Halloween candy haunts most people in one of three ways: dentist bills; a never-ending community bowl; or a reason to return to the gym.
Aspire Orthodontics wants to offer its help by encouraging community members to participate in its third annual Candy Buy Back event on Friday, from noon to 6 p.m at their Chambliss Avenue office.
A pound of candy can be exchanged for $1. Households and individuals will be paid for up to 10 pounds. Additional candy can be donated without monetary compensation.
All of the candy will be shipped to California as part of Operation Gratitude’s service to the armed forces.
New patient coordinator Lynn Harrison feels a close connection to the event due to her son’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
She said candy can be a great morale booster to soldiers stationed overseas.
“They look forward to things like this because some don’t get any boxes from home. Sometimes while they are serving, the food they are eating has no flavor, no fun to it,” Harrison said. “When they get these boxes shipped to them, it is wonderful. It gives them a little [love] from home.”
Letters expressing gratitude and encouragement can be included with the candy. Positive notes without a political stance are the most appreciated.
Harrison had a front-row seat to the sacrifices her son made to serve his country.
“If it wasn’t so close to home, I wouldn’t know what a huge sacrifice it is. My son missed his son’s birth and then his son’s first birthday while he was deployed,” Harrison said. “They miss so many big moments. It’s a lot and it is worth saying thank you.”
Only candy that is still wrapped will be accepted.
Harrison said she has seen children dragging their bags on Halloween due to the weight of the candy.
“[Candy Buy Back] is an easy way to not have candy sitting around or [having to] throw it away because someone won’t eat it,” Harrison said. “[Soldiers] will eat it, trust me.”
She said sending the packages provides more than sweets. Harrison explained it is a morale booster and a sign of support.
Two-hundred pounds of candy were dropped off last year through the event. Aspire Orthodontics is looking to double the amount and break 500 pounds.
“Come help support us in this effort,” Harrison said. “There is nothing like when [a soldier’s sacrifice] is close to home and you know what it is like for them.”
“Brace for a Cure” shirts are also for sale at Aspire Orthodontics. Money raised through T-shirt sales will go toward the Susan G. Komen foundation for research.