How you can return candy, support troops, make money
The (Shelby, N.C.) Star
A servicemember lifts the lid of a care package. Inside is an array of Halloween candy and personal letters of thanks. He tears up, thinking of his children back at home, who just celebrated Halloween a few weeks ago. This is Operation Gratitude. Every year after Halloween, Operation Gratitude partners with dentist offices across the nation to do a Halloween Candy Buy Back.
“The idea is to buy back the candy and then Operation Gratitude sends it to the troops all over the world,” said Tammy Walker at Hounshell Family Dentistry.
The office, located on Patton Drive in Shelby, has partnered with the organization for its first Halloween Candy Buy Back.
“We plan on making it an annual event,” she said. “They’re calling for rain, so we’re going to hold it inside our lobby and reception area."
Children will get $1 for every pound of candy they donate to the troops. Any type of candy will be accepted, but later sorted to make sure it can be shipped.
“We’ll by it all back, any kind of candy,” Walker said. “We’ll also be doing some raffles. Local businesses have donated gift cards and different things. Wendy’s has donated cards for Frosties and Dairy Queen has donated cards for free ice cream cones.”
Each child will also get a specific raffle ticket for every pound donated, which will be entered into a grand-prize drawing.
Walker said the buy back helps keep kids healthy, but also teaches them something valuable.
"The kids realize they’re doing something for the troops. It’s just setting an example of giving back," she said.
Kids can bring in unopened Halloween candy, and Hounshell Family Dentistry will buy it back for $1 per pound. They will then send the candy to Operation Gratitude, who will ship it to troops serving around the world.
Each child will get a ticket for a grand prize for each pound of candy donated.
What is Operation Gratitude?
- Operation Gratitude annually sends out more than 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation to U.S. troops.
- They address the packages to individually named U.S. service members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to veterans, first responders, wounded warriors and their care givers.
- Their mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people.
Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 915,000 packages to American Military members.