Clarion students participate in Operation Gratitude

Clarion Elementary students participated in Operation Gratitude. These boxes are filled with the students extra Halloween candy which they collected and are ready to be shipped to the U.S. service members deployed overseas, veterans, and to first responders serving in their local communities. An incredible total of 250 pounds of candy were donated by Clarion Elementary students for this project. (Submitted photo)
From staff reports

This Halloween, Clarion Elementary students joined children across the country when they donated their extra Halloween candy to Operation Gratitude at Clarion Area Elementary School.

Clarion Elementary students donated 250 pounds of candy from Nov. 1 through Nov. 6. The classroom who collected the most candy was Mrs. Parrett’s second-grade class, donating 32 pounds.

Additional candy donations were made by Redbank School District as well as the Clarion Free Library.

The sweet treats will be included along with handwritten thank you letters in care packages sent to U.S. service members deployed overseas, veterans, and to first responders serving in their local communities.

Clarion Area School District would like to thank the following people for their efforts in making this program a success: Clarion Area students and staff for their generosity and efforts, Roger Walter, Hugh Henry, Seneca Woodworking, and Lifetouch Studios for their generous donations towards shipping as well as Ashley Corcetti and the Loomis for their support and pizza donations.

Americans spend an estimated $2.5 billion dollars on a whopping 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year.

In 2017, more than 400,000 pounds of candy were donated to Operation Gratitude and distributed to America’s heroes through its care package programs.

To learn more about this program, go to

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude, a 501(c)(3), volunteer-based organization, annually sends 250,000 plus care packages to veterans, new recruit graduates, first responders, wounded heroes, caregivers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.

Each package is filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, as well as personal letters of support. Operation Gratitude’s mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the military and first responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation.

Each package contains donated product valued between $50 and $100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship.

Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 2.1 million care packages.