About Us

Olive Garden partners with the USO to support United Through Reading's Military Program. (PRNewsFoto/Darden Restaurants, Inc.: General)United Through Reading is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit organization dedicated to uniting U.S. military families who face physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together.

In more than 200 locations worldwide, United Through Reading offers military service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading books to their children at home. Our program creates emotional connections between parents and their children, encourages literacy, and makes homecomings easier.

In 2015, with the help of 13,260 volunteer hours, United Through Reading served nearly 100,000 beneficiaries, at 262 recording locations around the world distributing more than 10,000 children’s books to military children.

In 2015, military families stayed connected using United Through Reading from:

  • 19 U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard Commands
  • 14 U.S. Army and Army National Guard Commands
  • 26 U.S. Coast Guard Cutters and Commands
  • 17 Joint Commands t0 include Bahrain, Horn of Africa, Guantanamo Bay
  • 44 U.S. Marine Corps Commands and Libraries
  • 4 Medical Commands to include USNS Comfort, Fort Belvoir Warrior
    Transition Battalion
  • 68 U.S. Navy Commands including Navy Special Warfare
  • 70 USO Host-Sites

Impact reported on program surveys:

      • 81% of participants report a decrease in their children’s anxiety about the deployment
      • 88% of participants report an increase in connectedness with deployed service members
      • 90% of participants report that participation reduced their own stress during deployment
      • 78% of participants report increases in their child’s interest in reading and books
      • 83% of recordings are watched nearly every day or more often.

More than 80% of participants report that recordings are enjoyed every day or even several times a day. It’s not unusual for children to watch a recorded story 250 times during a ten-month deployment.