If you’re stuck with candy or certain types of cakes left over from any holiday, don’t throw them out. If they’re wrapped and don’t need refrigeration, and in their wrapped state can last for a long time (not perishable candy items) and not your homemade candy, keep the candy in its original wrappers. Did you know there are organizations that send candy to US soldiers overseas?
See the Nov. 1, 2009 Wall Street Journal article online by Anna Prior, "Donate Your Extra Candy – WSJ.com," that reminds you to donate candy to the troops. The Wall Street Journal article refers you to Operation Shoebox or the Ronald McDonald House.
The candy is shipped to the troops that in turn hand out the candy to local children soliders meet overseas. Or they eat some of the candy themselves. Should you donate your excess candy to your local area’s homeless centers and charity groups that accept candy for the homeless?
What do you do with all that candy? Just think an alternative–donated wrapped mixed nuts and/or dried fruit and nuts and certain seeds such as sesame or hulled sunflower in sealed, commercial packaging, would be healthier than candy.
Donating candy is great. However, when the troops hand out too much of the sugary stuff to kids on third-world countries, it’s possibly going to rot their teeth from that sugar, and there won’t be a dentist in sight that they can afford to fix their teeth.
So will candy donations in the good will they are given ultimately lead to tooth decay in places where kids almost never see sugar or candy and are fed from backyard or rooftop vegetable gardens?
Is anyone researching the ultimate results of this goodwill? What would better replace candy donations? Dried fruit and mixed nuts, with some seeds such as sesame seeds, of course. Or perhaps wrapped, clean jerky? What’s best to donate for the health (and teeth) of kids in countries that are in need of healthy foods? Should our troops be handing out candy to kids to get acquainted in a friendly meeting?
According to the Operation Shoebox website, they were founded in 2003 in an effort to send support, snacks and much needed personal care items to our troops deployed outside of the USA and we encourage citizens to support their fighting men and women deployed overseas in these dangerous times. The most frequent response we get from the "boots on the ground" is that receiving mail from the home front is a huge morale boost!
Take time today to send a package. If you don’t have a family member deployed overseas, check with your friends, colleagues, or church members to get the address of someone who is serving. If you don’t know of a service member to send to please help us with a tax deductible donation today! We need your help to continue the much needed support of our brave men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and free! Until they all come home.
They also are looking for donations of your old cell phones, hygiene items, and ink cartridges. And donations of beenie babies, toys, and school supplies are wanted to hand out to kids in Iraq. They also take sewed items such as Xmas stockings and are looking for teachers for the troops. Candy is accepted if it’s still wrapped in the original commercial wrappers.
Sacramento Food Bank asks you to collect canned food for SFBFS clients. There also are local charities in your area, including various food banks that accepted candies. So if you’ve bought too much holiday candies that you didn’t get the chance to hand out to guests or strangers at your door, think of donating it to the troops or to various charities and food banks in your area.
Then donate the candy or similar commercially wrapped sweets to the following charities that accept donations of wrapped candy:
Samaritan’s Purse (Holiday gifts such as crayons for kids in various countries)
Photo credits: Flickr.com – mixed nuts.