Photo contributed by Community Bank
In the week following Halloween, 915 pounds of candy was collected throughout the region for Operation Gratitude, which sends the goodies to military personnel deployed overseas.
A buy-back program was held at local branches of Community Bank, offering trick-or-treaters $1 per pound. Many of those bringing in candy turned around and donated their “candy cash” to the bank’s annual holiday Charity Drive, said Leah Johnson, Community Bank marketing manager.
Tom Moran, Community Bank president, said it was especially heart-warming to see kids taking the time to support military personnel in the week leading up to Veterans Day.
“These people deserve much more than candy for their service, but it’s a great opportunity to show kids that they can do something to support our troops,” Moran said.
In addition, the Pendleton Wal-Mart donated 370 pounds of its extra Halloween candy to the project.
Project Gratitude, a nonprofit organization, sends more than 200,000 care packages each year to military personnel, first responders, veterans and their caregivers. Package wish lists include snacks, hygiene products, socks, scarves, hats, batteries and entertainment items, such as DVDs, magazines, paperback books, puzzles and CDs. Also, people are encouraged to write personal letters of support.
For more information about Project Gratitude, visit www.operationgratitude.com.