UNION — While members of the U.S. military are overseas protecting the country, two local women are doing what they can to protect them.
Buffalo Elementary teacher and part-time Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant Heather Barnado has partnered with Union native Melanie Goings Campbell — who is also a teacher and part-time Mary Kay consultant — in “Operation Sunscreen: Protecting Those Who Protect Us.”
The project involves collecting sunscreen for military members who operate in scorching hot locations such as Iraq and Afghanistan, in which temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In those areas, temperatures are heightened by the dry, desert environments, and painful sunburns are one of the issues soldiers have to grapple with on a constant basis. Technically, it is even a chargeable offense for military members to suffer from any preventable infection caused by harmful effects of the sun and be rendered unfit for duty.
An article on Defense.gov — the website of the U.S. Department of Defense — titled “Sun can cost you more than the skin off your nose” states, “Three year-round sunscreen rules: Use it liberally. Use it often. Apply it to exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going outside.”
Barnado and Campbell said the campaign is special to them because of family members in the military. Barnado’s paternal grandfather — Wilson Grady — served in the Air Force and in World War II and retired from the National Guard. Her maternal grandfather — Frank Silvers — served in the Army. Campbell’s father — Santuc resident George Goings — is retired from the Army National Guard and both of her grandfathers served in World War II.
Barnado and Campbell will be outside Walmart in Union on Saturday, June 22, and Saturday, June 29, accepting donations for the project. A $12 package will give a soldier a Mary Kay Sun Care Sunscreen SPF 50 and a Mary Kay Sun Care Lip Protector SPF 15. A $20 package will include two of the sunscreen SPF 50 and one lip protector.
Barnado said no profit will be made from the donations. Campbell will deliver all of the products to Fort Jackson at the end of this month.
“Skin care is important, and when they’re out in the field, they might not think about little things like that,” Barnado said. “This is a way we can support them and what they’re doing for us, and show them we’re thinking about them.”
Barnado said the campaign has already received a positive response from calls, emails and texts, and they have already received 42 donations. She also mentioned several of the contributors have been veterans, who have shown lots of support.
For more information about “Operation Sunscreen,” contact Barnado at email@example.com or Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.