Lake Mary, FL. October 1, 2018– Taking candy from children is usually frowned upon, but teaching them the value of giving back by donating their excess Halloween candy in support of Operation Gratitude’s Care Package Programs for U.S. Troops, Veterans and First Responders is a win-win for kids, parents, and dentists.
This Halloween, local trick-or-treaters will join kids across the country when they donate their extra Halloween candy to Operation Gratitude at local collection site: Smile Design Studio. The sweet treats will be included along with handwritten thank you letters in Care Packages sent to U.S. Service Members deployed overseas, Veterans, and to First Responders serving in their local communities.
Americans spend an estimated $2.5 billion dollars on a whopping 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year. In 2017, more than 400,000 pounds of candy was donated to Operation Gratitude and distributed to America’s Heroes through its care package programs.
“Operation Gratitude’s mission is to thank all who serve, bridging the divide between grateful Americans and the Heroes who serve and protect them,” said Kevin Schmiegel, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.) and CEO of Operation Gratitude. “The Halloween Candy Give-Back Program provides every American child the opportunity to learn about service, sacrifice and generosity.”
Dr. Mark A. Falco, DMD, MS. of Smile Design Studio said, “We are proud to participate in the Operation Gratitude Halloween Give-Back Campaign to reduce excess sugar consumption, prevent dental decay, and teach children the importance of saying ‘Thank You’ to all who serve.”
Candy and handwritten thank you letters for deployed Service Members, Veterans, and First Responders will be collected at (1331 S. International Parkway, Suite 2271 Lake Mary, FL 32746) on (November 1st and 2nd) from (8am-5pm) . Operation Gratitude is also accepting donations of dental floss and travel sized toothpaste, as well as pens and mechanical pencils for deployed troops writing letters home during the holidays. Visit www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks/halloween-candy to learn more.
About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude, a 501(c)(3), volunteer-based organization, annually sends 250,000+ care packages to Veterans, New Recruit Graduates, First Responders, Wounded Heroes, Caregivers, and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Each package is filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, as well as personal letters of support. Operation Gratitude's mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Each package contains donated product valued between $50 and $100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 2.1 Million Care Packages.
About Smile Design Studio
Smile Design Studio is a family and cosmetic dentistry practice in Lake Mary, Florida specializing in giving their patients the healthy and beautiful smile they deserve. Dr. Falco provides pain-free, gentle dentistry, with a focus on cosmetic dentistry, porcelain crowns, orthodontics and dental implants. Working closely with every patient, the Smile Design team create a highly personalized treatment plan to meet the unique oral health needs and goals of all their patients.