations for the Twin Cities Geek 2015 Holiday Toy & Book Drive at your event? Please email [email protected] to coordinate!)
About the Organizations
Here is some information about the two organizations that the 2015 Twin Cities Geek Toy & Book Drive will benefit.
Hallie Q Brown Community Center
Serving the Summit University area of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc. is a private, nonprofit social service agency what’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our community by providing access to critical human services, fostering and promoting personal growth, and developing community leadership.
Although, Hallie Q. Brown began as a settlement house for African Americans denied services from other agencies, they long ago opened the center’s services to all people. Historically, the Hallie Q. Brown service center has been mixed racially and economically. Approximately one-third of St. Paul’s people of color live in the Summit-University and nearly 50% of the population are minority residents (by link). The area continues to evolve demographically and Hallie Q. Brown provides a wide range of services designed to reflect the character of the Summit-University community as a whole. The holiday toy drive is part of a larger Hallie Q. Brown effort to help meet the basic needs of St. Paul residents.
You can also drop toy donations off directly at the community center:
Please check out more of the great work Hallie Q Brown is doing at their website, www.hallieqbrown.org.
Women’s Prison Book Project
They are the Women’s Prison Book Project currently located at Boneshaker Books in Seward. Since 1994, the Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP) has provided women and transgender persons in prison with free reading materials covering a wide range of topics from law and education (dictionaries, GED, etc.) to fiction, politics, history, and women’s health. WPBP is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that seeks to build connections with those behind the walls, and to educate those of us on the outside about the realities of prison and the justice system.
Of the more than two million people confined in U.S. prisons and jails, over 150,000 are women. Eighty percent of these women are imprisoned for non–violent crimes. Of the women convicted of violent crimes, the vast majority were convicted for defending themselves or their children from abuse. More than half of all women in prison are women of color, and two–thirds of women in prison have at least one child under age eighteen. Most of these mothers had primary custody of their children before going to prison.
These facts mean that women in prison have specific needs for particular kinds of information: material on families, children, women’s self-help, women’s health, and legal aid pertaining to women who fight back against their abusers. Many lesbian, bisexual, and transgender prisoners often have trouble obtaining information that is relevant to their lives. WPBP works to support prisoners; and through that solidarity works to empower prisoners themselves and build connections through prison walls.
You can also drop book donations off directly at Boneshaker Books:
Please check out more about the Women’s Prison Book Project on their website, www.wpbp.org.
Go Forth and Donate!
So, tell your friends, stop by one of the donation box locations, donate some toys and books, and make others’ lives a little brighter this holiday season. Oh, and click here for the Facebook event!