HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - A package filled with favorite foods and toiletries from home is usually at the top of holiday wish lists for US troops deployed overseas.

To help make those wishes come true, The Rotary Club of Hillsborough is once again joining up with Operation Shoebox New Jersey to host the eighth annual Christmas Packing Event on Saturday, Dec. 7th, from 10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Hillsborough YMCA, 19 East Mountain Road.

Members of the community are invited to participate in this special event to assemble the gift packages.

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“The Rotary’s packing event is not only very organized, it is a fun event for all who participate,” according to Rod Hirsch, founder and executive director of Operation Shoebox New Jersey.

“We receive wonderful feedback directly from the troops about how much they look forward to receiving these packages,” he added.

At last year’s packing event, over 1500 packages containing a wide assortment of foods, treats and toiletries were assembled by hundreds of volunteers - both young and old - from Hillsborough and adjoining communities.

The individual bags are grouped together into small boxes and then into larger containers for shipment abroad.

The cost of shipping these boxes to the troops is funded by donations from the Hillsborough Rotary and caring members of the public. Cash or credit card donations to offset shipping costs can be made at the event; checks can be mailed to Operation Shoebox New Jersey, 152 Route 206, Hillsborough 08844 or PO Box 273, Somerville, 08876.

Donations of appropriate, non-perishable food items, including travel or personal size toothpaste, deodorant, ear swabs, mouthwash, moist wipes, powder and food items like snacks, crackers, tuna fish, granola bars, 1 oz. boxes of cereal, beef jerky and gum can be brought to the packing.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey, based in Hillsborough, was founded in February 2005. It is a volunteer grass roots organization dedicated to collecting donated supplies and shipping care packages to U.S. troops based in Iraq, Afghanistan, other Middle East countries and around the world.  

The Rotary Club of Hillsborough has over 40 active members from Hillsborough and surrounding communities.   Members include business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

The Hillsborough Rotary serves the Hillsborough community.  All funds raised at the Rotary Fair are donated back to community projects. The Hillsborough Rotary Club meets every Wednesday, at 6 pm, at The Landing Restaurant in Hillsborough.

For more information about the event and making cash or in-kind donations, please visit the website hillsboroughnjrotary.com.