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VESTAVIA HILLS, AL (WBRC) -
Two local dentist offices are buying back Halloween candy and sending the sweets to soldiers overseas.
For two of the women who work for Pearly White Dentistry in Vestavia Hills, the candy buy-back program has a personal connection. Sisters Dr. Haleigh Stidhadm Blackwell and her office manager Ashley Stidham Seligson have a brother who is a soldier overseas. Corporal Judson Stidham is serving in Afghanistan, and while his sisters say he has a great support system in place, some of his fellow soldiers are in need of encouragement from folks back home.
The candy collected by Pearly White Dentistry during the next two weeks will be donated to Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that sends thousands of care packages to troops overseas each year. Some of the leftover Halloween candy will be used to fill those packages, along with other dental hygiene items included toothbrushes, floss, lip balm and mouthwash.
"When we heard about Operation Gratitude, we immediately knew it would be a great way to support our troops overseas while promoting good dental hygiene and healthy teeth," Dr. Blackwell said.
This year, Operation Gratitude has a goal of collecting 100,000 toothbrush and toothpaste sets to send along with the candy they mail to the troops. The organization is also encouraging people to include a letter with their candy donations as another way to express support for the soldiers.
The candy buy-back at Pearly White Dentistry begins Thursday, Nov. 1 and lasts until Friday, Nov. 16. Every donor will receive $1 per pound of unopened candy with a maximum of five pounds. The Pearly White Dentistry office is located at 3145 Green Valley Road, Suite 101, Vestavia Hills, Ala. For more information, visit www.blackwelldmd.com or call 205-970-7292.
Another dentist's office in Vestavia Hills is also participating in a candy buy-back for the ninth year in a row. Dr. James Sanderson's office is hosting a buy back Thursday, Nov. 1 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Belle Foods in Hoover.
Anyone who donates a pound of candy will receive $1 in return. Dr. Sanderson's office is also sending the candy to U.S. troops overseas.