Is November 1st too soon to talk about getting rid of Halloween candy? Yeah, not for me either! Trick-or-treating was fun and we had a great time celebrating Halloween for pretty much the whole month of October, but today we’re left with entirely too much candy for our household.
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of some of your candy stash that also gives your family an opportunity to have a conversation about giving to others, try sending some of that stash to Operation Gratitude’s Halloween Candy Program. Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Your excess Halloween candy can help to lift the spirits of a member of the Active Duty or Veteran community.
While war and politics are far from my 4-year-old’s mind, he is aware that service members are protectors. We were in line for coffee two days ago and witnessed a customer purchase the coffee and sandwich of the uniformed service member in line behind her. My son and I had a conversation about how the girl with the purple hair saw his uniform and wanted to show him she appreciated his service. Always open to providing my son a way to “do something”, today as we sorted through his candy I brought up the girl with the purple hair and the service member again and asked if he wanted to share his candy. He happily agreed – generously dividing the different types of candy among himself (some for mommy and daddy…) and what would be sent to Operation Gratitude with a picture and note from him. As we worked we talked about giving to and serving others, and taking care of animals and people. We looked at the images on the site of individuals receiving care packages and he was particularly struck by the candy being handed out to children in another country – his letter specifically requested that some of the candy was to be shared with the children. As we talked, he asked “What do we protect?” and answered his own question with “We protect the Earth and the plants and animals.” Yep, that sounds right to me.
If you’d like to know more about how to send Halloween candy to Operation Gratitude, check out their website or Facebook page – they ask for the donations before November 15th so you have plenty of time if you aren’t as anxious as I am to send off the stash. Remember to sort and package the candy as they request, sign only the child’s first name to letters and pictures, fill out the donation form, and to send to the specific address they request:
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406-5438
ATTN: Halloween Candy/Angel Cuevas
Instead of mailing, you can also go to their Halloween candy “buy” back site and enter your zip-code to find a drop off location near you.
Thank you from Luke-Skywalker-Stormtrooper (you know, from the very specific Star Wars scene when Princess Leia was rescued from the first Death Star…)!!!