MASON CITY, Iowa - Candy will be flowing into homes come Halloween night, whether you're passing it out your child is bringing it in.
One local woman is looking to turn those piles of candy into an act of kindness.
It all started at Dental Center of North Iowa, they caught wind of Operation Gratitude and decided they wanted to be a part of it so last year they collected 110 pounds of candy. That amount of candy left Emily Adams almost speechless.
“That kind of support from the North Iowa communities was so great we knew that this had to be something we do year after year after year,” Adams said.
Adams works at Dental Center of North Iowa. She says this isn't meant to upset kids but to teach them the fun in giving.
“We knew from a dentist standpoint obviously taking candy from kids is usually frowned upon but what better way to show them the importance of that to give back to our troops, first responders and truly it’s a win-win for kids, parents, and dentists alike,” Adams said.
Will Arnold knows how much those gifts from home can mean. He was deployed twice to Afghanistan while serving in the marines.
“It’s actually a really big deal i know when I was over there I went to Newman and they gathered up a bunch of stuff and sent it over and it meant a lot to me and I’m sure it will mean a lot to other people,” Arnold said.
Describing that every time he opened a box from home it felt like Christmas, describing his favorite items are the ones being sent in this case.
“Probably the candy, I really like candy and energy drinks. A lot of long days those energy drinks made a difference,” Arnold said.
Hearing stories like that gives Adams hope that this year will be another successful one.
“It was just so amazing to see everyone supporting the cause and shipping it off to those deserving men and women,” Adams said.
Candy is being collected until November 10th, all donations have to be tightly wrapped.
Since Operation Gratitude started in 2003 more than 250,000 care packages have been delivered to soldiers.
Donation drop-off locations include:
Dental Center of North Iowa in Mason City, Britt, and Belmond.
Lucy and Olive
Dancin’ with Roxie in Clear Lake, Hampton, and Ankeny.
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