Another Halloween has come and gone, and many of those trick-or-treaters have probably already finished up that candy. There are some of them, though, who didn't gobble it up. Instead, they brought it to the dentist.
"Basically, we buy candy from the kids for a dollar a pound, and donate the candy to Operation Gratitude," said Dr. Drew Carlin of Beautiful Smiles on Peach Street. "It's a non-profit in California. We ship it to them, they box it up in care packages and send it to troops overseas."
Greeted by the Tooth Fairy, the kids came into Beautiful Smiles in Erie, happy to give up that candy they went in the cold and the rain to get, on Halloween night.
"I'm going to mail it to the soldiers," said William Carlin. "Because they're fighting the bad guys for us."
"To send it to the troops," said Ved Patel. "Because they've done so many things for us and we're thankful for them."
Along with the candy, the kids write letters and draw pictures to send to the troops.
Dr. Carlin said Operation Gratitude is a win-win for them at the office. They get to help prevent cavities, and they're also giving back to our service men and women, who give up so much for us.
"I think when the troops get these care packages, I think they feel remembered," said Dr. Carlin. "They feel like they can be part of the traditions that go on back here at home. They feel the kids kind of know their service is being honored and remembered."
Dr. Carlin said they're also sending tooth brushes along with the candy, to help prevent cavities for the troops, too.