Teaching children the value of giving back by donating Halloween candy in support of Operation Gratitude is a win-win for kids, parents and dentists, according to representatives from the Coffee County Veterans Organization.

The organization is looking for donations of unopened Halloween candy to be used for a variety of service efforts.

“The Coffee County Veterans Organization has joined with the national Operation Gratitude to help send care packages to our service members, as well as to help local first responders and the children of needy families,” said CVV Spokesperson Travis Parker. “Please bring all unopened, leftover candy to our local drop-off point at WVVL 101 radio station, right by the Boll Weevil Monument. The candy that can’t be sent to our service members and first responders will be donated to Hand Up Enterprise for local distribution.

“Kids like candy 365 days a year, so none will go to waste.”

Local trick-or-treaters will join kids across the country when they donate their extra Halloween candy to Operation Gratitude. The sweet treats will be included in care packages — along with handwritten thank-you letters — sent to U.S. service members deployed overseas and hand-delivered to veterans and first responders serving in their local communities.

Americans spend an estimated $2.5 billion dollars on a whopping 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year. In 2018, more than 440,000 pounds of candy were donated to Operation Gratitude and distributed to America’s heroes in signature Operation Gratitude care packages and local deliveries around the country.

“Operation Gratitude’s mission is to thank all who serve, forging strong bonds between grateful Americans and the heroes who serve and protect them,” according to Kevin Schmiegel, CEO of Operation Gratitude. “The Halloween Candy Give-Back Program provides every American child the opportunity to learn about service, sacrifice and generosity.”

Candy and handwritten “thank you” letters for deployed service members, veterans, and first responders will be collected at WVVL 101 Radio Station through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you can’t deliver, call 494-7846 for a pick-up.

Operation Gratitude is a national nonprofit organization that provides tangible ways to forge strong bonds between American and the military/first responders through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide.

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