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'Santa's Elves' Assemble 1,500 Care Packages for US Troops

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Hundreds of volunteers helped assemble care packages for US troops overseas at the Hillsborough YMCA yesterday, including these cheerleaders from the Hillsborough Dukes. Credits: Courtesy Hillsborough Dukes
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Members of the Hillsborough Dukes cheerleading squad sign a banner with well wishes for US troops deployed overseas during Saturday's packing event at the Hillsborough YMCA. Credits: Courtesy Hillsborough Dukes
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Volunteers assemble care packages for US troops overseas during Saturday's packing event at the Hillsborough YMCA. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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Hundreds of volunteers packed the YMCA gymnasium in Hillsborough Saturday to help assemble care packages for US troops deployed overseas. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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Cub Scouts write letters and cards that were included in the care packages assembled for US troops yesterday at the Hillsborough YMCA. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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Volunteers bag loose candy for shipment to US troops deployed overseas during Saturday's packing event at the Hillsborough YMCA. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough, joined by Operation Shoebox New Jersey, recruited hundreds of "elves" to help assemble 1,500 Christmas and holiday gift packages for shipment to US troops overseas during the Rotary's VI annual packing event at the Hillsborough YMCA Saturday.

"Operation Santa's Elves" received a big boost from shoppers at ACME Supermarkets in six states, who donated bags of Halloween candy purchased at the stores in October. ACME representatives also donated $10,000 to Operation Shoebox New Jersey to help pay for shipment of the care packages overseas.

The Hillsborough Rotary also donated $2,000.

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Employees of TD Bank from Maine to Florida also were instrumental in contributing to the success of the packing event; More than 1,700 TD Bank branch offices donated supplies to Operation Shoebox New Jersey in September, much of which was packed into the boxes on Saturday.

Hundreds of "elves" filled plastic bags with food and toiletry items, which were added to the bags of candy, as well as cards and letters of well wishes for the holidays.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey is a statewide volunteer organization based in Hillsborough that ships care packages to US troops deployed around the world throughout the year. Founded in 2005, the non-profit organization has shipped over 135,000 care packages overseas.

Open to the public, the next Operation Shoebox New Jersey packing event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Manville VFW, 600 Washington Ave., Manville.

Further information is available by calling 908-698-0333. 

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