The Hamilton Area YMCA Togetherhood service committee offered the community a solution to the perennial Halloween question: “what should I do with all this leftover candy?” In keeping with
the organization’s commitment to healthy living, the Y held a “candy drive” with a goal of collecting excess or unwanted Halloween candy to be redistributed to our military serving overseas. The Y planned to package the candy and ship it to Operation Gratitude, a California organization that creates care packages for American soldiers.
By the end of one week, the Hamilton Area YMCA collected a staggering 855 pounds of candy. The candy was then sorted and bagged by teens in the Y Connection program.
“The community’s response to our candy drive was unbelievable,” said Hamilton Area YMCA CEO David Kisselback. “We were overwhelmed by the community support. We thought this was a great way to promote healthy living, especially among our youngest members, but it became so much more. We’re proud to support those serving our country with this initiative, it’s a small but sweet taste of home. ”
The cost to ship the candy was over $1,000. That’s when the Ys Community Partner, CareOne at Hamilton stepped in. They graciously offered to pay the full cost of the shipping.
The candy was boxed and shipped on Friday, November 11, which was also Veterans Day. Each box of candy weighs about 50 pounds, and each box included handwritten notes of thanks to our troops that were created by students in the Y’s BASE and Y’s Owls Programs.
The Hamilton Area YMCA marked Veteran’s Day with a small celebration at the JKR Branch after which the boxes of candy were loaded onto a truck and taken to FedEx for shipping.
Elizabeth Toplenszky of CareOne at Hamilton said “We were proud to support the Hamilton Area Y and pay to ship the candy to our troops. It is a small cost to thank our servicemen and women for all that they do.”