NewsLocal News


Five ways to donate leftover Halloween candy to sweeten an ill child's or overseas soldier's day

Operation Gratitude sends candy to troops overseas
Posted at 2:51 AM, Nov 01, 2017

Treat for trade. Halloween may be over but if your kid got too much candy or has leftovers, you can exchange it for all kinds of stuff.

Tina Boyer says her son loves his candy.

"During trick-or-treating, I have no idea how many pieces of candy my son has already been inhaling during the night then we get home and he still wants to eat more and it’s wrappers everywhere," Boyer said.

It ends up all over the house and the candy seems to find its way to kids' parents.

"I love the little Butterfingers, so then I'm getting into it," Boyer said, laughing.

It is the night of ruining diets and breaking bed times. That is why starting November 1st donating the massive amount of leftovers is made easy by businesses all over the Tampa Bay area.

"Were not trying to get all of your candy, we just want majority of the candy," said Jennifer Cespedes, officer manager at Advanced Dental Care of Tampa  

Cespedes says their donations go to Operation Gratitude. The non-profit organization ships the candy to troops overseas. The kids and adults get treated with toothpaste and floss for their donations.

"Cavity protection of course! And then we put a brush, it could be any color - green, pink, red, whatever you like," Cespedes said.

Last year, their offices around the country donated more than 4,000 pounds of candy.

Boyer says if kids at Mitchell Elementary School bring in a gallon of candy, they will get a "thankful" spirit stick. It is a token of appreciation, teaching them how to give back to the community and folks fighting for our country. 

Dr. Randall Diez gives kids money to donate their candy.

"For the kids that are ages 3 to 10, because I know it’s hard for them to part from their candy, when they bring in their candy, for every pound that they donate they will get a dollar from him," notes Boyer, who said Dr. Diez also collects the candy donated to Mitchell Elementary and brings it up to Operation Gratitude in Wesley Chapel..

To find an Operation Gratitude candy drop-off location near you, click here and type in your zip code.

Soldiers Angels also does Treats for Troops.

The Ronald McDonald House takes donated candy and gives it to severely ill children and their parents during treatments.

You can also plug in your zip code for the Halloween Candy Buy Back and get incentives for donating candy.