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Ashton woman helps active-duty military with paperback books

ASHTON, Idaho (KIFI) - Jennifer Cecil of Ashton was looking for a way to serve members of her community when she came across Operation Paperback.

Cecil said the more she read about the project, the more it felt right.

"I come from a military background with military family members," Cecil said, adding she's an avid reader. "What they do is collect gently used paperback books from all 50 states. They then mail them all over the world. "Overseas, military members in the United States, to VA hospitals, and to the Wounded Warrior Project."

Cecil said while e-books are great and soldiers have access to them, there's just something about a physical book.

"I think it's more of a comfort thing. I read every day, and I couldn't imagine being away from home in a different land doing something scary and not having my books," Cecil said, adding that for many, having something physical to hold can help them feel connected to their family back home.

Cecil says when she first signed up, she had one goal in mind.

"I made a goal to collect 500 books by the end of April and to start shipping them over the beginning of May," Cecil said. "(I have) probably 300-400. The community response has been fantastic. I'm getting calls every other day for people who need them picked up, so it's going really well so far."

Cecil said if people want to help, but don't have books, monetary donations are welcome as well.

Those funds will then be used to "provide specific titles the military members asked for specifically."

"If I don't get them in a donation, then I'll go out and purchase those and send them over," Cecil said. "But as of now, everything can be dropped off at Shoppe on Main in Ashton. Or I can pick up anywhere between Island Park and Idaho Falls."

Cecil says the Operation Paperback website has a list of specific titles active-duty soldiers and families are requesting, or you can donate any book you wish. If you wish to donate any books, you can reach Jennifer Cecil at (208) 403-5448

Article Topic Follows: Local News
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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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