Get money back for Halloween candy for a good cause
Get cash back for Halloween candy.
That’s the incentive dentists, physical therapists, and other health care practitioners are giving to kids who donate a portion of their treats after the costumed chaos subsides.
At Hoboken Smile Specialists, a dentist office in Hoboken, New Jersey, kids who bring in one pound of candy will receive a dollar back. Five pounds is worth $5 – and that’s the max she’s asking kids to donate.
“The candy buy back program can help children think about the concept of moderation, control, and generosity. Starting at a young age instilling a sense of selection and sense of sharing is so important,” says Dr. Radhika Kapoor of her office’s buy-back program. “Small incentives like offering tokens such as a dollar can help them understand that they can also be without all this candy. Having the kids come in directly to the office allows us to give them a briefing of preventive tips so they know how important healthy mouths are for healthy bodies.”
The donation, which will run for approximately one week, is for a sweet cause. The office teamed up with Operation Gratitude, a California-based non-profit organization that sends 200,000 care packages to US military troops overseas. Last year, Hoboken Smile Specialists donated 20 pounds of candy. Kapoor says she even noticed a few less cavities from some of her pint-sized patients who participated.
Candy buy-back programs are a nationwide initiative. Wisconsin-based dentist Dr. Chris Kammer started the website Halloween Candy Buy Back.com in 2005 partnering with nearly 10,000 doctors’ offices across the country from New York to Dallas, Chicago and Florida since its inception. Offices donate candy to veterans by simply paying $1 for every pound of candy a child brings into their respective offices. To date, they’ve donated an estimated 1.7 million pounds. Children are encouraged to leave a sweet note to sends to soldiers with the treats.
There’s plenty to go around, considering Americans are estimated to have splurged $2.7 billion just on Halloween candy. The candy industry expects Halloween will bring in a record $2.75 billion in retail sales, according to the National Confectioners Association.
“People will joke, ‘Oh you must love Halloween because all those cavities to fill.’ I’m by no means trying to be the Halloween Grinch, let the kids get a few of their favorites and send their excess to the troops,” says Kammer of the holiday-themed incentive he dreamt up more than a decade ago.
Parents looking to lighten the Halloween candy load can simple go to halloweencandybuyback.com and type in their zipcode to find a doctor’s or dentist’s office nearby.
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