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.




CMOHS2016 Community Service Hero Award
United Through Reading is proud to be the recipient of the inaugural 2016 Community Service Hero Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. United Through Reading (UTR) is the first to receive the ‘Community Service Hero Award,’ which recognizes a community-based organization for its exceptional impact or mission in supporting our nation’s service member community.



Library of Congress Literacy Awards


2015 American Prize, Library of Congress Literacy Awards 
United Through Reading received the 2015 American Prize of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program for the nonprofits significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels and the national awareness of the importance of literacy.



Best In America Charityseal_BW
United Through Reading is a designated a Best In America Charity. The Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to the members of Independent Charities of America and Local Independent Charities of America that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. These standards include those required by the US Government for inclusion in the Combined Federal Campaign, probably the most exclusive fund drive in the world.Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal.