Although distance might keep soldiers from reading to their children every night in person, one program is allowing them to do so in spirit.
United Through Reading is a non-profit organization which provides an opportunity for parents to read to their children from a far while serving their country.
"It gives a connection," said Melodie Pittman of Operation Spirit in Zanesville. "It keeps their children from forgetting what mom or dad looks like. When they're very young or newborns, they can learn the sound of their parents voice and see them on a DVD almost live. It helps the family unit."
Pittman is the director of Operation Spirit. Each year she collects books for the program.
This year her goal is 300 - 500 books. She says she needs donations this year for a January shipment.
"They'll get a lot of support at Christmas and then it will be a downtime and they won't get a lot of packages," she said. "This would be a good thing to have come in the January time period for them."
If you would like to help troops and their families, Pittman says to bring new or gently used children's books up to age 10 to her store, Operation Spirit in Zanesville.
Books can be dropped off at 800 James Street from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information, call 453-6777.