SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ  - James Ball, a young Army vet who lives with his wife and 1 ½-year-old-son Mason in Hillsborough, helped to organize and coordinate a packing event Saturday with the volunteers of Operation Shoebox New Jersey Saturday at Lincoln Tech.

A group of 40 students, staff and volunteers worked to assemble 300 personal care packages for US troops deployed around the world inside the school's shop area, surrounded by heavy equipment, front-end loaders and trucks.

Each care package contains a variety of food and toiletry items and letters of appreciation from students throughout New Jersey.

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Ball, a Lincoln Tech student enrolled in the diesel mechanics’ curriculum, is president of the school’s Students’ Veterans Association. Beginning last summer, he raised over $4,000 from fellow students, staff and vendors to underwrite Saturday’s effort, including the cost of postage.

Ball served with the 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum in upstate New York.

Lincoln Technical Institute, with campuses throughout the United States, offers hands-on career training programs for a variety of fields including Automotive, Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Spa and Cosmetology and Culinary.

Saturday’s packing was at the the Lincoln Tech campus at 901 Hadley Blvd.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey, a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Hillsborough, will commemorate its 12th anniversary Feb. 18 with a volunteer packing event at the Manville VFW.

Volunteers are invited to participate.

The VFW is at 600 Washington Ave. in Manville. The packing will begin at 11 a.m.

Visit the website at www.opshoeboxnj.org for further information.