Helping Deployed Parents Bond with New Babies

Thanks to an introduction from Birdies for the Brave, United Through Reading has been partnering with Operation Shower since 2015 to put children books in the hands of new military moms and dads, and to ensure they are aware of the free service United Through Reading provides to keep deployed parents’ bonding with their new babies.

At all the Operation Shower events, military families are given a chance to come together and celebrate and each of the honored moms receive an Operation Shower’s signature “Shower In A Box” – filled with amazing must-haves for mothers and babies that have been donated by generous companies including Gund, King of Harts, and Simon & Schuster. This year already more than 300 new military parents have received classic children’s books, Sam McBratney’s Guess How Much I Love You and Curious George Goes to the Aquarium by Margret Rey and H.A. Rey because of the kindness of Candlewick Press and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt along with information about the program. Each book contains a United Through Reading bookplate that allows the deployed loved one to write the date the book was sent, where it is being sent from, and why it is special, along with information on how to make a recording.

At a Operation Shower event on April 25th of this year in Norfolk, Virginia, all of the moms were a spouse of a deployed service member aboard the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) and had the opportunity to fill-out United Through Reading informational postcards that were then mailed along with the books directly to their loved ones on the aircraft carrier.. We were thrilled to be able to offer these new families information about United Through Reading as a resource to keep their growing families together despite their distance.

One mom had the following to say, “We are all so far from family, and of course very far from our husbands. We wouldn’t have had a shower at all without Operation Shower. I am so grateful and honored to have been invited and am so thankful that I learned about United Through Reading and was able to tell my hubby about it! I dream about him reading to baby, and now he can even while he is away.”