Did trick or treating leave your kids with more candy than they could possibly consume? Did you get fewer trick or treaters than expected and end up with a bowl of sweet treats?
Kids can donate their candy at dentists offices and other locations. Candy and personal care items (along with other goodies) will be sent to troops overseas and first responders serving our country through Operation Gratitude.
Operation Gratitude sends 15,000+ care packages annually with snacks, treats, entertainment items, hygiene, handmade goodies and personal letters and cards to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.
This is a great opportunity to talk about the ways that others serve us and the small ways that we can help them. It is easy to relate to the simple joy that can be found in a Reese’s cup or a box of Nerds. There’s probably even someone that will delight in that mini package of candy corn!
You can even take it a level up and have kids can talk to their friends and neighbors to see if they’d like to participate in sending their candy to Operation Gratitude also. Including letters, drawings, and cards can help to further personalize the experience and make a greater connection to the act of donating beyond the reward offered by some of the collection locations. These simple acts of kindness can help fill up our kids’ hearts and give them a head start on the spirit of giving of the upcoming holiday season.
Some candy guidelines that Operation Gratitude appreciates those sending candy follow:
DON’T purchase the clearance Halloween candy after the holiday to send. They suggest other ways to help if you don’t have extra but would like to contribute here: Get Involved
DO send only individual treat/snack/bite-sized candy in factory sealed original packaging.
DO include a variety of candies!
DON’T include any powdery candies like Pixy Stix, they tend to make a mess in packages.
DO limit the pounds of candy if you ship your candy for troops on your own!
If you’re so moved, you can also send candy independently! Operation Gratitude asks that boxes are less than 30lbs and 24x24x20 or smaller. Line the boxes with larger plastic bags or seal candy in zip-top bags. If you’d like to send along personal items for deployed troops, keep them separated from the candy. No one wants a deodorant scented candy bars! Place any letters, pictures, or cards into an envelope or plastic bag. Skip priority shipping and do not send any financial donations along with the candy.
The shipping address is:
PO Box 260257
Encino, CA 91426-0257
Bundle up that extra candy and make a couple thank you cards for our brave troops and head over to one of these locations!
UW Oshkosh Veterans Resource Center
Candy donations accepted October 23 – November 6th at the following locations:
UWO Veterans Resource Center
Dempsey Hall, room 130
Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh
501 E. Parkway Ave, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Winnebago County Veterans Services
211 N Commercial St, Neenah WI
Dental offices buying candy or collecting treats for troops and first responders:
4660 W. College Avenue, Appleton, Wisconsin
Bring in your treats for troops on Friday, November 1, 2019, from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm and Monday, November 4, 2019, from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
more info on Facebook
430 Main St, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Drop off candy from Friday, November 1, 2019 until Thursday, November 7, 2019: 12 pm for $1/pound (up to 5 pounds) for Operation Gratitude.
Green Bay Family Dental
2609 Development Drive, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Bring in your candy to their Halloween candy buy back event on November 4, 2019 from 3:30 – 5 pm and November 5, 2109 from 3:30 – 5 pm. $1 per pound up to $5 (children must be present; wear your costume for a chance to win a prize). Parents can drop off candy through Friday, November 2nd but will not be eligible for payments or prizes.
1720 Congress Ave, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
On Saturday, November 9, 2019 Glacier Dental will host a Halloween Candy Buy Back event from 10 am – 1 pm. Every pound donated earns you or your child $1. All candy donated goes directly to the troops serving overseas. In addition, each donor will receive a tooth-care goodie bag and an entry ticket into our Kid’s Oral B Toothbrush raffle! Other care packages and donations for troops will also be accepted.
MAC Dental Center
704 S Webster Ave, Ste 402, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Bring candy in for a chance to win prizes and gift bags from Friday, November 1 – Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
828 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin
N1734 Lily of the Valley Dr, Greenville, Wisconsin
Drop off Halloween candy at either the Greenville or Appleton location in exchange for a sugar-free lollipop until November 6, 2019! Candy, along with handwritten drawings and/or letters your kids would like to provide will be included in care packages sent to troops overseas, veterans and first responders!
Looking for a dentist specializing in pediatric dentistry? Check out our reader recommendations here.