Halloween is right around the corner and Aspire Orthodontics’ “Operation Gratitude: Candy BuyBack” program for the troops is on its heels.
Patients and members of the community are asked to donate their leftover, unwanted or unneeded candy on Nov. 1. Aspire Orthodontics on Chambliss Avenue in Suite A will give $1 per pound of candy donated. There is a 10-pound limit per donor.
The program brought in 200 pounds of sweets last November.
“We would have been happy with 100 pounds, because it was our first year,” said Marlene Rogers, new-patient coordinator. “We definitely want to exceed 200 pounds this year.”
Aspire needs help from the community to reach that goal.
“We want the community to come to our event,” Rogers said. “We were really pleased with the outcome last year. If we could get an even greater turnout this year, then that would be wonderful.”
Patients at Aspire receive fliers for the Nov. 1 event. They are encouraged to spread the news to neighbors, friends and colleagues. Aspire’s doors will be open for candy drop-offs from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
“As responsible orthodontists, especially if it is candy they cannot eat, and as members of the community and U.S. citizens, we wanted to keep the fun while supporting our troops overseas,” Rogers said. “All the candy will be given and shipped overseas to our troops. We just feel it is a true way to lift their spirits.”
Rogers said she hopes children become excited about the program, as well.
“Our Candy BuyBack program is an opportunity to get children involved in a charitable act and allow them to truly show their support for our troops overseas in harm’s way,” Rogers said.
Collected candy will be sent to Operation Gratitude’s base at the California Army National Guard in Van Nuys, Cal. All candy will then be shipped overseas to the troops. A total of 125 tons (over 250,000 pounds) were collected nationwide through buy-back programs in dental and orthodontist offices.
Letters and notes of gratitude to the troops are also accepted with the candy.
“Contributors can write a note to show their appreciation to the troops by thanking them for everything they do. It’s a nice way to express gratitude to the soldiers.”
Any candy donated must be wrapped.
“We will not collect any open pieces of candy,” Rogers said. “Individual pieces are welcomed. They do not need to come in a bag, as long as they are in their original wrappers.”
Contributors may donate as much candy as they want. Compensation will stop at $10. This means an individual could donate a truck full of candy, but the compensation maximum would remain $10.
Rogers said she thanks patients and members alike and hopes they will come out again for this year’s event.