Children and families throughout our region are getting a chance to exchange Halloween candy for toys and send deployed U.S. troops, veterans and first responders a “sweet” reminder this holiday season that they are appreciated for their service during Operation Troop Treats, an annual candy exchange hosted by the local Kool Smiles dental offices in partnership with Operation Gratitude.
From Saturday, Oct. 27 through Saturday, Nov. 3, children and families are encouraged to visit the following Kool Smiles dental office to exchange their Halloween candy for toys:
- Kool Smiles Christiansburg – 135 Conston Ave., Christiansburg, VA, 24073, 540-251-1834
- Kool Smiles Roanoke – 5002 Airport Rd NW Unit 130, Roanoke, VA, 24012, 540-362-5437
- Kool Smiles Danville – 364 Lowes Dr. Ste J, Danville, VA, 24540, 434-688-0337
All area families are invited to participate and candy can be donated any time during regular office hours. Every child that comes in can receive one toy for every 25 pieces of unopened candy in its original packaging. The program is open to everyone, regardless of whether they are Kool Smiles patients. There is a limit of three toys per child and toys are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Operation Troop Treats promotes healthy dental habits during Halloween, and brings a little bit of holiday joy to U.S. service members deployed overseas and those who are with us here at home,” said Dr. Ashley Nichols, Senior Dental Director for Kool Smiles. “Many of our Kool Smiles patient families and employees are current or former service members, so this is a small way for us to share a smile with our troops and say thank you to those who sacrifice so much to ensure our safety and security.”
In addition to the candy shipment, Kool Smiles dentists will donate 200 dental care kits and the funds to cover the assembly and shipment of 200 Operation Gratitude care packages filled with letters of appreciation, food, entertainment and hygiene items, and other sweet reminders of home.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3), volunteer-based organization that annually produces more than 200,000 care packages for U.S. Service Members deployed in harm’s way, their children, Wounded Heroes, Veterans, New Recruits and First Responders.