Kids donate Halloween candy to the troops

Nov 29, 2012
The kindergarten students at Frankfort Elementary School won their school’s candy challenge, collecting 18 pounds of candy.

When a 5-year-old doesn’t eat any of his Halloween candy, you know something important is going to happen to it. “It’s going to the troops,” said one such little boy, as he returned home from trick-or-treating last month and asked his parents if they thought it would be okay if he ate one piece.

He certainly wasn’t alone. Children who attend the Captain Albert Stevens School in Belfast; the Ames and Weymouth schools in Searsmont and Morrill; Frankfort Elementary School and Searsport Elementary School in Regional School Unit 20 collected more than 255 pounds of Halloween candy to send to the troops.

After the candy was delivered in big boxes to Waldo County General Hospital, the hospital forwarded it to Operation Gratitude in Encino, Calif. Operation Gratitude then sends it in care packages to American troops overseas.

The Halloween Candy Buy Back program was started four years ago by a dentist from Wisconsin, who offered to buy back his littlest patients’ leftover loot for $1 a pound. Thousands of dentists participate in the buy back every year. Last year, they collected 122,000 pounds of candy.

The Halloween Candy Buy Back program partnered with Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individual service members. Their mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people.

The interesting thing about the Halloween candy sent from the RSU 20 students is that they weren’t part of a buy back program. The children handed over their candy with no money or gift certificates in play.

The only thing some of the students stood to gain from the 5210 Great Candy Challenge was an extra recess for the class at their school that collected the most candy. Still, they donated more than 255 pounds of candy and wrote letters and drew pictures thanking the troops for their service to their nation and wishing them happy holidays.

“Thank you very much for fighting for our country! I hope you like the candy. I know you will get this in a while so Merry Christmas,” wrote one little girl.

“Thank you for protection,” said a little boy, who also drew a picture of a helicopter.

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