In keeping with the Hamilton Area YMCA’s commitment to healthy living, the Togetherhood Service Committee held a candy drive to collect excess or unwanted Halloween candy to send to military serving overseas.

The Hamilton Area YMCA planned to package the candy and ship it to Operation Gratitude, a California organization that creates care packages for American soldiers.

By the end of one week, the Hamilton Area YMCA collected a staggering 750 lbs of candy. The candy was then sorted and bagged by volunteers from Berkshire Bank.

“The community’s response to our candy drive was incredible,” Diana Zita, Hamilton Area YMCA CEO, said. “We were amazed by the community support. This initiative by our Togetherhood Committee started as great way to promote healthy living, especially among our youngest members, but it became so much more. We’re proud to support those serving our country with this initiative, it’s a small but sweet taste of home. ”

The candy was boxed and shipped on Veterans Day. Each box of candy included handwritten notes of thanks to our troops that were created by students in the Y’s BASE and Y’s Owls Programs.