Too much Halloween candy? After each scary holiday I am always wondering how I am going to get rid of all that candy that my kids brought home. Some of it will be eaten, sure, but just one look at the number of calories in an average Halloween haul and you'll want to make sure the bulk of it goes anywhere besides your family members' stomachs.
There are a number of creative ways to get rid of Halloween candy, like using it for crafts or science experiments or having the dentist take it in exchange for a small toy. But perhaps the best thing to do with Halloween candy is donate it. That way your kids can enjoy a truly special treat: the feeling of helping others. Here are a few ideas for donating unopened candy:
Operation Gratitude - www.operationgraditude.com
Operation Gratitude sends more than 100,000 care packages annually to U.S. troops stationed overseas and to their children left behind, as well as veterans. 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.
Ronald McDonald House Charities - www.rmhc.org
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 Shoebox - www.operationshoebox.com
Another organization that collects and sends care packages to troops overseas is Operation Shoebox. What is unique about this charity is that it accepts individually wrapped candies all year long.
Throughout each city there are soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries and retirement/nursing homes that would welcome the donations. Many take donations of unopened candy for residents and guests. It's worth calling to find out if they accept treats, which your kids can deliver with a note.