TENAFLY, N.J. — A dental practice in Tenafly is helping kids have healthier teeth while donating candy back to those in need of a cheer and a smile.
“It’s to give them a little piece of home -- everyone wants something -- a little taste, so it worked out well,” said Kim Jacob, the office manager at Dr. Angie Papandrikos's office.
Jacob overheard shoppers in a food store talking about sending candy overseas through Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that donates care packages to military members.
They collected about 65 pounds between the first and second years. When the third year wasn't enough, they sent the 15 pounds of treats to Sunrise Assisted Living in Tenafly, a place that accepts wrapped candies for senior citizens.
Now in it's fourth campaign, the office is advertising again, hoping for another big turnout.
“They don’t have to give all of the candy to us, but at least it kind of helps the parents, too, with the cavities,” Jacob said.
The office pays patrons $1 per pound. Even non-patients stop by with a few extra treats to donate to the cause.
Papandrikos caters to children. She and Jacob give youngsters prizes from a treasure box at the end of their visits.
"I hope to have enough candy by the middle of the month or at least by Thanksgiving," Jacob said. "Otherwise, we will follow up with the nursing home."
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