This year, after going to a parade over the weekend, Sarah received loads of candy. She then trick-or-treated with friends from school in their neighborhood and garnered even more candy. Then, she knocked on the doors of our friendly neighbors and received even more sweet treats.
While Sarah enjoys receiving chocolates and candy, she especially loves getting dressed up and having fun with her friends. For her, Halloween is the longest ever play date.
So now, with a heaping pile of candy, enough to make anyone sick if too much is consumed, a decision needs to be made on what to do with it all.
I am not cruel. Sarah gets to keep a heaping pile of candy in her pumpkin that she then gets a piece or two of in her lunch every day.
I shared with her an idea about an organization I learned about called Operation Gratitude that started in 2003 and sends over 200,000 care packages a year including food, magazines, hygiene products and homemade items to military personnel around the world. In 2007, they started an initiative called the Halloween Candy Program. It started with 300 dentists from around the country donating as much as 20,000 pounds of candy to the troops. The program has grown to collect well over 500,000 pounds of candy annually from various business, schools and community organizations.
For the next 10 days between November 1 and 10, all the extra candy we have can be dropped off at specific locations where they will be packaged up and shipped to the troops and first responders to help lift the morale of many men and women who protect and serve us daily.
How to get involved?
Visit Operation Gratitude’s Halloween Candy Donations website here and enter your zip code. Call the location closest to you and confirm participation, dates and hours available prior to taking your donation.
Our phone call has been made and tomorrow morning three heaping bags of candy will be dropped off.
Hope you had a fun and safe Halloween. Consider a donation to Operation Gratitude. It's a great way to teach kids how to give back.