The 2020 Halloween Candy Give Back Program has officially closed. 

We so appreciate everyone’s time, energy and resources to make this year, even during COVID19, a huge success! We were able to make 164 Donor Matches and 75 Recipient Matches throughout the country! Also, because of your generous financial donations to the Halloween Candy Give Back Program campaign, we will even be able to mail candy to the over 60 Military, Veteran and First Responder units who requested candy, but we could not find a match for!

Please click on this link to see an informational brochure that goes into more detail regarding the Halloween Candy Give Back Program. (Much more info than we can fit on our website!)

Q: Are you still accepting candy?

We are no longer accepting candy donations at this time. If you have candy you would like to donate we suggest contacting your local fire and police stations to see if they would like to receive your sweet treats!


The Halloween Candy Give-Back Program has been connecting communities with Military, Veteran and First Responder Heroes each fall since 2007. While Halloween may look a little different this year, Operation Gratitude and our incredible volunteers are committed to continuing to give back in meaningful ways.

Grateful Americans across the nation share a portion of their Halloween candy with Operation Gratitude, and we donate it to Deployed Troops, Local Military Units, Veterans, and First Responders with the goal of forging strong bonds between the civilian and service communities nationwide.

Whether you have participated in previous years, or this will be the first time, you are in for a real “treat”.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to read our NEW FAQs


Recipient request period is now closed for 2020! Please come back in 2021!

You are a Military Unit or Family Leader (FRG, Key Spouse, FRSA, Ombudsman, Chaplain) requesting excess Halloween candy.
Register Now!
First Responders
You are a Police Department, Fire Department,
or EMS unit,
or Hospital requesting excess Halloween candy.
Register Now!
VSO or NonProfit
You are a Military
or First Responder nonprofit
or service organization requesting excess Halloween candy.
Register Now!


Donor registration period for Direct Delivery matches has now closed for 2020. Please come back in 2021! 

You are an individual who wants to donate your excess Halloween candy.

Grateful American
Register Now!
You are a group that wants to donate your excess Halloween candy.

Example: Scout groups, churches, schools
Register Now!
You are a business that wants to donate your excess Halloween candy.

Example: Dentist office, company or business
Register Now!

Even if you are not collecting candy this year you can still be a part of the 2020 Halloween Candy Give Back Program by making a financial donation to support shipping today!

Help us reach our goal of 2,020 Halloween Candy Care Packages!


FAQs: Sign-up

Q: Do I need to sign up to participate?
Yes, this helps us recognize your donation and participation. Plus, we’ll share important information and updates via email that you’ll need throughout the candy season.  Please register above. 

Q: I signed up to collect candy but didn’t receive an email confirmation. What should I do?
While filling out forms, double-check your email address for accuracy, then check your Inbox and Spam folders.  If you are still unable to locate a confirmation email, please send an email to candy@operationgratitude.com

Q: I can’t find the submit button on my registration form.
Our website is not currently optimized for mobile devices. Please sign up from a desktop or laptop. Please also make sure that any dates you enter are within the parameters of the dates given.

Q: When is the deadline to sign up?
November 01, 2020 at 11:59pm Pacific Time

Q: What is the minimum amount of candy I need to collect to be matched with a local Military Unit, Veteran Organization or First Responder Unit?
For this year, 100lbs. Please know we will do our best to match you locally, however, we can not guarantee as it depends on who signs up to request candy. If you are willing and able to drive your candy up to 60 miles, it helps increase our chances of matching you!

FAQs: Candy and the Collection Process

Q: What kind of candy can I donate?
Individually wrapped, fun- or bite-sized candy is accepted. No powdered candy, unwrapped, or homemade items.

Q: Do I need to sort the candy?
No, just remove any powdered candy (Pixy Stix, Fun Dip, etc.) to avoid a mess.

Q: Can I donate chocolate?
Yes! We are accepting chocolate candy this year.

Q: Can I donate items other than candy?
A: We accept handwritten letters, hygiene items (toothbrushes and travel-size items), and Wish List items all year – but we do ask that those be sent as a separate donation as our candy donations will be going to a new Candy Processing Center which is in a different location than our FOB.

Q: Do you collect candy all year?
No, the Halloween Candy Give-Back program lasts for a few weeks and provides us with hundreds-of-thousands of pounds for the care packages. Registration begins mid August and closes on November 1st.

FAQs: Drop-Off Locations

Q: Where is a drop-off location near me?
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to provide public drop-off locations this year. 

You may either pay to ship your candy to us or better yet, we suggest contacting a local Military Base, Veteran Organization, or First Responder Department in your area and ASK if they are interested and able to take the candy. Please note that because of COVID, many departments may be unable to accept donations, so it’s important we don’t just leave it outside their office or station and that you contact them in advance for permission and directions on how to donate your candy.

Alternatively, if you have a local dentist or orthodontist office you are a patient of and you believe they would enjoy participating in collecting candy, you can always send them the link to sign up! As a current patient of theirs, you would likely be able to find out information on how to drop off candy to their office.

Q: Can I drop candy off at Operation Gratitude’s headquarters in Chatsworth, California?
No, please do not bring any candy donations to our FOB. However, we have a NEW Candy Processing Center for all our candy donations!

Please drop off candy here:
OG Candy Processing Center
8967 Oso Ave Building D
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Q: When can I drop off candy at the CPC?
Between November 2-13, 2020
Monday, Wednesday, Friday

FAQs: Preparing & Shipping Your Candy

Q: How do I prepare my candy for shipping?
Line the box with plastic or place the candy in plastic bags to avoid spillage if the box gets damaged in transit. Boxes should be smaller than 24”x24”x20” and weigh less than 30lbs. 

Q: Who pays for shipping?
You (the donor) are responsible for all costs involved in getting the candy to Operation Gratitude. 

Q: Do I need barcodes to put in the box(es) I’m shipping?
No. Barcodes are not required this year to ship your candy. Please fill out our online Donation Form. Once you submit your form you will receive an email confirming your donation. Check your Inbox and Spam folders. 

Q: When is the shipping deadline?
Candy must be postmarked by November 13.

PLEASE NOTE: The shipping deadline date does not mean that your candy must be received by November 13. There is no need to ship overnight or express.

Q: Why is the deadline to ship so soon?
We want to be able to ship our care packages to deployed troops overseas as close to Halloween as possible. In order to do this, we need to receive all the candy at our headquarters before our scheduled assembly day.

Q: Where do I ship my candy?
Candy should be mailed to: 

OG Candy Processing Center
ATTN: Halloween Candy
8967 Oso Ave – Building D
Chatsworth, CA 91311

*Please do not include financial donations with your candy shipment, as they will get lost in the shuffle.

Q: What if I cannot afford to ship my candy?
We understand that shipping can be costly, however, because we receive hundreds of thousands of pounds of candy we cannot help with shipping costs. We encourage you to contact local freight and trucking companies in your area to see if they can assist. You may also consider asking each donor to also include $1 with their candy to help offset shipping costs. Please remember that the cost of shipping your donation to us is tax-deductible. 

We also suggest contacting a local Military Base, Veteran Organization, or First Responder Department in your area and ASK if they are interested and able to take your candy donation. Please note that because of COVID, many departments may be unable to accept donations, so it’s important we don’t just leave it outside their office or station and that you contact them in advance for permission and directions on how to donate your candy.

FAQs: Misc.

Q: Can I send other items with my candy?
No, If you wish to send items other than candy please complete a separate donation form as those items will be processed at our FOB and should not be sent to the Candy Processing Center.

Q: I know of a First Responder Department or Veteran Organization who would like to receive donated candy, what should I do?
We would LOVE to hear from them! Please have their official Point Of Contact (POC) sign up on our page by sharing this link with them.

Q: I received cash donations in addition to candy, should I use it to buy more candy?
No, please use the money to purchase items from our wishlist or make a financial donation to cover our cost of shipping care packages instead!

Donations can be made here or by sending a check to:

Operation Gratitude
P.O. Box 260257
Encino, CA 91426-0257
*Do not ship candy or other items to this PO Box address.

Q: What should I do if I want to have the media present or write a press release?
A: You can find all the details for media and press releases, here.

Q: My Halloween Candy Give-Back question is not answered here. How do I contact you?
If you do not find an answer on our website or within these FAQs, please email us at candy@operationgratitude.com. Our team will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible!