As an excess of candy is distributed to area kids in recent days, one organization is sending out a call to use the holiday as a tool to educate on the importance of giving and sharing. Operation Gratitude Halloween Give-Back is a campaign to offer children the chance to donate some of their candy to U.S. troops, veterans and first responders. The sweet treats from home are to be paired with a hand written thank you letter from those making the donations. These are then collected and placed in care packages to be distributed to service members deployed overseas and others here at home. “Operation Gratitude’s mission is to thank all who serve, bridging the divide between grateful Americans and the heroes who serve and protect them,” says Lt. Col. (ret.) and CEO of Operation Gratitude, Kevin Schmiegel. “The Halloween Candy Give-Back Program provides every American child the opportunity to learn about service, sacrifice and generosity.” A local collection site has been established at The Healing Arts Center on North Clark Street in Carroll. Letters and candy can be dropped off there from now until Nov. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Operation Gratitude is also accepting donations of dental floss, travel-sized toothpaste, pens and mechanical pencils. More information on the program can be found by following the link included below.