HILLSBOROUGH: YMCA asks for donations to four groups

Operation Shoebox, Jersey Cares, Food Bank and SHIP will benefit

   The Somerset Valley YMCA is asking for coats, food, and supermarket gift cards, as well as supplies to send to troops overseas, to four community organizations:
   They are:
   Operation Shoebox: Many of the men and women who protect our country won’t be able to spend time with their families this year because they’ll be overseas. You can volunteer on Dec. 7 to help pack these items. Volunteers will start arriving at our Hillsborough branch around 8 a.m., and the packing begins at 10 a.m. To volunteer, contact 908-369-0490.
   Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP): The SVY swim team has “adopted” 148 children for gift giving at the holidays. Swim team mom and coordinator Ellen Sanders said the need was great this year (the team helped 50 kids last year).
   While the team has the kids covered, Ms. Sanders asked for donations of Shop Rite, Stop & Shop or Pathmark supermarkets gift cards for the guardians, who number about 70. If you wish to contribute, drop off a card before Dec. 7 to volunteers at Y branches on:
   — Dec. 3, Bridgewater, 7-7:45 p.m., Somerville, 8:30-9:30 p.m.;
   — Dec. 4, Hillsborough 6-6:45 p.m., Bridgewater, 8:45-9 p.m.;
   — Dec. 5, Hillsborough, 6-6:45 p.m., Bridgewater, 4-4:30 p.m. and 8:30 -9:15 p.m., RVCC 8-8:30 p.m.;
   — Dec. 6, Bridgewater 7:30-8 p.m.
   Food Bank: The Food Bank of Somerset County has an urgent need for donations. Donation bins are located at each of the Y’s three branches. Drop canned sweet potatoes, canned gravy, canned cranberries, instant mashed potatoes and instant stuffing in the bins at each branch.
   Jersey Cares Coat Drive: Donate a coat to the Y’s Bridgewater branch for the Jersey Cares coat drive through Jan. 31. There is a high need for children’s winter coats, but all coats are welcome.
   ”At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. There is no better time than the holidays for us to make a meaningful impact in our own neighborhood by supporting organizations in need,” said Paul Kieltyka, the YMCA’s CEO.
   The Somerset Valley YMCA has branches in Bridgewater (601 Garretson Road), Somerville (2 Green St.) and Hillsborough (19 E. Mountain Road).
   For information, see www.ymcasomersetvalley.org.