Halloween Treat Ideas
Be a 'Halloween Fairy'
A suggestion from Team ELM's Owner, Erika
When Erika was growing up, her mother would have her count up all of the candy that she got from Trick-or-Treating. She would have Erika put the candy by the foot of her bed in a bag and the next morning there would be money in place of where the bag once was the night before. The candy would end up miraculously at Erika's mom's office. The 'Halloween Fairy' would give her an equal amount of money to candy pieces for Erika to go to the store and pick out a halloween toy at the store. (For example: 100 pieces of candy= $1.00).
We wanted to share this tradition with you and to encourage two little twists.
1) The money your child received could purchase a gift of their choice or it could go to their savings for another item later on.
2) That night, you and your child could pick a worthy cause for your candy to be donated to and you could leave the 'Halloween Fairy' a note to donate it there.
Below are a list of places to donate.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
The Ronald McDonald House helps keep severely ill kids and their parents together during treatment. After Halloween, most locations accept donations of unopened candy for the families being served. You can search for your local chapter on the website, but call ahead to find out the rules for dropping off candy.
Operation Stars and Stripes
Founded in 2001 in memory of a Vietnam War hero, this all-volunteer nonprofit supports service members at home and abroad with care packages and letters. Packages of unopened candy can be sent to the organization's Georgia headquarters. Specific shipping info can be found on the website.
Operation Shoebox and Any Soldier
These are two more organizations that collect and send care packages to troops overseas. Operation Shoebox accepts individually wrapped candies all year long. Meanwhile, Any Soldier allows you to decide which branch of the armed forces you'd like to support: Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines.
Similar to Operation Gratitude, but smaller in scale, Soldiers' Angels organizes Treats for Troops annually and is aiming to collect 17,000 pounds worth of sugary sweets in 2017. Visit the website to find a donation drop-off point, or register to start a drive of your own.
Operation Gratitude and Halloween Candy Buy Back
Operation Gratitude sends care packages to U.S. troops stationed in overseas and first responders stateside. In 2016, the organization collected 533,891 pounds of candy to redistribute! The organization's mission is simple: to put a smile on soldiers' faces. The website contains other important shipping info, and kids are encouraged to include letters and pictures, too. Worried you won't get it together to send the candy by the mid-November deadline? Then consider the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, which benefits Operation Gratitude. Go to the website to search for a participating dentist near you who will accept candy in exchange for toothbrushes, coupons, and sometimes cash. Important note: It's imperative that you call ahead. Many dentists set certain buy back rules, like a maximum amount of candy, or specific drop-off hours. Get the details before you go!