One of the most exciting events we organize here at Huntington Bay Dental is our annual Halloween Candy Buy Back. That’s right, we buy back candy from children after they’ve gone trick or treating. Not only is it for a good cause, but it’s a fun way for children to learn that too much candy is not good for their teeth, and it’s an excellent way to teach them about moderation. This will be our fifth year buying back Halloween candy and donating it to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Children are encouraged to bring in their excess, unopened Halloween candy; it is then weighed on a scale and they are given one dollar for each pound they donate.
The candy brought into Huntington Bay Dental then gets packaged and shipped off to local soldiers currently serving overseas as a sweet reminder of home. For the fourth year in a row, we’ve teamed up with the “Cpl. Christopher G. Scherer: Leave No Marine Behind Project”. The family of Christopher Scherer started the project in honor of their son, a Marine who died in Iraq on July 21, 2007. All the donated candy and supplies are sent to Scherer’s fellow Marines in the First Combat Engineer Battalion, and to men and women from Long Island serving in all armed forces branches.
Why is it all right for the servicemen and women to have all that candy, but not children? Adults have a better grasp of how to not overdo it on sugary foods, like candy, while children are still learning and have a tendency to eat as much as they can. We use the Halloween Candy Buy Back to educate children about how some candy is ok, but too much can cause cavities and other health issues; it’s all about moderation. There are studies that link tooth decay with childhood obesity and diabetes. We make it fun for the children in the community by offering $1 for every pound they bring us and they feel good knowing that their candy is going to the soldiers that are protecting their country. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Individual children ages 3 to 16, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to participate. In years past, so many children chose to donate the candy and not accept the cash in return but to donate it back to the program to purchase supplies to send to the troops. We also encourage participants to draw a picture or write a letter or card to include in the packages to the soldiers. We’ve had a tremendous response from the community, collecting over 2,000 pounds of candy last year! The response over the years has been a very positive one, and surprisingly, children are eager to give up their sweet treats to support soldiers overseas.
The dates for our 5th Annual Halloween Buy Back will be Thursday, November 1st from 9am to 7pm, Friday, November 2nd from 9am to 4pm, Monday, November 5th from 9am to 7pm and Tuesday, November 6th from 9am to 7pm.
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