Trick-or-treating for the troops

Halloween is just around the corner. You’ve bought the candy (put that piece down that you’re about to pop in your mouth!). You’ve decorated and carved your pumpkins. The kids’ costumes are on fleek. Now, you wait for that special time of year when kids transform into their favorite Disney princess (my 3-year-old just discovered Elsa), ninja, pirate, or other badass superhero or villain.

Ship your candy directly

Alternatively, you may also ship your candy directly to each of the organizations:

Soldiers’ Angels

Soldiers’ Angels requests that you fill out this form to receive details on how and when to ship your goodies.

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude must receive your donation no later than Nov. 15.

Send your package to:

Operation Gratitude

21100 Lassen Street

Chatsworth, CA 91311

Attn: Angel Cuevas/Receiving (818) 469-0448


But let’s talk about what happens after the trick-or-treating; when mountains of candy are emptied onto your living room floor. Parents, what do you do? You could allow the kids to consume candy until their bellies ache. You could wait for them to sleep and pull a “Jimmy Kimmel.” Or, you pay it forward for a good cause. Let’s focus on the latter, shall we?

Have you ever heard of a candy buy back? Traditionally, these are held at local businesses like dental offices with the goal of taking away excess Halloween candy from kids while supporting our troops.

There are two great organizations that support our troops using your extra candy: Halloween Candy Buy Back in partnership with Soldiers’ Angels and Operation Gratitude.

While it’s unlikely you will convince your kids to give up all their candy, in donating some, they will learn a few great life lessons:

The importance of dental hygiene and the harmful effects of too much sugar.

What a great feeling it is to help others.

How rewarding it feels to earn some dough.

To find a participating buy back dentist, orthodontist or other business in your area, use the ZIP code search on the links above. Contact them to find out the date, time and details of their event.

Your kiddos will receive $1 per pound for donations weighing between 3-5 lbs (weight may vary at each donation location). And not only will the charities receive your candy donations, but they’ll also receive donated toothbrushes and toothpaste.

After participating, trick-or-treating will take on a whole new meaning for your kids as they learn and practice the gift of giving and helping others. And just in time for Thanksgiving!

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