With the rise of technology, we are able to connect with others across great distances. We can telephone our grandparents, video chat our spouses, and send emails and texts to our close friends. Of course, nothing can replace the physical sensation of being near someone you care about, but we can always rely on the next best thing.
No one understands this better than Hillel Cooperman, who founded A Story Before Bed, a program that allows parents who are away from their children overnight to video themselves reading a bedtime story and then let their children watch it later that evening. The videos can be saved for future use as well. The service has over 150 books to choose from, and it allows users to buy a year-long subscription for around $30 or to pay for video-stories individually, which are then saved to their account.
The latest news, however, from A Story Before Bed, is that the company has made available 100,000 free stories to United States soldiers currently deployed or soon-to-be deployed so that they can record stories for their children to watch and listen to while they are gone. According to their website, "The team behind A Story Before Bed is dedicated to connecting children with parents, grandparents, and loved ones through reading. And we're especially dedicated to connecting families and loved ones who can't always be together. When parents give up seeing their children for weeks or months at a time in the service of their country, we want to do our small part." So far, the site claims to have given away approximately 5,000 stories.
This latest move on behalf of our troops who are also parents is a great reminder that there are those of us who cannot always be with their children. It raises the question: if a company such as this is willing to donate some of its income to helping others, then what could we individual parents do towards this same goal? A Story Before Bed doesn't actually have a way to donate to their cause; however, one of the obvious things you can do is support them by purchasing a story for you and your children. You can also spread word of their gift drive to other parents.
There are certainly other things you can do that aren't directly associated with A Story Before Bed. You can support programs like Books on Bases, Smiles on Faces, which is administered by Blue Star Families. Or consider sending care packages through a program like AnySoldier. Or have your kids write a soldier through Letters to Soldiers. The important thing is that you see the action others have taken, and try to do your own little part.