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Candy for a cause: Donate extra Halloween candy to deployed troops, first responders

Photo: MGN

Taking candy from children is usually frowned upon, but teaching kids the value of giving back by donating their extra Halloween candy in support of troops and first responders sounds like a win-win for everyone.

This Halloween, Operation Gratitude said local trick-or-treaters can join kids across the nation and bring their candy and handwritten letters of appreciation to Cook Family Dentistry.

The goodies will then be shipped to Operation Gratitude to be a part of care packages for U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. The candy will also be given to local first responders.

"This is a great way to give back to those who are serving overseas in the military and those who are serving our communities as first responders," said Dr. Cassidy Cook with Operation Gratitude. "We're happy to give back to them in some small way by donating extra candy and toothbrushes and we hope it makes them smile."

Americans spend an estimated $2.5 billion dollars on a whopping 600 million pounds of Halloween Candy each year. In 2016 alone, 533,891 pounds of that candy was sent to Operation Gratitude for distribution through its Care Package Programs.

If you want to take part in the project, you can drop off your items at Cook Family Dentistry at 2441 U.S. Highway 98 Street in Santa Rosa Beach. They'll be collecting candy and letters until Wednesday, November 8.

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