Doesn’t the title of this post sound like the most curmudgeonly thing ever? I’m not a Halloween Grinch, but I always feel like the trick-or-treating haul is way more than any one child (or family) can eat. A few years ago, a “kill-two-birds-with-one-stone” idea came to me and we’ve been using it ever since.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast around the time of Halloween. We have a lot of friends and family who live in those areas so it was a frequent topic of conversation in our house. In his post-trick-or-treating candy-sorting bliss, I told Theo that he could separate out which candies he absolutely loved and keep those favorites, and then make a separate pile of “giveaway” candy. Then, for every piece he gave away, we would match his donation with $1 towards the Red Cross to help the people affected by Sandy. He ended up donating $61 and we made the donation in his name online.
I feel like this kind of exercise demonstrates to children the act of philanthropy in a nutshell: you give up something of worth to you and that sacrifice benefits others who are receiving your good intention. I find that money is sometimes a really abstract concept to kids and this way the candy is a tangible symbol of that.
That year we just gave my husband the haul of giveaway candy and he brought it to his office (just wanted to get it out of the house!) but I have since learned of this program that dentist offices can participate in: Halloween Candy Buy Back. You can enter your zip code and it will tell you which offices are accepting candy donations, which they will then send to an organization that organizes and sends it to military personnel to enjoy. So now it’s a win-win-win scenario!
Have a very Happy and Safe Halloween!!!