Monday, October 10, 2011

Why send candy to troops?

The planning for our 4th Annual Great Candy Buy Back is well underway.  As a reminder, here are the details:

Tuesday, Nov 1st
4pm - 7pm
Children will get a dollar for each pound of candy they bring in.   We'll also be handing out goody bags with Firefly toothbrushes and other fun stuff!
Parents will be able to enter to win prizes.
Candy will be shipped to troops overseas through Operation Gratitude

Dr. Jared got a question via e-mail the other day about our buy back that he'd like us to share with everyone:

I have a really good question. Why do you want the troops overseas to eat the candy the kids get at Halloween? Adults get cavities too and are prone to obesity and hyperactivity if they eat too much candy. This doesn't make any sense to me.

Here is our response:

You do, indeed, ask a very good question.  I want to reassure you that we do care about the oral health of not only the children in our area, but the adults who are courageously serving the US in hostile countries.

We have chosen Operation Gratitude as the organization that we go through to recognize our appreciation for our country's soldiers. The care packages that Operation Gratitude assembles fit into a 12" x 12" x 5" box. This box could probably hold 3-5 lbs of candy.  The packages, however, are not made entirely of candy.  The care packages include other things such as DVDs, stuffed animals, stacks of greeting cards, socks, scarves, CDs, and more.  I would estimate that none of the packages contain more than 2 lbs of candy.  Some of the kids that bring in candy bring in less than 2 lbs.  Most, however, bring in plenty more.  In most cases, we're distributing the candy from one child to multiple service members.

Although there is no way to track what the one service member does with the one package they receive, I am told that the items in these care packages are often shared with the other members of their team.  There are also reports of troops using the candy to befriend the children in the areas in which they serve, making their territory just a bit less hostile.  So, of the up to 2 lbs of candy that is delivered to one member of the military, it is likely that it is not all eaten by that one individual. 

Another way that we mitigate the effects of the candy on the recipient is by sending toothbrushes and toothpaste to Operation Gratitude.  In the last few years, we've shipped almost 300 toothbrushes and tubes of  toothpaste to be included in the holiday care packages.

The price of the candy and shipping charges are well worth it to us.  Check out these videos that show how amazing this cause is:

In conclusion,  Dr. Evans believes that candy should be enjoyed by children who have trick-or-treated to earn it, but it is not healthy for anybody to enjoy it in excess.  His suggestion:  Eat a little, save a little to enjoy for the few days following Halloween and then get rid of the rest before having candy daily becomes a habit that is hard to change.  Why not turn that excess candy into a good deed for another?  We're happy to buy that candy from children to give it to others who will be uplifted by the gesture and who should enjoy it, as well.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us again!

What do you think?  Should we reconsider our efforts to buy back candy and send to troops?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.