Dentists Collect Leftover Halloween Candy To Give Overseas Troops A Taste Of Home

halloween candy buyback

When you think of Halloween the first words that come to mind are probably costumes, ghosts, haunted houses, pumpkins, and most importantly, candy.


Kids, and adults, love to collect as many goodies as they can, but after a few days they get over their sweet tooth and the candy is left with no purpose. One dentist in Wisconsin decided to change that.

In 2005, dentist Chris Kammer wanted to get candy off the streets and into the hands of troops overseas. The Halloween Candy Buyback (HCBB) program started small, with Kammer asking colleagues if they’d be willing to pay “$1 for every pound of candy a child brought into their respective offices.” Local dentists were all for the creative idea, then the program caught on nationally.

Dr. Chris Kammer’s team and the candy they collected

doctor hammer halloween buyback
Image via Lifetime Family Dentistry

Since its success, HCBB has been partnering with Operation Gratitude to send care packages to troops filled with “snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation.” HCBB has collected and sent 130 TONS of candy over the years. Operation Gratitude has sent over 1 MILLION care packages since 2003, thanks to donations and hard work by volunteers.

kids turn in candy for buyback program
Image via Halloween Candy Buyback
dentist buyback program
Image via Halloween Candy Buyback
trade in candy for toothbrush
Image via Halloween Candy Buyback

With Americans spending an estimated $2 billion on candy this year, it’s great to get some cash back and give some candy away. These small treats may seem very simple, buy they remind soldiers of home and lift their spirits. As the number of participating dentist offices all over the country continues to grow, donations are sure to keep flooding in and providing smiles overseas to our heroes.

kids giving candy to soldiers
Image via Hometown Station
dentists give candy to operation gratitude
Image via Halloween Candy Buyback
care packages from operation gratitude
Image via Operation Gratitude

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