MANVILLE, NJ  - Volunteers are invited to help Operation Shoebox New Jersey assemble Christmas care packages for shipment to US troops overseas on Saturday, Nov.19 at  the Manville VFW, 600 Washington Ave., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is the 12th consecutive year the VFW has hosted the holiday packing; hundreds of volunteers turn out each year to help pack in excess of 1,000 care packages that will be sent to US troops deployed in the Mideast, Europe, Asia, Central and South America, Africa and Antarctica.

The contents of Operation Shoebox New Jersey care packages include boxes of Girl Scout cookies, bags of loose candy, bags of food and snack items and bags of toiletries and personal care items, plus letters of well wishes and Christmas cards. Each box weighs between 6-8 pounds.

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Operation Shoebox volunteers have been collecting donations for this and other packing events to be held before the end of the year, and donations have been received from schools, businesses, civic groups and churches.

Local dentist offices have collected and donated several tons of candy from their young patients, and Acme Supermarkets also donated tons of Hershey candy products to Operation Shoebox New Jersey collected during “Operation Sweetness” at 180 stores in six states – New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

Rather than donating food and toiletry items, Operation Shoebox New Jersey is asking those who participate to donate $25 and sponsor a care package to a soldier/sailor/airman overseas. The donation will help to pay the cost of postage for the care packages.

Retail items will also be sold, with proceeds dedicated to shipping care packages.

Founded in 2005, Operation Shoebox New Jersey has shipped over 120,000 care packages overseas.

Operation Shoebox is a 501c3 non-profit volunteer organization; all donations are tax deductible.

Further information is available online at www.opshoeboxnj.org or by calling (908) 698-0333.