While you may be getting ready to break out your holiday decorations, we've all been stuck in a situation where the leftover Halloween candy taunts us from the cabinet, the basket, or drawer where it's hidden. But, don't just get rid of your spooky sweets.
There's a better solution than tossing it in the trash: donating to a good cause!
There are a lot of places you can donate your Halloween candy near you.
If you're feeling patriotic, maybe check out Treats for Troops. This organization allows you to send sweets to soldiers abroad via the nonprofit Soldier's Angels. Kids can ever earn buyback prizes and their parents will get a donation receipt that is tax-deductible.
Or maybe you'd like to try Halloween Candy Buy Back. Participants buy back kids' Halloween candy at a scheduled event with cash, xylitol products, coupons, toothbrushes, or creative exchanges. This program is most traditionally associated with dentist offices, but all small businesses can get in on the action!
You can find participating businesses by typing your zip code into the website linked.
If Treats for Troops wasn't your thing, maybe check out Operation Gratitude, which also donates candy to "deployed troops, local military units, veterans, and first responders with the goal of forging strong bonds between the civilian and service communities nationwide." This might be a good way to say thank you to service members who are essential during the current pandemic.
For a less Halloween-oriented donor group, try Operation Shoebox, another organization that donates candy to soldiers away from home during the holidays. They send candy periodically so that people who cannot get home for any holiday (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc.) can feel like they're part of the festivities.
Many of these candy donation organizations are focused on people who cannot attend holidays in person, and Operation Stars and Stripes is no exception. They accept donations year-round, and even provide the option to purchase a care package if you do not want to give up your Halloween candy (which is also very tempting.)
This organization also provides a list of alternate items troops are missing, including Ziploc bags and postage stamps!
A more universal candy donation space is Ronald McDonald House Charities, where you can call your local chapter to find out their rules on unopened Halloween candy for severely ill children and their families to enjoy!
While these are just a few places that will accept unopened Halloween candy donations, our best alternatives to throwing out the candy also include calling your local food pantry, homeless shelter, or nursing home to spread the joy around. Make sure to call first to check on rules and regulations, which may have shifted due to the coronavirus.
And if you do decide to keep some Halloween candy for yourself, that is also perfectly understandable. You deserve it!