Operation Gratitude thankful for contributions

Caroline Vickery, pastor of Presbyterian Church of Waynesboro, displays the candy collected locally as part of the Halloween Candy Give Back sponsored by Operation Gratitude. NANCY MACE/LOCAL.NEWS

A local pastor is thrilled with the response to the community’s participation in the recent Halloween Candy Give Back Program sponsored by Operation Gratitude, which has been connecting communities with their military, veteran, and first responder heroes each fall since 2007.

Caroline Vickery volunteered the Presbyterian Church of Waynesboro, where she has served as pastor since Sept. 1, to be a collection site on behalf of the program that provides “a sweet opportunity for grateful Americans to thank those who serve our nation,” according to its website.

In addition to members of the Presbyterian Church, members of Evangelical Lutheran Church and the American Legion, both of Waynesboro, also participated. The collection from Waynesboro is part of a nationwide effort that distributes candy to deployed troops, local military units, veterans and first responders.

This is the third year that Vickery has participated in the program and is hoping for increased participation next year. “We’re always happy to have more, but the fact that we had any is a great thing. It’s a good way to teach kids about sharing.” Vickey estimated about 50 pounds of candy was collected. Donations will be accepted until Nov. 15. For more information, call the church at 717-762-1841.

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