Candy buyback program helps troops, enriches kids - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Candy buyback program helps troops, enriches kids

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SMYRNA, Ga. -

Ghosts and goblins are getting ready to invade your neighborhood this Halloween. But what to do with all that candy? One metro Atlanta dentist is teaming up with an organization that sends it to our troops overseas.

Dr. Faith Bates and her staff are excited about Halloween and the message of moderation they're sending to their young patients of pediatric dentistry at Vinings.

"Prevention is key, and we stress it all the time. We've got to really mange our sweets and make sure that they're responsible," said Bates.

That's why she became involved with operation gratitude's Halloween candy buyback program, where dentists pay their patients a dollar a pound for candy that's shipped in care packages to our troops.

"I thought, what better way to do that? We can introduce that giving spirit to kids -- let them know about what the troops have done for our country," said Bates.

Bates' practice collected 500 pounds of Halloween candy last year.

Her patients' parents said they love the idea.

"It's not about running around door-to-door asking for candy. It's about taking this candy and actually earning a little bit of money for their own piggy banks and then giving back," said Yvette Humphries.

The Halloween Candy Buy Back Program does much more than just satisfy the sweet tooth of a service member. It's a reminder of what they're fighting for.

"It certainly reminds us of home, and helps reinforce the mission and bolster our cause," said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. John Adams, the director of strategic operations at Operation Gratitude.

He got these care packages while serving his country in Afghanistan and often shared them with local children.

"That helped to form a relationship. And it certainly made the area safer for us because now the people had a choice. They could support the Americans that were doing so much for them, or they could support other forces that weren't doing nearly as much good as we were doing," Adams.

Just in case you're worried about the teeth of our troops, Operation Gratitude also provides tooth brushes, toothpaste and floss for our men and women overseas.

For more info on the program, visit: http://www.operationgratitude.com

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