Children at Ridge Park Elementary School (RP) recently showed their generosity by donating some of their Halloween candy to deployed service members and veterans at VA Hospitals through a program called Treats for Troops.
"My mommy and daddy wanted me to pick six, so that's how much I gave away from my trick-or-treat bag," said Joey Kelly, a kindergartener at the school. "I brought in two packages of Skittles, one piece of Kit Kat, a chocolate bar and some M&Ms."
"Candy at Halloween is such and important thing for them," said RP kindergarten teacher Krista Schloer. "It's an important thing for them to learn how to share things that they still want."
Mrs. Schloer organized the drive and put a large donation bin in the main lobby at the school.
"I put a huge box out there thinking it will never get filled, and it's overflowing. It's been more of an outpouring of a donation that we even expected from Ridge Park, which is fantastic," said Mrs. Schloer.
Treats for Troops is an outreach program of Soldiers' Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides comfort and aid to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families and veterans. In 2017, the organization sent 27,186 care packages and 132,394 letters to deployed service members, supported more than 20,000 veterans with food assistance and handed out more than 33,500 items bedside to patients in VA Hospitals across the country.
For 2018, some of those care packages will include candy from Ridge Park students who think it's important to support military men and women.
"The troops don't have any candy, because they didn't get to go trick-or-treating," said RP kindergartener Khadija Yafai.
"They project our country," added classmate Emily Solvibile.
The Treats for Troops collection ended after the school's Veteran's Day celebration on Friday, November 9, and all the candy was packed up and delivered to Children's Dental Health of Plymouth Meeting on Germantown Pike. Children's Dental Health of Plymouth Meeting is a regional drop off site, who has generously offered to pay for shipping the candy to Soldiers' Angels. Soldier's Angels hopes to collect 17,000 pounds of candy for troops and veterans.