The USO of North Carolina has made a way for military children and parents to have a better bond during deployments.
As part of the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program, the USO of NC created the United Through Reading program.
This program allows service members to pick a children’s book from a large collection of childhood favorites, relax in a private, comfortable area and record themselves reading the book aloud.
“They can come in and read a story, we capture it on DVD and package it up with a book. We send it home with the service member or we mail it,” said Renee Lane USO-NC Sandhills area director.
“So if it’s a child birthday we have a lot of parents who come in with the birthday hats and read the book. They would ask us to mail it to that child on their birthday.”
Once finished, the USO ships a copy of the book and recording to the service member’s Family.
In addition, USO of NC encourages the Family to send their loved one overseas a video or a photo of their child interacting with the video and book that they received.
This makes both parties feel connected from a far distance.
Brian Knight Sandhills Area Assistant Director of the USO of NC and a transitioning Soldier explained his experience with the program prior to him working at USO of NC.
“While I was deployed I was able to go into the USO, sit down in a room, pick out some books. I have three boys. I read a book to each boy, packed it up and the USO sent it back to them. I was able to use the program two or three times, while deployed,” said Knight.
The service is free. If interested, there are many ways to sign up.
One option is the main website: www.uso-nc.org.
Also their social media Facebook: @USOofNCFortBragg, Twitter, and Instagram: @USOofNC. If you would like to volunteer, you can sign up at volunteers.USO.org.
The USO of North Carolina also has a mobile application that can be downloaded through any store application on a mobile device.
For any questions call 495-1437