Giving Back

Volunteers Needed to Assemble Care Packages for US Troops Overseas

Somerset Patriots manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle tapes a care package, with some help from Patriots manager Brett Jodie, center, and former Major League pitcher Jim Hoey at the 2013 packing event. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Volunteers place toiletry items in plastic bags that will be included in the care packages. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Former Somerset Patriots pitcher Jim Hoey and Sparky Lyle, manager emeritus, prepare a care package for shipment to US troops overseas. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Care packages are stacked up at TD Bank Ballpark, waiting to be shipped to US troops overseas. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Any Army unit in receipt of their care packages in Iraq. Credits: Sais Singh
An Army Blackhawk helicopter serves as the backdrop for an OPSHBX NJ care package at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Credits: Michael Withrow


BRIDGEWATER, NJ  - Volunteers are needed to assemble personal care packages that will be shipped to US troops deployed around the world on Saturday, July 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark.

The Somerset Patriots and Operation Shoebox New Jersey will host the event; members of the Patriots are expected to help out packing boxes.

Volunteers will form an assembly line and fill gallon plastic bags with foods, snacks, personal care items and toiletries; adults and children can write letters and color cards that will be included in the care packages.

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There is no age limit; parents are expected to accompany their children.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey is a volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 2005, based in Somerville/Hillsborough. The volunteers collect donations and host packing events throughout the year in partnership with schools, veteran organizations, businesses, civic groups and churches. Volunteers have packed and shipped over 130,000 personal care packages overseas since 2005.

Volunteers will be given a free ticket voucher for the Sunday, Aug. 6 game between the Somerset Patriots and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Game time is 5:05 p.m.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey will display photos, certificates, letters of thanks and other items received from deployed troops and will sell retail items including shirts and commemorative pins. All proceeds will be used to pay for shipment of the care packages overseas.

Visit the website at; further information is available by calling (908) 698-0333.  

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