Northwestern State University’s University Programming Council has partnered with Operation Gratitude – Halloween Candy Giveback Program. The Halloween Candy Give-Back Program has been connecting communities with military and first responder heroes each fall since 2007. Americans across the nation share a portion of their Halloween candy with Operation Gratitude, and they donate it to deployed troops, veterans and first responders with the goal of forging strong bonds between the civilian and service communities nationwide.
NSU student organizations, Campus Living Villages and NSU Elementary Lab classes, coordinated through the NSU E Lab 4-H Club sponsored by Lisa Wiggins, competed in the candy collection competition. Participating organizations were NSU Crew, American Criminal Justice Association, Student Theater Organization, Student Athlete Advisory Council, Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, Catholic Student Organization and Kappa Phi. Alpha Omicron Pi won the organization division with a donation of 85.42 pounds of candy. Campus Living Villages won the department division by donating 130 pounds of candy, and the winning class at NSU Elab was Lauren Procell’s fourth grade class which donated 65.22 pounds. Total collected was 652.1 pounds for the Halloween Candy Give-Back Program.
The candy has been delivered to NSU’s campuses at Barksdale Air Force Base and Leesville/Fort Polk. Executive Director of Caddo Bossier Programs and Military Outreach Suzette Hadden said Air Force personnel in areas ranging from security forces to education services received the treats as well as the base’s Youth Center that provides care for the children of military families. More than 500 men, women and children at Barksdale received treats. Leesville/Fort Polk Campus Director Martha Koury said the candy will be given to VFW Post 3106 in Leesville which will distribute it at an event in December.