6,300 pounds: How much candy Winning Smiles collected this year at our annual Halloween Buyback event.

.75 ounces: The weight of your average fun size Butterfinger.

134,400 Butterfingers: Approximately how much candy we sent off to NCPacks4Patriots this year.

If you’re not familiar with our Buyback, you can read more about it here. Essentially, we buy back excess candy for $1/lb from the children in the area after Halloween and send it to NCPacks4Patriots, an organization that puts together care packages for our troops overseas. The kids make some money, save their teeth and it all goes to the soldiers defending our freedom: it’s a win-win-win!

In 2014, we collected 4,700 pounds of candy, so we set our sights high going into our 9th year with a 5,000 pound goal. With 6,300 pounds collected, we shattered that goal, and it’s all thanks to the generosity of our community members. Families, as well as schools came together to make this year our best year yet and we cannot thank you enough!

SHIPPING 6 TONS OF CANDY

As you can imagine, packaging and shipping 6,300 pounds of candy is not an easy task.

First, we had to gather as many large flat rate boxes (about 650)  from local post offices as we could and package the candy as it came in, after it was weighed and organized. Along with the candy being sent out, Colgate donated toothbrushes and toothpaste to our cause, and the cards that were made by the kids were packaged up and ready to go!

Then, we had to prep the packages for shipping. We stacked them on pallets and stretch wrapped all 6,300 pounds at our Amherst office in the side parking lot. All of the candy collected needed a pretty organized system so we created a pallet building assembly line with the help of our hygienists and other team members.

Friday November 6, not even a week after our Buy-Back, Old Dominion Freight came to pick everything up and get it ready to be shipped down to NCPacks4Patriots. Their organization is located in North Carolina, and they were eager to receive the candy as soon as possible so they could start the process of creating their care packages for the troops. These packages contain more than just candy: NCPacks4Patriots includes everything from socks to basic hygiene items to batteries.

We’re so proud of our community for stepping up for this great cause and making 2015’s Halloween Buyback an event to remember. Thank you so much! And thanks to all the schools that donated:

  • Heim Elementary – 300 pounds
  • Edison Elementary/PTA – 124 pounds
  • Holmes PTA – 140 pounds
  • Lindbergh PTA – 446 pounds
  • St. Marks School – 160 pounds
  • Roy B Kelley – 90 pounds
  • Kenmore Middle School – 42 pounds
  • Roosevelt PTA – 187 pounds
  • Clarence Center PTO – 138 pounds
  • Mollen Elementary – 117 pounds
  • Hamilton Elementary – 90 pounds
  • Hoover Elementary – 456 pounds
  • Windermere – 156 pounds
  • George M Southard – 367 pounds
  • Wales Primary – 107 pounds
  • Elma Elementary – 61 pounds
  • Ellicott Elementary – 263 pounds
  • Eggert Road PTO – 171 pounds
  • Elma Primary – 35 pounds
  • Frontier Middle School – 169 pounds
  • Ben Franklin Middle School – 54 pounds
  • Depew Middle School – 65 pounds
  • Errick Road Elementary – 322 pounds
  • Ben Franklin Elementary – 244 pounds
  • Saint Christopher – 73 pounds
  • Casey Middle School – 53 pounds
  • Charles Upson PTA – 207 pounds
  • Kenmore West – 44 pounds