Oftentimes a good reward is worth the wait.
This holds even truer when the reward is pizza and the recipients are kids with large appetites for not just a tasty treat but helping others.
That is the lesson students at Cibolo Green Elementary learned recently after earning pizza parties for donating a big portion of their Halloween Candy to be shipped to soldiers deployed overseas and military families all over the United States. Dr. Eric Schatz and his team at Schatz Orthodontics in Stone Oak delivered over 40 pizzas to several classes who collected the most haul in a fun, candy-give-back held at the school in October.
In all, the students helped Schatz Orthodontics collect 569-pounds of donated candy, one of the first and larger hauls dropped off to Soldiers’ Angels, a San Antonio-based non-profit. Its program, called Treats For Troops enlists help from businesses and other organizations to collect donated Halloween candy which they ship to troops and military families stationed all over the world.
It is a small incentive for a big token of appreciation in the eyes of Dr. Eric Schatz. “These kids surpassed our greatest expectations parting with their much-loved candy,” said Schatz. “As a dad of five, I know that’s not easy for these kids to do.”
Or so you might think.
Seven-year-old Liam, who is in one of the winning classes, had a specific wish for those deployed. “I hope the soldiers get a lot of jawbreaker candies,” Liam said.
Another student, a 10-year-old named Dylan who is in Mrs. Reyes’ class, said he brought in two Target bags filled with Halloween candy because he went out trick-or-treating twice. “It felt really good to give back my candy because it is important to make sure our soldiers are happy because they are fighting for our country,” Dylan said while munching on pizza.
Many students who attend Cibolo Green have parents or extended family who serve in the military. So, having a parent get called to deployment for a period of time is not something totally foreign to these Military City students.
In the eyes of an Orthodontist, the idea of the candy give back is a win-win.
“While donating some of their special and very sugary Halloween candy is certainly better for the child’s oral health, we really hope the event fostered understanding of what it means to sacrifice and show compassion for others” Dr. Schatz said.
Cibolo Green Elementary and Dr. Schatz plan to partner again next Halloween to collect even more candy. “I’m feeling competitive,” laughed Schatz. Dr. Schatz and the students have their eyes set on being the single largest donator of candy to Soldiers’ Angels, next fall.
Soldiers’ Angels builds and provides care packages throughout the year in addition to supporting military families in veterans in other ways. To learn more, visit its website soldiers angels.org.