Supporting the Troops is Sweet! You might “snicker” when you hear that a dentist is asking for candy, but Cook Family Dentistry has great “reeses” why. Dr. Cassidy Cook and the team at Cook Family Dentistry of Santa Rosa Beach are continuing their annual Halloween tradition of encouraging local kids to donate some of their candy for a good cause. The candy will be sent to troops overseas in support of Operation Gratitude’s Care Package Programs for U.S. Troops, Veterans and First Responders. This Halloween, trick-or-treaters across the nation will come together to donate their extra Halloween candy to Operation Gratitude, with the Northwest Florida drop-off point located at Cook Family Dentistry in Santa Rosa Beach. Donors can stop by to hand over the candy at the Cook Family Dentistry office at 2441 US-98 suite 107. Cook Family Dentistry will be collecting candy from October 19 – October 22 and November 2 – November 5, as their offices will be closed the week of October 26. Donations are accepted during regular office hours which include 7:00 am – 3:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm on Wednesday. Donors should note that the office is closed on Fridays. The sweet treats will be included along with handwritten thank you letters in Care Packages sent to U.S. Service Members deployed overseas, and hand delivered to Veterans and First Responders serving in their local communities. Dr. Cassidy Cook and the team at Cook Family Dentistry have proudly participated in the Operation Gratitude Halloween GIVE-Back Program for the last three years as a way to not only reduce excess sugar consumption, prevent dental decay, and teach children the importance of saying “Thank You” to all who serve. “This is a great way to give back to those who are serving overseas in the military and those who are serving our communities as first responders,” said Dr. Cassidy Cook. “Each year we love seeing how passionate our community gets in trying to surpass the amount we raised in previous years.” Americans spend an estimated $2.5 billion dollars on a whopping 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year. In 2019, Cook Family Dentistry donated more than 95 pounds of candy to Operation Gratitude and distributed to America’s Heroes through its care package programs. They hope to surpass the 100-pound mark in 2020! “Operation Gratitude’s mission is to thank all who serve, bridging the divide between grateful Americans and the Heroes who serve and protect them,” said Kevin Schmiegel, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.) and CEO of Operation Gratitude. “The Halloween Candy Give-Back Program provides every American child the opportunity to learn about service, sacrifice and generosity.” Operation Gratitude is also accepting donations of dental floss and travel sized toothpaste, as well as pens for deployed troops writing letters home during the holidays. Visit www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks/halloween-candy to learn more. ### About Operation Gratitude Demonstrating that actions speak louder than words, Operation Gratitude is a national nonprofit organization that provides tangible ways to forge strong bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide. Through its customized Care Package programs, Operation Gratitude has provided opportunities for millions of Americans to say “Thank You” to more than 2.3 million of our nation’s Heroes since 2003. In 2019, Operation Gratitude launched its Make Every Minute Count Campaign with the goal of delivering 525,600 Care Packages – one every minute of the year – to Service Members, their families at home, Veterans, and First Responders. Awarded a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum rating from GuideStar, 94 percent of Operation Gratitude’s expenditures go directly to programs that support our nation’s men and women in uniform at home and abroad. To learn more, visit www.operationgratitude.com.
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