Got candy? Send it the troops

Save a tooth and help the troops– that’s the logic that local Kool Smiles dental offices are following this Halloween season.

Partnering with Operation Gratitude, Kool Smiles has developed an annual candy exchange called Operation Troop Treats. This candy exchange takes the candy of families and children in the Hampton Roads area and sends it in care packages to U.S. Service Members stationed overseas.  For each donation of 25 unopened candies, children receive a toy.

Courtesy: Kool Smiles

This drive is open to the public, regardless of whether they are Kool Smiles patients. There is a limit of three toys per child, and toys are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Developed as a way to promote healthy dental habits (saying no to high sugar foods in high quantities), Kool Smiles hopes to bring joy to U.S. Service members stationed overseas away from their families during the holiday season.

For Kool Smiles, they say this drive is personal.

“Many of our Kool Smiles patient families and employees are current or former service members, so this is a small way for us to share a smile with our troops and say thank you to those who sacrifice so much to ensure our safety and security,” Dr. Ashley Nichols, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles said in a press release last year.

Whether its getting rid of the pesky Twizzlers you received during Trick or Treating, or going above and beyond to help bring joy to troops overseas, you have the opportunity this Halloween season.

From Saturday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Nov. 4, children and families are encouraged to visit the following Kool Smiles dental office locations to exchange their Halloween candy for toys during regular office hours:

Kool Smiles Norfolk – 5900 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502

Kool Smiles Norfolk – 2338 East Little Creek Rd.,Norfolk, VA 23518

Kool Smiles Hampton – 2165 Cunningham Dr., Hampton VA 23666

Kool Smiles Newport News – 14346 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23602

Kool Smiles Portsmouth – 4072 Victory Blvd., Portsmouth, VA 23701

Kool Smiles Virginia Beach – 4239 Holland Rd., VA Beach, VA 23452

For more information on the program, including the nearest Kool Smiles location, please visit

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3), volunteer-based organization that annually produces more than 200,000 care packages for U.S. Service Members deployed in harm’s way, their children, Wounded Heroes, Veterans, New Recruits and First Responders.

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