Students at Hudson Maxim School in Hopatcong helped to “BOOst” the morale of troops stationed overseas this Halloween, by shipping 80 pounds of candy to deployed troops, veterans, and first responders via Operation Gratitude.
Much to the shock and delight of their parents, students gladly gave up portions of their candy to express their appreciation for those working so hard so far from home.
Operation Gratitude (www.operationgratitude.com), a 501(c)3 non-profit, annually sends more than 150,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to new recruits, veterans, first responders, wounded warriors, and caregivers and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas. In its second year partnering with the organization, Hudson Maxim School was able to more than quadruple the amount of candy collected and sent to the troops.
Candy collection organizer Linda Blazier, Hudson Maxim’s music teacher, was excited to extend the collection school-wide this year, and hopes to go even further next year by including the entire district.
“It’s so easy to take for granted the freedoms that these men and women have afforded us,’’ she said. “As a primary school, we try to teach our children gratitude and kindness every single day. It is an important personal mantra of mine to show kindness at every possible opportunity, and the candy collection is just one small way to do that and involve the children in a way that means something to them.”