PORT WASHINGTON -- On Halloween, inside Brooks Dental Clinic in Port Washington, were signs of the season. And Dr. Crystal Brooks said he hopes to spread some of that Halloween spirit halfway around the world.
“We call this Operation Gratitude -- and it started out with my very good friend that has a son in the special forces," Dr. Brooks said.
For the second year in a row, Brooks is collecting extra or unwanted Halloween candy to send to troops overseas. In 2015, 56 pounds of surplus sweets made it to Iraq -- with Brooks' friend's son distributing the haul to his fellow servicemen and women.
“The fact that we were thinking about them, and we were appreciating the fact that they are so far away from home, and they’re away from their families -- they were delighted," Brooks said.
Joanne Eibs, a receptionist at the clinic, had a front row seat to all the generosity.
“We had so much candy from people that really weren’t even patients here. They just stopped in and dropped off candy," Eibs said.
And as the mother of a veteran herself, she knew what those special donations would mean.
“You always want to make sure that they get that special package to open. [I've] been down that road. It tugs at the heartstrings for me," Eibs said.
This year, the candy will go to multiple soldiers from the area still serving overseas -- helping bring a little taste of home to the other side of the globe.
“I think that they need to know that we are here supporting them, and that we’re thinking about them, and that we’re grateful that they’re out there doing what they’re doing to keep us free. And I think we need to appreciate them even if they are thousands of miles away," Brooks said.
You can drop off your extra candy at the Brooks Dental Clinic through November 11th:
1032 S. Spring St.
Port Washington, WI