Halloween is a yearly ritual for a lot of fun loving folks. From carving jack o’lanterns, to watching creepy movies, to picking out costumes, and collecting candy, Halloween is a holiday that everyone can enjoy. But now that Halloween is over, a lot of people are now overloaded with too much Halloween candy. Too much candy can lead to a dilemma. Should you or your kids eat the candy and risk gaining weight and ruining your teeth? Or do you throw it away and feel guilty for wasting perfectly good treats that someone spent good money to buy?
If you’re facing this dilemma right now, the Halloween Candy Buy Back program may be a good solution for you. Across America, participating dentists are buying back Halloween candy for cash or prizes, then sending the candy to Operation Gratitude, an organization that supports military troops serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s a win/win proposal. Service Members get a little taste of home and a morale boost. Kids get to trade in some of that excess candy for cash or cool prizes. They also get to spare their teeth and growing bodies the adverse effects of consuming too much sugar.
How does the program work?
Check out the Halloween Candy Buy Back program’s official Web site. You will be able to input your zip code to see which dentists in your area are participating in the program. If there are no dentists participating near you, why not show your dentist the Web site and plant the idea in his or her head for next year?
Even if your dentist isn’t participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, you can still participate at home. According to a recent news article, dentists Nalin and Arpan Patel in Pennsylvania are paying kids one dollar for every pound of candy they turn in. You can do the same thing or something similar with your kids. Have them trade in some of their excess candy for money, coupons for a special treat or outing, or perhaps a new toy. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Then you can send the candy to a group that might appreciate it, like Operation Gratitude.
Isn’t all that candy just as bad for troops as it is for kids?
It’s true that no one really needs to eat a lot of candy and people in the military are no exception to that rule. And troops do have to maintain their physical condition in order to stay ready for their duties overseas. The difference is, military service members are adults who have presumably been taught how to keep their mouths clean and healthy. Most trick-or-treaters are kids who are still learning the importance of brushing and flossing.
People in the military are also required to pass physical fitness tests in order to keep their jobs; therefore, most of them already know how important it is not to gain too much weight. Today’s kids, on the other hand, are fighting a terrific battle against childhood obesity and are just now learning about good health habits. Having a big sack of tempting candy sitting around for weeks after Halloween is likely to make adopting those habits a little harder for them.
Are you a dentist or a business owner?
This is the kind of program that is great for building goodwill and cooperation within a community. If you’re a dentist, you can make some phone calls to local business owners to see if some of them might want to donate prizes to your Halloween Candy Buy Back program. If you’re a business owner, you can work with local dentists to donate money or prizes to make the Halloween Candy Buy Back program a big success.
Business owners can also donate postage or packing materials to box up the candy or send in volunteers to help do the work of administering the program. Together, business owners and dentists can help keep the kids in your community healthier while teaching kids about the importance of working together for a greater good.
Hurdle, John (November 2, 2010). “Dentists offer Halloween candy buyback program” Retrieved from http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101102/od_nm/us_dentists_candy