NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- If you have mountains of Halloween candy, Kool Smiles is just one of many dental offices in the state collecting candy for the troops. They are partnering with Operation Gratitude a national organization that gives thanks to the troops overseas by sending care packages and candy.
“Kool Smiles has been part of this for a about five years now. We’ve collected tons of candy over the years. Last year we collected three tons of candy,” Rick McCarthy with Kool Smiles said.
In return for the unopened candy kids can pick out a toy.
“The kids come in, bring the candy in and it promotes good oral hygiene for them and it shows our support to giving to the troops overseas,” said McCarthy.
Over 130 Kool Smiles locations take part in Operation Gratitude. Last year, Kool Smiles collected three tons of candy. They hope to collect even more candy this year.
“We had a lady last year that brought in bags of candy days after Halloween just saw the story and didn’t want any of the toys that we gave out just wanted to come in and show her support,” McCarthy added.
Kids can bring in 25 pieces of unopened candy in return for one toy. Kids have until November 5 to trade in the candy. After its collected it ends up at a distribution center in California. The candy is sorted and sent to the troops.
Doctors say it’s a way to give back to the troops and make kids a little healthier.
“That really helps to promote oral hygiene overall, overall health and doing something or the troops,” said Dr. Smruti Deshpande.
It’s a win win for the kids and the troops and you don’t have to be a patient to participate. Troops will receive candy along with dental kits.