Operation Courage is Beautiful (OCIB) began as a service project of online personal technology retailer Stylesynch.com, in partnership with the VFW Post 3787 and the San Diego Armed Services YMCA.  Now OCIB is its own 501(c)3 non-profit organization with continued partnerships with Stylesynch.com, the VFW Post 3787 and The UPS Store #0078.  Here is a letter from founder Cindy Chan about her inspiration for OCIB.

In August of 2009, we launched our non-profit community project called “OPERATION COURAGE IS BEAUTIFUL”, which was inspired by an article of the same title I read in my Glamour Magazine about women who served in Iraq.Even though I grew up in a military city (San Diego), I never felt any real connection to the military community, but this article really attracted my attention. I’ve had several servicewomen order our blinged-out iPod earbuds, and after reading this article, I realized that I really am part of the same community as they—the community of WOMEN.

In fact, women entering the military are extremely courageous in doing what they do as they face so many more challenges than the average man entering the military, including gender discrimination and stereotyping. I’m lucky enough to be in a place where I get to express myself as a woman more freely, but women serving out in Iraq, Afghanistan and so on have little opportunity to do this. Their sense of womanhood is suppressed, and they risk feeling isolated and unappreciated.

This is why we at StyleSynch started “OPERATION COURAGE IS BEAUTIFUL”. We created this project to show our appreciation for these courageous women’s contribution and sacrifice, and to give a little joy and femininity to their service lives. Our goal is to ship care packages that contain a range of donated items that are specifically geared towards women who are deployed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

– Cindy Chan
Founder, Operation Courage is Beautiful
Founder, StyleSynch.com