Many of the service men and women stationed in Colorado Springs are deployed overseas in Afghanistan. Every year they receive holiday care packages through Operation Gratitude which include Halloween candy donated by children and their parents from their excess trick or treat bounty. This year 170,000 packages will be sent to the troops which includes appproximately125 tons of candy. The troops enjoy the candy and often they give the candy to the children they encounter. Operation Gratitude will reach the one million package milestone this year.
Operation Gratitude annually sends care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Wounded Warriors recuperating in Transition Units. Our 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. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 725,000 packages to American Military deployed overseas.
Cheyenne Mountain Dental Center has supported this worthwhile program from its beginning in 2007. Each year they set a goal to exceed the previous year’s total donated amount. Children bringing in their excess Halloween bounty receive $1.00 per pound of candy donated to Operation Gratitude, plus each child receives a free gift bag with a Firefly flashing light toothbrush and other tooth healthy goodies.
Last year’s Halloween candy buyback was very successful thanks to the generosity of dozens of kids who exchanged their excess Halloween candy for dollars and cool flashing toothbrushes. Interested children are invited to bring their unopened candy to Cheyenne Mountain Dental Center. Last year they brought in 227 pounds of candy!
The local Colorado Springs sponsor for the Halloween candy buyback, as in years past, is Cheyenne Mountain Dental Center located in Southwest Colorado Springs close to Fort Carson at 1803 B street. We are teaming up with Playdate Behaviorial Interventions this year and are excited to work with them on this community project. They can be reached 719-465-3989
In addition to candy, Operation Gratitude states that the troops can also use lip balm, small stuffed toys, hand knit scarves and hats, beef jerky, socks, energy bars and personal thank you letters.
Cheyenne Mountain Dental Center ships all donations along with toothbrushes to Operation Gratitude who will put together the care packages. The staff at Cheyenne Mountain Dental Center wishes to sincerely thank in advance everyone that gets involved with this worthy effort to support out troops. Call 719-576-1730 for more detailed information.