MANVILLE, NJ – The South Plainfield 12U Titans Travel Baseball team is use to spending Saturday’s together. This time some wore baseball caps, and some jeans, but this time they were not all in complete uniform because they were there to assist in Operation Shoebox to help our beloved men and women in uniform serving overseas.

The event on February 10, was the 13th anniversary of Operation Shoebox New Jersey. Operation Shoebox is an event where volunteers assemble personal care packages for shipment to U.S. troops in the Mideast and around the world.

The packing event took place at the Walter Kavanaugh VFW Post #2290, 600 Washington Ave., Manville.

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OPSHBX NJ packaged close to 1,000 boxes during the event; since its first packing event in 2005, tens of thousands of volunteers have helped assemble and ship 136,000 care packages overseas.

South Plainfield’s 12U’s were up for the task, lasting longer than an extra inning game.

Participating in the day’s event for the South Plainfield 12U Titans were as follows:
Brian Potts, Anthony DeLisa, Nick Campagna, Robby Krovatin, Zach Robinson, Mattie Ciullo,
Joey Padovano, Derek Nudelman, Chase Donovan and Mathew Nigro.
Missing due to prior commitments: Aldo Pigna and Jaylen Brogdon.

The team not only assisted, but provided a number of donated items for the event.

The OPSHBX NJ packing is dedicated in the memory of Linn Smith, a Navy veteran of the Cold War, president of the Canal Walk Veterans Club in Franklin and a valued OPSHBX NJ volunteer. He died suddenly on Veterans Day 2016.

The packages to be sent overseas will include cans of tuna, cans of fruit, trail mix, beef jerky, gum, candy, granola bars, powdered drink mixes, coffee, tea, oatmeal, hot chocolate, toothpaste, tooth brushes, ear swabs, moist wipes, sun block, eye drops, soap, shampoo, socks, stationary, envelopes, pens, batteries and other items. The majority of the supplies were donated by employees of TD Bank at 1,300 offices from Maine to Florida.

Each box sent will also contain Valentine's Day greetings from students at several schools hand-delivered to OPSHBX NJ headquarters over the past month; inside each package will be several bags of candy donated by shoppers at ACME Supermarkets.

Volunteers on Saturday also wrote short letters or cards to the troops; all cards and letters were inserted into the boxes. Also included were stuffed animals and other gift items.

Financial support for OPSHBX NJ is always welcomed to help pay the costs of shipping the packages. Each box costs a minimum of $25 to ship overseas. All donations are tax deductible.

Call Operation Shoebox New Jersey headquarters at (908) 698-0333 for further information or check the website at for more volunteer opportunities.