Trick or treating is no doubt, the best part of Halloween.
Even the sweetest sweet tooth doesn’t need all those Kit Kat, Skittles, and Twizzlers…
I normally just take the boys’ Halloween candy and give it to all the guys at my gym, but this year, I discovered a great alternative for a great cause: Operation Gratitude.
Operation Gratitude has a Halloween Candy Buy Back Program which accepts Halloween candy from neighborhood kids, then sends it to the troops overseas!
Many dental offices participate in the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program. Participating dental offices give children toothbrushes, money, coupons and other incentives in exchange for their candy, which are then donated to Operation Gratitude.
You can find the closest dental office location here.
The headquarters of Operation Gratitude is in California, and you can also deliver your candy in person.
In addition to candy, they also accept and encourage donations of:
~ Commercially-sealed Lip Balm
~ Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
~ Dental Floss
~ Mouthwash (Travel-size)
Operation Gratitude sends over 100,000 care package to our overseas military a year. They say the most cherished items are hand written letters. They encourage children to include a letter with their donation. Here are their suggestions for letter writing:
Start your letter with a salutation, such as “Dear Service Member” or “Dear Hero”.
Express your thanks for their selfless service.
Share a little about yourself.
Talk about life back home: sports, movies, weather, pets, hobbies, pets, music
Draw a picture or painting.
Since the Operation Gratitude headquarters is in LA, the boys and I were excited to hand deliver items for the troops.
Mo and B enjoyed going to the National Guard armory to donate their candy in person.
The volunteers were so friendly and appreciative. Mo even got a thank you letter on the spot.
Although the minimum age to volunteer at the armory is 14 years old, kids of any age can collect and donate candy and supplies.
Kids are also encouraged to do letter writing and art work campaigns with their friends and classmates.