To most kids, the idea of having too much candy will never register as a problem. Most parents, however, have had enough bellyaches and trips to the dentist to understand that candy overload is real, especially around Halloween.
Kids race around the neighborhood to knock on as many doors as possible, with the more generous neighbors offering more than one piece of candy. Other times, the neighbors have left a bowl with a note to take just one piece, but sneaking an extra piece seems harmless.
All of this, coupled with parents’ tendencies to overstock their own houses for possible trick-or-treaters, leads to having too much candy lying around. Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem that go beyond simply eating every piece in sight. Here are a few ways to donate your extra candy for others to enjoy.
Formed in 2003, Operation Gratitude sends care packages to soldiers, veterans and wounded heroes all over the world. For Halloween, the organization includes candy as part of its care packages. There are several locations in New York that are accepting candy on behalf of Operation Gratitude, including Dr. Glen’s Happy Teeth in Long Beach. Donors also have the option to ship their candy to the Operation Gratitude office in California. Visit www.operationgratitude.com to learn more.
Halloween Candy Buyback
Halloween Candy Buyback is another resource that collects candy donations for soldiers. Much like Operation Gratitude, it allows donors to give their candy to local businesses, often dentistry offices, who are collecting specifically for Halloween Candy Buyback. Alternatively, candy can be sent directly to Soldiers’ Angels, the distribution partner of Halloween Candy Buyback. Visit www.halloweencandybuyback.com to find a participating business near you.
Homeless Shelters and Retirement Homes
It’s important to remember that not everyone gets the chance to celebrate Halloween. Another nice way to ensure that your extra candy is being put to good use is to take it to your local homeless shelter. Retirement homes have become popular for so-called reverse trick-or-treating, in which kids in costumes give out candy to the elders.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House is known for its extensive charity work for ill children. They are especially active at this time of year, accepting candy donations to send to children’s hospitals. Not only is donating to the house a great way to give back, but it allows for every kid to experience the thrill of receiving their favorites on Halloween.
Just Plain Share
Giving candy to the sick, wounded or less fortunate can be an enriching experience, but with so much candy to go around, another option is to give some to friends, family or coworkers. Sometimes candy can be used for certain recipes that are ideal for parties. However creative your solution, it pays to make sure there’s plenty of candy for everyone, since chances are, there will be more than enough for ourselves.