Orthodontists ask kids to give up candy... for the troops

Nov 2, 2018

After the costumes are taken off and the candy is sorted, many families are left with what to do with piles of Halloween candy. Eat it all in a day? Throw it away? Two Dartmouth orthodontists have another solution, and it has nothing to do with teeth: Donate it.

Baarsvik Souza Orthodontics is encouraging kids to give up some of their candy to help others during the office’s 6th annual Halloween Candy Buy Back. Dr. Jauna Souza, Dr. Robert Baarsvik, Office Manager Kathi Newman, and the rest of the staff are collecting unopened Halloween candy to be sent to soldiers overseas through Project Gratitude.

The candy isn’t just for the soldiers.

“They give the candy out to the children in the villages where they are stationed,” Newman said.

Newman’s two sons are in the military, and have told her that they love receiving packages and sharing what’s inside. The children in the villages where they are stationed know that the soldiers often have treats to share, and will come running when they see the military Humvees.

Of course, Dr. Souza noted, they include toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste in each package.

Kids giving candy get something back, too. The orthodontists will give children a dollar for each pound of candy, and their patients can get points towards the office’s rewards program. The office also has crafting materials for those who want to make a card or write a note to the troops. Everyone who makes a card will be entered in a raffle to win a movie night out gift basket.

Last year, the practice collected 250 pounds of candy, mostly just from patients, and is hoping to beat the previous record as more people from the community find out about the project.

“It’s a great thing that we hold near and dear to our hearts to give back to the military,” Souza said, noting that many family members of those in the military have come in to donate candy and express how much the packages mean to service members.

The office will be collecting candy at the 1403 Tucker Road location through November 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.