Giving Back

Volunteers Needed to Assemble Care Packages for Overseas-Based US Troops July 22

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
Volunteers place toiletry items in plastic bags that will be included in the care packages. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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
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

BRIDGEWATER, NJ  - Operation Shoebox New Jersey, a volunteer, non-profit organization in its second decade of operation, is seeking volunteers to assist in assembling personal care packages that will be shipped to US troops deployed around the world. The organization has partnered with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball to host a packing and assembling event on Saturday, July 22, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark.

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. Members of the Patriots team are expected to be on hand and participate in the process. 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.

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Volunteers will be given a free ticket voucher for the Sunday, August 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.

For more information, visit or call 908-698-0333.  

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