Send Your Candy to the Troops
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Send Your Candy to the Troops

Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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halloween-candy-in-bowl-590Want to limit the amount of Halloween candy your children will eat and contribute to a good cause at the same time? Send some of that Halloween candy to the troops. Show your gratitude to the men and women who are serving in the military by sending them some treats.

One could make the argument that children get at least a little exercise as they walk from house to house while trick-or-treating. The amount of exercise can be quickly overshadowed by the amount of calories and sugar that come from eating the Halloween candy that they collected.

Many parents take steps to limit the amount of Halloween candy their children get to keep. There are many ways to do it. A really good one is to encourage your kids to send (at least some of) their candy to the troops. Help them develop their altruistic side by sharing a treat with the men and women who serve in the military.

Operation Shoebox
Operation Shoebox collects donated items and puts them into care packages for the troops. They send these care packages 50 weeks a year. Volunteers at Operation Shoebox will happily accept candy donations of Halloween candy (and Easter candy, and Christmas candy, too).

Send individually wrapped candies. They point out that heat-resistant candy is best in warm seasons. Mail your donated Halloween candy to:

Operation Shoebox
8360 East Highway 25
Belleview, FL 34420

Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude sends out at least 100,000 care packages to the troops every year. The packages are filled with snacks, entertainment items, and personal letters of appreciation. You must print out a donation form with every carton you send to Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude is able to send “Wish List” items all year round. Halloween candy is on that list. However, they ask that you ship your donation of Halloween candy to them by mid-November. Send your donated items, and the donation form, to

Operation Gratitude / California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys CA 91406
Attn: Angel Cuevas / Receiving (800) 651 8031

Dentist Halloween Candy BuyBack
The Halloween Candy Buy Back started in 2008. Your child can bring his or her Halloween candy to a participating dentist. (Check their website to find the nearest one). Dentists “buy” back the Halloween candy with cash, coupons, toothbrushes and more. Some have teamed up with local businesses so they can offer food and service prizes. The candy is sent to the troops via Operation Gratitude. A toothbrush will be sent along with the candy donation.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.