Every Halloween my kids go through the neighborhood and collect a giant stash of candy, and every year we ask them to choose a couple favorites and turn the rest over to us. Typically we donate the extra to our church, but this year we also have an especially huge amount because of a low turn out of trick-or-treaters to our home. While we could take the candy and head to the dentist’s office to cash in, I decided to find other options as well. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
1. Operation Gratitude: Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization that sends care packages to the United States military. Each year they send 100,000 care packages to deployed U.S. service members as well as their children, wounded warriors, veterans, and first responders. They want your Halloween candy! While candy that ships well is preferred, one service member told me last night that she was a-okay with melted candy during her deployment. Visit their Halloween page to learn more about where to ship your candy.
2. Operation Shoebox: Similar to Operation Gratitude, Operation Shoebox sends care packages to troops deployed outside of the U.S. The care packages are each contained in a handmade cloth bag with a drawstring. They include not only snacks and goodies – like your Halloween candy! – but also letters, beanie babies for troops to hand out to kids in the deployment area, hygiene and stationery packets. Learn more at their Candy Donation page.
3. Operation Christmas Child: An initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child provides boxes of goodies plus a Bible to children around the world. Leftover non-melting Halloween candy is the perfect start for your OCC box! We’ll be adding toothbrushes, toothpaste, paper, crayons, socks, and small toys to ours and sending them off to Operation Christmas Child this month. To learn more visit the Operation Christmas Child homepage.
The month of November is the perfect time to think about giving to others as we celebrate Thanksgiving and move into the holiday season. This year I am once again supporting the 30 Day Giving Challenge with a group of blogging friends. May you be blessed as you share your blessings with others!