VIENNA, Va., April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Navy Federal Credit Union announced its partnership with United Through Reading (UTR), which brings servicemembers and their families together for recorded bed time stories despite being in separate parts of the world. UTR is a nonprofit organization whose mission is "to unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading together." Two of the credit union's 247 branches, Crystal City, VA and Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, were chosen as host sites for the program.
Participating branches will supply books and a private area for video recording a reading of the story and a personal message to loved ones. The book and recording are sent home for families to "read along" with nightly. The program objective keeps military parents involved in the families' everyday routines. The partnership between Navy Federal and United Through Reading marks the first time that a sponsor has hosted UTR's program within their business locations, allowing families a chance to connect.
"Our participation was a natural fit," stated Kathy Ward, senior vice president, Branch Operations. "Navy Federal is proud to support the well-being of the military community in all aspects of their lives. We want to assist in keeping the ties to home strong—be it financially or otherwise." Ward noted that the credit union chose sites where they saw a large concentration of personnel on temporary duty assignments.
The program has been shown to alleviate the stress of separation, increase connectedness and service member morale, make reunions and homecomings easier, and cultivate a love of reading in children. "Navy Federal and United Through Reading share a common goal – to be there for servicemembers wherever they serve - be it on a ship, in a combat zone, or any assignment that keeps them away from home," said Dr. Sally Ann Zoll, CEO of United Through Reading. "Routines like reading a bedtime story are very comforting to families. We're so pleased that a trusted place like Navy Federal is available for service members to share this cherished experience."
About Navy Federal Navy Federal Credit Union is the world's largest credit union with over $57 billion in assets, more than 4 million members, 247 branches, and a workforce of over 11,000 employees worldwide. The credit union serves all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian and contractor personnel and their families. For additional information about Navy Federal, visit www.navyfederal.org.
About United Through Reading United Through Reading is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that offers military service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading stories to their children at home. Service members can read from nearly 200 recording locations during deployments, training missions or any family separation. Recording locations include US Navy ships and Coast Guard cutters at sea, CONUS and OCONUS military installations and at 50 USOs. For more information on United Through Reading, including a list of recording locations, visit unitedthroughreading.org.