Posts Tagged ‘military families’

Operation Paperback–Military Families Receive Free Books

Photo: Operation Paperback

I’ve posted a few entries over time about creative recycling of your gently used belongings. If you’ve got a pile or box or garage full of books you gobbled up and read, but they’re not the titles you want to pass on to future generations in your household (not a judgement on their quality, simply your plans), think about donating them to Operation Paperback, a non-profit organization that collects books nationwide and sends them to troops that are deployed overseas. More than 1.7 million books have already been sent, and yours can be next. Usually, the recipients of the books re-lend them to others in their unit, and a good read can make the rounds through entire platoons. In addition to general reading books (they provide you with the recipient overseas address, and you ship directly, using media mail postage rates–very inexpensive) there are targeted book requests that you might go purchase to send as well, including things like Iraqi and other language phrase books, children’s books that deployed service members read via web-cam to their families back home, professional books that support development goals, books for unit chaplains that are specific titles to support those who are being re-deployed, and more. You know how much sinking into a fantastic story can make time fly, so providing that experience to those who are on duty for us is a pretty brilliant reason to clean out your attic.

September 11-National Day of Service and Remembrance

Last year, on the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the White House declared that date as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of the heroism and selflessness of first responders, the passengers of Flight 93 who sacrificed their own lives trying to save others, and the men and women who subsequently joined the armed services because of that event, Americans unite in solidarity and compassion (and try to ignore the droning noise from willfully ignorant pretend clergy in Florida who want to burn holy texts).

The declaration of this day as one of service is intended for all of us to honor those who lost and risked their lives that bright sunny morning by being of service to others and our communities. Any thoughts as to what your service commitment will be tomorrow? First Lady Michelle Obama, for instance, is volunteering with Mission Serve, an initiative bringing together civilian and military communities through service and volunteerism. “Working alongside active duty members of the military, wounded warriors, veterans, military spouses, and students,” she said, “I’ll help renovate a community center at a retirement community for veterans in McLean, Virginia.”

To find a service volunteer project near you, plug your zip code or volunteer interests into the search engine at and a listing of organizations needing volunteers tomorrow, and onward, will make it an easy step to making a difference.