Courage is Beautiful

Rancho Peñasquitos’ Operation Courage is Beautiful (OCIB) aims to bring joy and femininity to active duty, deployed U.S. servicewomen through care packages prepared especially for them. The packages include things like toiletries, women’s magazines and books, sunscreen, makeup, nail care products, feminine hygiene products, and personal notes of thanks and encouragement. While the contents of the packages are geared toward women, both men and women may request a package. In 2016, OCIB shipped care packages to over 70 distinct zip codes including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea, Germany, South America, North Africa, and naval ships at sea.

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As a locally based nonprofit, OCIB is heavily reliant on the 92129 community. High school students from Mt. Carmel and Westview, local Girl Scouts, employees at Intuit, and general community members have volunteered with the organization. Donation drop-off locations include the UPS Store #0078 by Stater Bros. and Peñasquitos Lutheran Church, with a number of local businesses frequently donating supplies. OCIB Founder Cindy Chan and her sister and OCIB Executive Director Casey Chan-Ruthenbeck grew up in PQ and remain rooted in the community. “It is without a doubt a lot of fun to pack the nice gift boxes, but the most rewarding thing is to receive the notes of thanks from the servicemembers,” Casey said. “It really reminds me of the value of what we do, and it keeps me going. Not all women will want or need our care packages but there are many who do.” For more information or to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities or how to donate go to www.operationcourage.org.