#BookstoresAgainstBorders, the fundraising campaign spearheaded by Madison, Wisc.’s A Room of One’s Own bookstore to benefit RAICES (Refugee Center for Education and Legal Services), has raised as of Tuesday morning more than $100,000.
The fundraising campaign, which kicked off in early July, was inspired by news accounts of immigrants to the U.S. being incarcerated at the Mexico border and being denied even the barest necessities. Within days of A Room of One’s Own co-owner Gretchen Treu’s letter to other indies suggesting that they join A Room of One’s Own in raising funds for RAICES by donating 5%-15% of their sales during the July 4 holiday weekend, scores of bookstores all over the U.S. had signed on. At last count, 165 indies, small presses and other literary organizations had agreed to participate.
The indie presses that joined in donated books and swag as premiums to donors, while a number of literary organizations participated by matching donations. Some bookstores are even committing to donating a portion of their sales to #BookstoresAgainstBorders throughout the month of July.
A Room of One’s Own alone has raised $12,500 to date for RAICES and reports that donations are still coming in -- from the U.K. and Canada, as well as the U.S.
"We are over the moon to have all our goals surpassed. We keep making new goals and we keep meeting them," A Room of One's Own bookseller Misian Taylor wrote in an email to PW. "Our first goal was to get five bookstores and raise $1k. Then 20 bookstores and $5K. Then 50. Then 75. Then 100. To have 165 bookstores join us has been an incredible experience. Our new goal is to raise $115k."