#BookstoresAgainstBorders, the fundraising campaign launched last week to benefit RAICES (Refugee Center for Education and Legal Services), raised almost $30,000 as of this morning. Participating bookstores had committed to donating 5-20% of their sales over the July 4th holiday weekend to RAICES. Approximately 150 indie bookstores, small presses, and other literary organizations participating in raising funds.
Ben Leroy, the executive director of the Independent Publishers Caucus, which provided free books and swag to those who donated to #BookstoresWithoutBorders, reported that IPC received many requests throughout the weekend. "The greatest thing for me was seeing the speed and enthusiasm with which individuals and businesses came together," LeRoy said. "Seeing all of the bookstores and publishers supporting one another was inspiring. Knowing it was in the name of a greater good was incredible. It's invigorating to see a shift from feeling helpless to feeling driven, both in our lives and in the lives of others."
Some stores have also pledged additional support. A Room of One's Own in Madison, Wis., which suggested and organized the campaign, noted on its Facebook page that several bookstores are extending their #BookstoresAgainstBorders fundraiser throughout the week, and a few for the entire month of July. A Room of One's Own is donating 15% of its holiday weekend sales to RAICES. Book Riot is matching donations up to $2,500 of customers of participating bookstores who uploaded receipts of purchases made this past weekend.
Update: On Monday afternoon, A Room of One's Own reported that #BookstoresAgainstBorders has raised more than $48,000 for RAICES, and still counting.
Update: As of Wednesday afternoon, the campaign has raised almost $80,000 for RAICES, and still counting.
This article has been updated with further information.