Small Town Stories

There are good people in the world.

My kids love Hallowe’en. It’s this magical evening of dressing up, staying up a little late and eating all the treats they wait all year for. They were SO excited to go Trick or Treating, and this year they were practically sprinting from house to house. Our new neighborhood was so generous, and they came home with huge bags of candy.

Each year, when they get home, they do the classic bag dump to check out their haul… and that’s where I come in. Almost immediately S & H begin holding things up to ask if they are “safe” for their “special tummies”. Neither one can have dairy, which means all chocolate, caramels, cheesies, nachos, ketchup chips and cookies have to go. We sit together and sort out what is safe and what isn’t, and usually they lose about 50% of what they brought home. As we sorted, I saw see the light in their eyes dim just a little, even though I always replace what I take out with something they can have. I hate it. It’s the WORST job.

After they went to bed, M and I gathered up all their discarded chocolate and dairy laden treats. It was far, far more than I would EVER need to keep for myself, and for a minute I stared at the pile and just felt sad for my kids.

So, M suggested that I try and trade it.

I’m in a couple of great community Facebook groups for my little town, and this morning I posted a picture of the pile and explained my situation, asking if anyone would be interested in swapping their leftover candy for a bag of chocolate.

Almost immediately the responses started coming in. People kindly offered to just flat out donate their chips and candy to my kids, but that still left me with a huge bag of chocolate I didn’t need.

Then, another mom reached out. She too has to sort her kids’ Hallowe’en haul, but for an opposite problem. Her children can’t have food dyes, so chocolate is really the only thing that they CAN have. She had a big bag full of candy, and I had a big bag full of chocolate. It was absolutely perfect.

We made the switch tonight, and all the kids were SO happy. I just showed S the bag and I swear her whole face lit up. Another woman nearby also gave us a whole case of chips and between it all this is easily as much as what I had to remove from their bags. It’s incredible.

I know I could have just gone and bought another bag of candy… and in the past, that’s exactly what I’ve done.

…but this worked out in a really neat way. There were WAY more diverse treat options in this mix than I could have bought at the store, and it didn’t cost us a penny… and we were able to help out another family with food sensitivities. I LOVE that.

I’m just so grateful to live where I do.

This was a good day. ❤️

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