On the eve of its eighth year providing support to U.S. troop stationed overseas, Operation Shoebox New Jersey is seeking volunteers to help support the group's efforts.
On Feb. 9, Operation Shoebox NJ will collect donations, pack care packages for the overseas troops and commemorate the organization’s 8th anniversary. Soldiers and Marines who received packages from OPSHBX NJ during their deployments are expected to attend and extend their thanks to the volunteers.
The packing will be at the Kavanaugh VFW Post no. 2290, 600 Washington Ave., Manville, with registration at 11 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies. Packing begins at 11:30 a.m. A light lunch will be provided.
Volunteer packers are encouraged to donate personal care items for shipment, including snacks and toiletries. Check the shopping list on the Operation Shoebox website and bring along a bag of needed items.
The packages sent overseas will include a box of Girl Scout cookies donated by troops in the Heart of New Jersey Council; bagged candy collected from 15 Walgreen stores donated by shoppers; cans of tuna, cans of fruit, trail mix, beef jerky, gum, candy, granola bars, powdered drink mixes, coffee, tea, oatmeal, hot chocolate, toothpaste, toothbrushes, ear swabs, moist wipes, sun block, eye drops, soap, shampoo, socks, stationary, envelopes, pens, batteries and other items.
Volunteers will also have the opportunity to sit down and write a short letter to the troops; all cards and letters will be inserted into the boxes. We'll also add stuffed animals and other gift items for the troops to hand out to young Iraqi and Afghan children.
Since its founding in February, 2005, OPSHBX NJ volunteers have shipped over 61,000 personal care packages overseas.
Financial support is also needed to help pay the costs of shipping the packages. All donations are tax deductible. Volunteers are asked to sign up in advance on the OPSHBX NJ website.
Call Operation Shoebox New Jersey headquarters at (908) 698-0333 for further information or check the website at www.opshoeboxnj.org.