Group is collecting Halloween candy to help support area soldiers

Volunteers are planning to send candy to troops

BAKERSFIELD - A group of local women are working together to help find a good place for all that unwanted candy from Halloween.

The volunteers behind operation gratitude came up with the idea just two weeks ago to help support their loved ones and other men and women currently serving in the military.

Patsy Roseberry is collecting all sorts of Halloween candy from people around the community.

“Pretty much any kind of package candy. It can’t be open.  Chocolates, not necessarily a good choice, but they love chocolate,” said Roseberry.

Roseberry and her friends recently created “operation: gratitude,” a program giving back to troops overseas.

“It’s an opportunity for us to actually feel how good it is to give back and give to our troops because if they didn’t go and fight and support us we wouldn’t have the nearly wonderful lifestyle that we do,” she said.

But candy isn’t the only thing that’s part of the operation.  Children who are giving up their sweets this year are getting the chance to write a letter to the soldiers.

“Gratitude, gratefulness and the soldiers use the candy to establish a relationship with these small children over there so I think they’ll be excited,” said Amber Johnson, who is dropping off her candy.

Organizers have been getting a lot of traffic since opening their doors on the corner of 23rd and Chester in downtown Bakersfield.  Many parents are surprised at how willing their children are help with the cause.

“We collected a lot of candy.  My kids are a little bit older so they are more interested in giving out candy so we spent a little bit more time at home giving out candy.  We made a couple of trips to the store, but they definitely were a little more interested in giving this year,” she said.

The group plans to collect Halloween candy again tomorrow from 10am to 6pm.  They are even willing to go pick it up from families.  Volunteers plan to pack it all up and ship to soldiers in mid-November.

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