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Thursday, November 1, 2012

An Option for All That Halloween Candy

If you work at home, like me, and have children, like me, you are perhaps struggling (or will be soon if you live in the area hit by Hurricane Sandy) to stay away from their giant bags laden with Halloween candy. As always, the Milky Ways are calling my name.

So you may be interested to know about a program called “Halloween Candy Buyback.” Under the program, dentists across the country agree to take your children's excess candy, and forward it on to “Operation Gratitude,” a nonprofit group that packs it into care packages for United States troops serving overseas.

Some dentists offer a financial incentive, like paying youngsters a dollar a pound, while others simply take the candy off your hands. You can find participating dentists by going to the Web site and typing in your ZIP code. (It's always best to call ahead before showing up with your collection, to find out details and to confirm the deadline for dropping off the candy.)

If no dentists in your area are participating, you can still ship the candy yourself to Operation Gratitud. (No financial incentives are offered for this option, and the shipping costs are on you.) Organizers ask that you separate chocolate from nonchocolate candy, to avoid problems with melting.

Candy collected from the Halloween drive ends up in packages that arrive for the December holidays, said Rich Hernandez, who helps oversee operations for Operation Gratitude in Van Nuys, Calif. He said he expected to begin receiving hundreds of boxes of candy daily, starting next week. While many troops are coming home, there are still thousands of service men and women in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Africa and aboard aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf region, he said.

What are you doing with all of that Halloween candy? Do you plan to keep it all?