Dr. Fred Eck and associates have decided to participate in a novel idea to put to good use all of that extra candy collected by youngsters on Halloween. Conceived by a Wisconsin dentist three or four years ago, the idea helps to promote good dental health while bringing a smile to the faces of those serving our country.
Working in conjunction with his two other office locations, one on Marco and the other in Fort Myers, Eck and his office personnel will accept donations of candy at all three locations. Children will get cash and other good dental hygiene items.
For every pound of candy, the kids will get $1, plus a firefly toothbrush, that instills proper brushing time, by flickering for 60 seconds and then shutting off, toothpaste, flossers and other non-sugary items.
“This is a really great way to promote children’s dental health within the community. Many people aren’t aware that the surgeon general has reported that cavities amongst children are actually on the rise. We want kids to enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating, but we also want them and their parents to understand that dental decay is an entirely preventable disease,” says Eck.
Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes as they drop off their stash of individually wrapped and unopened candy, from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2. In addition to the donations, kids will also be encouraged to make and sign cards to be sent to troops. Candy collection will be at all of the offices.
Dante Maas, age 4, is visiting relatives and will be trick-or-treating in their North Naples community this year. While showing off his Captain America Halloween costume, he said “I like going to my dentist, because I always get a prize, so I will bring him some of my candy, but not all of it, and see what he gives me.”
The collected candy will be mailed to the troops through Operation Gratitude, a California non-profit organization, which uses donated funds to pay for production, shipping and communication expenses to troops.
According to opgratitude.com, “The charitable giving is a tribute to the patriotic spirit of the many key volunteers who devote themselves to the organization without pay in order to express appreciation to the military.”
The program “seeks to lift morale and put smiles on faces by sending care packages addressed to individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines deployed overseas. Operation Gratitude care packages contain food, hygiene products, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support.” Donations of unopened bags of candy for shipment to the troops are also welcomed from the public.
Aside from the local television, Internet advertising, online events pages and print media spreading the word about the effort, many moms are pitching in to post ads and information on school bulletin boards.
Jean Amodea is a freelance writer for The Banner. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.