By Christina Leslie | Correspondent
A parishioner in St. Barnabas, Bayville, is partnering with a nonprofit to help female military personnel feel a bit more safe from an archenemy: the blazing sun.
Cristal Bortko, a consultant with a national cosmetics firm, has teamed with “Operation Courage is Beautiful” to donate high-SPF sunscreen and lip balm to female personnel.
Since early May, Bortko has been pledging to personally match any donations made through her.
“Operation Courage is Beautiful,” based in San Diego, is a nonprofit organization that collects goods and monetary donations to create and ship care packages of female-oriented personal care items to women, who make up about 16 percent of active military personnel deployed worldwide.
Packages contain items such as facial moisturizer, body wash, nail care products, makeup, sunblock, feminine hygiene products, women’s magazines and books, and notes of thanks and encouragement to deployed servicemembers.
Packages may be requested by the servicewoman herself or a family member or friend; each weighs about 10 pounds and costs $16 to ship.
Though she is not a servicewoman herself, military service runs in Bortko’s family; her grandfather served in the Navy, and an uncle was a member of the Marines.
Donations for the fundraiser may be made via check to Cristal Bortko and mailed to her in care of St. Barnabas Parish, 33 Woodland Road, Bayville, N.J. 08721.
For information on donations via PayPal, credit card or other methods, call Bortko at 732-232-6613. To learn more about “Operation Courage is Beautiful,” visit operationcourage.org.