If you find yourself, once again, with way too much leftover Halloween candy to handle, there are options—outside of you and your family going into a sugar overload by eating it all yourselves, of course.
Halloween candy donations can put a smile on someone else's face and instill in your children a love of giving back. Not sure how to donate Halloween candy? Here are a few options to consider, as well as how you can use this opportunity to teach your kids why doing good matters.
Getting Kids on Board With Halloween Candy Donations
Chances are your child won't willingly give up their sugar-coated treasure. But don't stress—some reluctance is normal, and in no way means your child is selfish or doesn't empathize with others.
Younger children will likely be more reluctant to part with their haul, but if you turn the process into a game, it may flip the script. Help them separate their candy into pieces to donate and pieces to keep. Ask them to pick candies by color, shape, or another similar attribute, or have them sort them into numbered groups. Letting them choose which pieces to donate will ensure your kid ends up with items they're happy with—and that they're happy to part with the rest.
For older kids, this presents a prime opportunity to discuss what the act of giving back means for someone else. If your child is still white-knuckling their candy bag, give them time. The idea of spreading joy through this act may just need some time to sink in.
Where to Donate Leftover Candy
Talk to local community center leaders, religious institutions, shelter or food pantry staff, or officials at your child's school about where to take your candy donation. Local or county social service agencies can also connect you with members of the community who can put your donation to good use.
Additionally, consider donating to one of these groups:
1. Children Who Can't Trick-Or-Treat
Your child spends weeks working on their Halloween costume and can't wait to take to the sidewalks. But what about children who aren't able to participate in the fun?
Consider taking your leftover candy to a hospital, or a children's facility. When your kids present their stash to chronically or seriously ill children who can't trick-or-treat on their own, it may raise their spirits. Reach out to your nearest hospital's child life or social work department for more information on the organization's procedure for accepting Halloween candy donations.
When your children see how their excess candy lights up the faces of others who can't partake in a traditional Halloween, they may feel inspired to collect extra next year and gain a new appreciation for all that they have.
2. Soldiers Defending Our Country
Your child can also donate their sweet treats to troops overseas. Several national organizations gather and ship these items for you, so all you have to do is unload the goods. Not only does this option get rid of the Halloween candy stockpile at home, but it also gives your child a way to show their appreciation for those who serve.
Getting hands-on with this type of donation is also an option. Ask the organization if they allow children to help make the actual care packages. If not, your child can also write a letter, make a card, or send a hand-drawn piece of art with their candy donation.
Remember, your Halloween candy donations do more than just get the sugary snacks out of the house. This simple act of kindness can have a major impact on someone else—and your child, too!
Show us your child's Halloween haul by tagging @toms_of_maine on Instagram!
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Why It's Good
Cut down your post-Halloween candy stockpile by donating some of it. Your child can learn how to give back to their community with this sweet and fun-filled family activity.