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News: Oakland firefighter collecting book donations for inmate fire crews


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“OAKLAND — A Cal Fire firefighter from Oakland is collecting books through December to donate to inmate firefighters after working alongside them and learning how slim their libraries are and how much they cherished their books.


“On an off day while working with them, we were chopping it up and getting along and we ended up talking about books,†Patrick Shaw told the Oakland Tribune. “Then I found out about their libraries: They’re tiny and don’t get cycled out.â€


Donations can be dropped off at the Starline Social Club at 2236 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Stay Gold Deli at 2635 San Pablo Ave., Eli’s Mile High Club at 3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Dax Lee’s Barber and Apothecary at 1707 Webster St., Telegraph Oakland Beer Garden at 2318 Telegraph Ave., Beauty’s Bagel Shop at 3838 Telegraph Ave., Black Spring Coffee Company at 2930 Telegraph Ave. and Bicycle Coffee Uptown at 1745 San Pablo Ave.


Shaw, who organized the “Prison Fire Project,†works seasonally in Cal Fire’s Shasta-Trinity Unit and lives in Oakland in the off-season. He got to know some of the inmate firefighters while working in rural areas, he said, and learned that books are one of their only forms of entertainment.


“A lot of people don’t understand, they finish their sentences in these remote fire camps, for sometimes two to five years,†Shaw said. “They could really use some books; all they do is read, work out and work.â€


When the month is over, Shaw said he is going to drive out to deliver the books to the rural camps himself.â€

The project’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PrisonFireProject

Edited by Arcadia in CA
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