Saturday, December 7, the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, hundreds of community members waited in line to assemble care packages for our troops serving abroad.  What brought them together on this solemn day was the annual Operation Shoebox packing event hosted by the Rotary Club of Hillsborough.
The 78th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a particularly fitting day for the Hillsborough community to gather at the YMCA this Saturday to assemble care packages for the troops serving abroad.  For the eighth year running, The Rotary Club of Hillsborough hosted an Operation Shoebox packing event at the Hillsborough YMCA that brought out hundreds of community volunteers, young and old, to put together  packages of popular snacks and toiletries not readily available abroad.
“A caring message and a few simple pleasures from home can make a big difference to our service men and women serving abroad,” commented Tricia Marciano, president of The Rotary Club of Hillsborough.  “The hundreds of community members who responded to our invitation to participate clearly share our commitment to remember and support our troops.”
The annual packing event draws hundreds of community volunteers who help assemble the food items and toiletries that fill the many boxes that are then shipped overseas to our troops.  Volunteers from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, veteran and service organizations, and entire families come out each year to show their support. To help make the event festive and fun, there is a DJ, free hot dogs and drinks, sales of handmade crafts, and a raffle.  
To help offset the cost of shipping the care packages abroad, the Rotary Club of Hillsborough donated $2,000 to Operation Shoebox and presented the check to the organization President, Rod Hirsch, during the packing event. Anyone wishing to contribute to this cause can do so by writing a check to Operation Shoebox, 152 Route 206, Hillsborough 08844.  
Operation Shoebox New Jersey, based in Hillsborough, was founded in February 2005. It is an all-volunteer grass roots organization dedicated to collecting donated supplies and shipping care packages to U.S. troops based in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Middle East countries.  Operation Shoebox seeks donations of food and personal care items that are placed in personal care packages shipped to members of the US military deployed overseas. Requested items include canned tuna, canned fruit, 1 oz. boxes of cereal, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, beef jerky, small bags of pretzels and chips, small tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes, small packets of moist wipes, soap, deodorant, small canisters of powder and small bottles of shampoo.