2014 Halloween Candy for the Troops!

Happy Halloween Pic11/18/14 Update: THANK YOU for all the candy  you’ve sent our way! Check back in the coming weeks to learn how much candy was donated this year!

(Did you miss our November 15 deadline? Please check with your local First Responder agencies–they might be happy to receive your candy.)

We are really excited about Halloween! Are you getting ready for another great year of collecting and donating sweet treats to the troops?

Want to donate candy? To start you off, here are some important “Do’s and Don’ts”!

DO’s:

  •  DO ship your candy NO LATER THAN November 15 to:
    Operation Gratitude
    17330 Victory Boulevard
    Van Nuys, CA 91406-5438
    ATTN: Halloween Candy/Angel Cuevas
  • DO separate chocolate and non-chocolate candy.
  • DO line your boxes with big bags to safely ship loose candy, or place the candy into zip-close bags.JessieOG2
  • DO consider taking #SayThanks photos of yourself with your donations — hold a sign with the message you want to share with the troops and we’ll ship the photos we receive in our care packages! 
  • DO include donations of individually-packaged toothbrushes, dental floss and toothpaste — we need to keep smiles on the troops’ faces all shiny, bright and healthy!
  • DO fill out the Donation Form and include the number of pounds of candy, number of toothbrushes, etc., you are shipping. This donation form is a downloadable PDF file, so even if you don’t see a window pop up, a file has been downloaded.

DON’Ts

  • DON’T ship the candy to any other Operation Gratitude address than the Victory Boulevard address.
  • DON’T purchase candy for us at the 1/2-off sales after Halloween — just send us your extra/leftover candy and please consider making a financial donation instead.
  • DON’T use boxes any larger than 24″x 24″x 20,” please.
  • DON’T send Pixy Stix – unfortunately, they make a mess for the troops.

We encourage everyone to write letters/cards to the troops that we can include with the AAcandy in our care packages: Letter Writing Flyer

Wondering how you’ll get your donations to Operation Gratitude once your event is over? Read on — and also find shipping information and tips here: Important Shipping Information

(Thank you for understanding that we cannot pay for shipping your donations to our facility, as we need every penny of our funds to pay shipping costs on the care packages to the troops: $15/package.)

SHIPPING INFORMATION:
Fill out and include this Donation Form in every package you send in order to receive an acknowledgment. Please indicate the number of pounds of candy and the number of toothbrushes, etc., you are shipping on the form.

Please ship or deliver your donations by NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 15 to: Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
ATTN: Halloween Candy/Angel Cuevas
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406 Candy2

IMPORTANT: Donations sent to any other Operation Gratitude address will not be acknowledged.

If you want confirmation of delivery on your shipment to us prior to receipt of our acknowledgment letter (allow up to 12 weeks), please use the tracking system provided by your shipper.

IN-PERSON DELIVERY: We will accept item and letter donations at the armory during our Volunteer Hours of Operation. Financial donations are welcome and may be made online or sent by mail. Treats for the troops

Again, please deliver your donations by no later than mid-November to ensure we can get them into our care packages this year and none of the candy goes to waste!

EVENT IDEAS:
Need some ideas about how to organize and publicize your candy collection event? Find helpful tips here:
 Halloween Candy Collection Tips.

Check out the creative flyers folks shared with us in previous years: Halloween Flyers

DENTISTS DATABASE:
Dental offices can sign-up to list their “Halloween Candy BuyBack” event in a searchable
 database here.

Here’s how the Halloween Candy Buyback Works:

1. Participating dental offices register to be a collection point for candy donations.
2. Registrations are searchable via the zip code search here.
3. Interested donors can call or email the dental practice near them to find out exact time/date/location of event. (Because each event is held independently, we do not provide this information.)
4. Candy donations are dropped off or shipped by the participating office to the Operation Gratitude headquarters in Van Nuys, CA, following the guidelines and instructions above.

(For questions about the HCBB dental office database, please send an email to hcbb13@gmail.com or call: 608.520.3689)

EVERYONE:
If you would like to receive posters, the Operation Gratitude logo and other helpful materials, please fill out the information here.

Looking for additional ways to support the troops? Check out our “Wish List” and consider making donations of:

SOCIAL MEDIA:
We hope you will “like” the
Halloween Candy Give-Back page and the Operation Gratitude Facebook page if you haven’t already! Look for news, updates, helpful tips and other information there — checking those pages will be a good way to stay up on what’s happening.

QUESTIONS? 
General Public:
info@OperationGratitude.com
Dentists: hcbb13@gmail.com 

Thank you for your support!

P.S. Did you catch the shout out to Operation Gratitude on Jimmy Kimmel Live?

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, New Recruits, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to say "Thank You" to members of our Military. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than One Million Care Packages.
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94 Responses to 2014 Halloween Candy for the Troops!

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  4. Denise says:

    Do you have to physically receive it by November 15th or can it be shipped by that date? I just discovered the Halloween Candy part of your wonderful charity and have it bagged up but I won’t get it shipped until today or tomorrow and I’m sending it from Indiana. Thanks so much!

    • Thank you, Denise! We are grateful for your support. We made November 15 the cut-off date to allow us time to sort and distribute all the candy we receive. Perhaps you can find a local troop support organization, VA clinic or veterans retirement home that would like to receive your donations?

      • Denise says:

        I will definitely look into that and remember you all for next year and send it earlier! Thanks so much for the reply!

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  7. Helene Shafman says:

    Sending thanks, prayers and gratitude for all you do to keep all of us safe.

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  13. jtholland says:

    How do you screen the candy to make sure it’s safe before you send it to the troops?

    I love the idea, hopefully you’ve got this all figured out.

    • Thanks for your support! In the same way parents check over the candy their kids bring home from trick-or-treating, we make sure the candy we receive is OK to send on to the troops. Anything questionable is tossed out.

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  18. NicoleBlogs says:

    Can I drop it off in person?

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  20. austin davis says:

    please dont take this the wrong way. email me. I would just like some reassurance this is going to our troops. Thanks so much

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  22. Amanda says:

    Seen your name on jimmy kimmel last night and was very excited to see you guys do this for the troops. I have two boys that absolutely look up to these awesome Men and Women serving our country. Is there a link showing me the items they are looking for and the most popular items that our soldiers look forward to.

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  29. Lisa says:

    Hi!
    Together with my sons Cub Scout Pack 11 we are donating our candy from Halloween to your organization. I have printed out the donation form and have boxes ready to go. So excited to be helping out our Troops overseas who are helping us everyday, God Bless, keep up the extraordinary work!

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  35. Bev says:

    My daughter is 7 yrs old.She would like to donate some of her own candy that she received trick or treating so it’s not a whole lot. Can we send enough for 1 or 2 soldiers or are you accepting only larger donations.

  36. Vance Andersen says:

    “DON’T buy candy at the 1/2-off sales the day after Halloween.” Why not?

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  58. Caryn says:

    Our school is looking at collecting as part of our Veteran’s Day/Week celebration, which would include our parent teacher conferences, but our conferences are Nov. 13/14, so we wouldn’t get the candy to you by Nov. 15, but be shipping it Nov. 15. Will that work? Thanks!

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  64. Megan says:

    I plan on doing a drive but the cost of sending over the package is very expensive is there any way to get around the shipping costs because I would really like to send over donations of candy?

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  69. Adriana valencia says:

    Is there an official flyer/ handout? Id like to print some out and leave it at local shops, at work and to paste on my trick o treat bag. Maybe pass some out while we are walking around

  70. Lee says:

    Do you prefer non-chocolate candy in case of melting?

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  72. Kelly says:

    Do we follow the same directions as the dentist offices when sending our candy & cards?

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  77. Lynette says:

    Reblogged this on Momisms – My Moments in Motherhood and commented:
    If anyone is looking for a summer project, this is a great way to keep busy, empty your candy stash and support the troops! All in all a great idea!

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