It's sort of a funny thing, this trick-or-treating: parents actually suggest their kids walk around the neighborhood, knocking on doors and collecting candy until the plastic, orange Jack O' Lanterns and old pillow cases are bursting at the seams with fun sized candy bars. Then, the next day, all the parents want to do is hide all that candy so the kids don't explode from a sugar high and go to sleep with chocolate smeared teeth.
Now there is a feel-good way to clear out some of that sweet surplus. It's called Treats For Troops, and it was started by Monroe resident Lisa Dobbin.
"I had a student, when I was teaching, who joined the Marines and he has been deployed to Afghanistan. When he was gone last time, we thought, 'We have all this extra Halloween candy this time of year, what should we do with it?' So we decided to start asking family and friends and collecting it and shipping it in care packages to service members supporting us overseas."
Lisa says she got a great response.
"He just said that everybody was really grateful and it was fun for them to get such a big box of something that they just don't really have access to there."
She collected 75 pounds of candy and this year, she hopes to go even bigger. Beyond sending a sweet treat for the troops, Lisa says it's a good lesson for kids.
"I think it helps them to understand that they can give back in such a simple way. When they've got this huge pile of candy in front of them, if they want to give up half of it, or even a quarter of it, to send to somebody who doesn't have these things right now."
She says some parents used this as an opportunity to teach their kids about what it's like for soldiers serving in a war zone.
"The kids didn't necessarily understand why there isn't just a grocery store to get a Snickers bar at. Or why don't they get to put on costumes and go get candy from the neighbors. So it was a good learning experience, I think, for those families to be able to talk to those kids and explain to them what the service members are going through over there."
The candy will be collected today through November 15th.
"My husband and I have committed to paying all the shipping costs to send everything. So wouldn't it be a good problem to have that we had so much candy that it was so expensive to ship that we couldn't do it!?"
If you're still feeling like you might want to keep all that candy for yourself, I think a few more days of hyped up sugar loaded kids might change your mind.
You can drop off the candy at these locations during their business hours:
Sweet Indulgence: 19555 State Route 2, Monroe, WA
Bothell Fire Station: 10726 Beardslee Boulevard, Bothell, WA
Cedarbrook Veterinary Care: 9812 215th Avenue SE, Snohomish, WA
Chevrolet of Puyallup: 800 River Road, Puyallup, WA
Carol Flores State Farm in Bellevue
Cold Stone Creamery in Woodinville & Marysville/Smokey Point
Email Lisa if you want to give, but aren't near a drop-off location: firstname.lastname@example.org