What Should I Do With My LEFTOVER Halloween Candy? I’ll tell you…Donate it to our deployed military troops!

What’s inside:

Don’t know what to do with all of that leftover Halloween candy?  I have the answer right here!  Donate it to our deployed military troops.  Do something good and remove those  chocolate and sweet temptations.  I’ll tell you how below.

Halloween candy

A Love for Candy

I have posted before in my Witch Hat Door Hanger Tutorial that I really like Halloween. But I haven’t really thought about the true reason behind it.  Well, here it is:  I LOVE candy! – I guess if something is bad for me (tv, candy, etc), I love it. And I do not discriminate – I will eat just about any kind of candy – and Halloween candy is the best.  When the boys return from trick-or-treating, they have a buffet of sinful treats.  The choices are endless (well, almost) and I make many, many choices.

Halloween Candy

Too Much Candy?!

Plus, having the candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters ahead of time has been problematic.  So, I have had to change my Halloween buying tactics over the last few years.  When we first got married, I bought the candy that I liked a week or so before Halloween.  Then, I would end up eating most of it before trick-or-treating and have to buy more.

Halloween candy

Click to watch ABC’s American Housewife eat her hidden Halloween candy

When I finally figured out that buying candy ahead of time was not working for my waistline (yes, I can be a little slow on the uptake).  So, I started waiting to buy the Halloween candy until the last

Halloween candy

-minute (sometimes even on Halloween day – you do get good sales this way). But, this didn’t control my candy intake either.  I just had less time to gorge myself.  Now I have found an approach that works (so far): I buy candy that trick-or-treaters will like, but is not tempting to me.  The trick-or-treaters are happy and so is my mid-section.

Leftover Halloween Candy

But, Halloween candy still poses a challenge – leftover candy.  This is the bane of my existence.  Since I do not buy candy that I like, I do not have that temptation. But, we have the boys’ candy.  We eat the candy that we care for (giving the boys sugar highs and me an increasing waistline), but then have a basket full of candy that no one in the house is going to eat.

Community Service to the Rescue

So, this year I decided that we needed to do something different.  During one of my Pinterest sessions (yes, I spend so much time on Pinterest that each time becomes a session), I came across Operation Gratitude.  After the boys volunteered at the City Thrift Shop this summer, they have been interested in community service – and this is the perfect fit!

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude “…sends 200,000+ care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits,  Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.”  How awesome is that!  Considering my dad is a Navy man and proud veteran, supporting the military has always been important to my family.

Halloween candy

One of the ways Operation Gratitude obtains donations for care packages is their annual Halloween Candy GIVE-Back CollectionEach year they collect and donate sweet treats for our deployed troops and first responders. Last year they received and distributed 533,891 pounds of candy – amazing, right?!

If you are interested in donating your candy to Operation Gratitude, you have 3 options.

We do not have a local Candy Give-Back location so we are going to send our own package.  I am planning to fill a flat-rate box, but Skater Boy just told me that he is not trick-or-treating this year (yeah, we’ll see).  As a result,I might not fill the box I am planning to use.

So, if you live in the Reading/Berks, PA area and have some leftover Halloween candy you want to add to my package, leave a comment or send an email.  If I have enough space in the box, I will gladly include your donation.

Halloween candy

Other Ways to Help

Donating our leftover Halloween candy is the way to go for my family this year – how about you?  But support is not limited to donating Halloween candy alone.  On their website, Operation Gratitude has many different ways to aid their mission.  I am still looking at their wish list items to see if my family can help in other ways.

Halloween candy

Crafters Needed!

And, if you are a crafter like me, Operation Gratitude is always looking for handmade items (knit/crochet scarves, paracord survival bracelets, bandana cool ties, etc.).  I am planning to make some Handmade with Love Drawstring Bags (you can make 8 bags from ½ yard of fabric and they are really easy to make) to round out our Halloween candy donation box.

Halloween candy

If you plan to send any donation to Operation Gratitude, complete a donor form and mail to:  Operation Gratitude, 21100 Lassen Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311.

What do you plan to do with your leftover Halloween candy this year?  Ever think about sending it to the troops?  If you do send a donation, let me know in the comments below!

Add a Little Shimmer to your life today by doing some community service.

Nicole Warren-Missimer

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Nicole Warren-Missimer

Adding Shimmer to Life: A DIY lifestyle blog helping you add some shimmer to your everyday life.



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  1. This post is wonderful. What a great idea to help our waistlines, and to make us feel useful. We just talked about the candy issue at Weight Watchers this morning. I will share the post with my Facebook group. Thanks so much.

  2. Wow what a great idea. We don’t get Halloweeneers(spelling?) out here so we don’t buy candy but if we hear from anyone who is in that predicament I will let you know!

    Enjoy your Shimmer To Life

    • Please do! Our Halloweeners have decreased over the last few years, so we will see how much we have left this year! Thanks for reading!

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