PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘United Through Reading’

Story Time with Soldiers 2011, the Tale of a Book

Thursday, August 18th, 2011


Dear PaperBackSwap members,

For those who donated to our 2011 Books for Soldiers Campaign, this little story is for you.

The next wave of your donated books is currently being shipped out to United Through Reading destinations all over the world. We thought you might enjoy seeing things from your book’s perspective…

This is the tale of a book. A book for children, with shiny pictures and warm words that make the story come to life. Wouldn’t it be great to be a children’s book that could go on the high seas or across the sea to the desert to join a deployed parent? I am proud to be that book, a United Through Reading Book, one that was donated by a member of PaperBackSwap.com to make this amazing journey.

I started in the author’s mind, a small idea growing to a full- fledged story. I was published and bound in colorful bindings and then waited patiently for my destination to call me….

At the same time, a military command was preparing for deployment. All the service members were anxiously preparing themselves and their families for their departure. Those with children were thinking about ways they could stay connected to them while they are gone. They knew security often prohibits the use of social media and Skype, which are great ways to connect. Email can be sporadic and letters can take such a long time to reach their home. The service members were thrilled when they heard about the United Through Reading program. They could take a video camera into the theater with DVDs to record themselves reading bedtime stories, and then send the DVDs home to their families.

I was excited as I waited with all my other book friends inside the cardboard box in the warehouse, as I had never really traveled far before. I wondered where I might end up. I knew I could be sent from the warehouse directly to a command overseas or even stay on the seas on a huge ship! After what seemed a very long time, at last our box was chosen to go! I had a very long and bumpy ride on a truck, then had to take a bus, and then a plane (from which I dropped!) right on to the deck of a ship in the middle of the ocean . Finally, I was about to be in the hands of the active duty military person who wanted to read a bedtime story to their son or daughter.  My destiny was close!

My box traveled all the way across the world to Iraq and I arrived at my command in the sand. I was so hot as I sat on the shelf in a tent, waiting for my first reading. I could hear tanks rumbling by outside, and the voices of Soldiers talking, too. Once I heard someone whistling as they walked by. I patiently waited for three days on that shelf…hoping, wishing a Soldier would come and choose me.

Then, all the sudden I saw him coming toward me, all dressed in uniform, and I knew he was the one. He took his time and looked at several books, but I hoped and hoped  he was going to pick me…and he did! I saw the smile when he opened my crisp, new pages and started to record himself while imagining the delight on his daughter’s face when she heard this story and saw him on DVD. I was so ready and excited to tell my story.

My best buddy in the book box was put in the backpack of a Marine who took United Through Reading Mobile into dangerous territory. Another buddy stayed on the ship for the sailors.In all of these places, we saw the great patriotism and sacrifice these Soldiers make for their families and yours every day. It is an honor to be their book. Thanks to PaperBackSwap members and United Through Reading we made a difference!

PBS News: Story Time with Soldiers, Author Pages, PBS Market,

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

We are really amazed and proud at the response to the  Story Time with Soldiers drive! You all really stepped up to provide books for the United Through Reading military donation program that provides pre-deployment DVDs of soldiers reading storybooks to their children.  We hit our goals for donated money and credits, and we heard the most heartwarming responses from you…

“The idea of deployed service personnel reading to their children warms even the coldest heart. I love these programs. It’s little enough to donate 10 credits to keep the program running. Good job, team. Keep up these outreach programs.” – Betty A.

“I just wanted to say how wonderful it is that PBS is supporting a program like Story Time with Soldiers!

My brother-in-law is currently on his 3rd deployment to Iraq, leaving behind my sister and 2 small boys, ages 4 & 1. Before he left, he had my sister video tape him reading books to the boys. Those boys have watched that video just about every day since he left 6 months ago. And when he came home for his 2-week mid-deployment leave, those boys had no trouble bonding with their dad because they had seen him reading to them every single day since he left. Even though my sister and brother-in-law did their video on their own, this is still my personal proof that this is a very important program.

Thanks to PBS for supporting our troops AND their families!!” – Yvonne G.

Thanks, Betty and Yvonne!  We too love this program, and we’re so touched at how you all have reached out to these families.  You can read more about the program here.  Thanks again for giving!

We’ve spruced up the author bibliography pages. If you click the author name on any listing you will now see the book images of the currently-available books by that author, and every book version is shown.  It used to be just a list, but members wanted more detail.  We hope this helps you keep up with your favorite author, or stock up on an author you just discovered.

Shopaholics take note! Love browsing the PBS Market ? Hate it when you get interrupted and your cart is empty when you log back in?  Now your cart will remember the items you have added, even if you log out; they’ll be waiting for you when you come back.   If you haven’t visited the PBS Market lately, be sure to stop by – new books are added every hour.

Timed-release Newsletter: Sending this NewsWire puts a strain on our servers, which can slow down the site.  We are trying something new this month – the Newsletter will go out slowly over several days.  So if you hear that someone else hasn’t gotten her Newsletter and you have, just reassure her that hers is on the way.  We hope this takes the load off the servers so that the site will continue to run smoothly even while a Newsletter is going out.

Dear PBS Members,

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Happy Spring!

Things are blooming and the birds are singing; nature is coming back to life.   Time for spring-cleaning and yard cleanup, looking forward to outdoor fun with the family.   It’s a wonderful time of year.   And we have wonderful news to go with it!  We’ve been able to expand our donations program with a new program for military families.   We are happy to announce Story Time with Soldiers in co-operation with United Through Reading.

United Through Reading is a nonprofit organization devoted to uniting families by the simple yet important act of reading together.  Their military program, as featured on NBC Nightly News, focuses on families separated by military deployment.  How it works : Prior to deployment, soldiers read a storybook for their children while being videotaped. Then a DVD is sent to the family along with the book, and the family can watch the DVD and read the book with the children.  Through Story Time with Soldiers, Paperbackswap will be providing new children’s books for the soldiers to read aloud – every credit a member donates will get a book for this purpose!  You can also donate PBS Money to offset the cost of buying and shipping the new books.  Your donations can really make a difference in the lives of our military families as they protect and serve our country.   You can read more/donate here.

We hope that everyone is having a terrific Spring!
and the PaperBackSwap Team