Halloween is done. If your house is anything like mine, there are remnants of costumes strewn all over the place and overflowing bags of candy in desperate need of a home. But, if you find a place to tuck it away in the kitchen, you’re definitely going to eat it.
Tweeny bopper is slamming doors? Mom needs chocolate.
Little guy dumps LEGOs all over the place (again!)? A peanut butter cup will take the edge off.
Stubbed your toe? Tootsie Roll to the rescue!
And don’t even get me started on what happens when sugared up mini humans are bouncing off every surface of your house.
Luckily, if you want to get rid of the stuff—or at least thin out the supply so that you don’t gain ten pounds before Thanksgiving—there are some great places to donate Halloween candy available.
Operation Gratitude sends 200,000+ care packages every year to servicemen, first responders and their families. They do a big drive after Halloween every year. Dentists, schools, clubs, and other organizations all over the country collect candy to be sent before November 15th.
Buybacks are usually (but not always!) held at dental offices. Businesses schedule an event to “buy” kids’ Halloween candy back from them in exchange for something else. Sometimes it’s cash ($1 for each pound of candy, for example), other times it’s coupons for goods or services or a prize. The candy is then sent to Soldiers’ Angels for distribution to troops overseas.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities is another great way to feel good about getting rid of your candy (instead of throwing it right in the trash). The organization helps millions of families with sick children every year. They try to keep kitchens at Ronald McDonald Houses stocked with food and snacks so families don’t have to go grocery shopping after long days at the hospital. Halloween candy donations are a great way to provide families with sweet treats.
Find something super local
Chances are there are plenty of organizations within your community that could use a little pick-me-up donation. Look into local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries and retirement or nursing homes. Many of these places get a lot of attention during the holiday season but could use a lot of help throughout the rest of the year.
JENNIFER GARRY is a writer and the mom of two girls who talk as much and laugh as loud as she does (just ask her much quieter husband). She writes about that ever-elusive struggle for balance on her personal blog, Cuddles and Chaos. Read all of Jennifer’s posts.