CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Every Halloween it happens: parents are amazed at the amount of candy their little ghosts and goblins take home after a long night of trick-or-treating.

"Shocking how much-- I know just how much I have to buy to give to all of the kids, so I know that everybody has way too much candy," said Jennifer Adkins, a mom out while shopping Tuesday in Southpark. “I already bought two of the giant bags from Costco.”

Now the charity Operation Gratitude is teaming up with area dentists to send extra, unwanted candy to troops serving overseas.

"We did it last year and we received a letter back that they were able to take that candy into villages and give it to the kids in the schools there and it helped them build a relationship with those kids who may have never seen candy like that," said Sheena Beck with Valeriano Orthodontics off Fairview Road in Charlotte.

"Dr. Valeriano will pay $1 per pound of candy, so we try to give them an incentive to let go because we know that can be painful."

Anyone can simply drop off candy to their office. Last year Valeriano Orthodontics shipped out nearly 400 pounds of sweets.

"I think that's a fabulous idea. We certainly don't have any shortage of candy in my house. I think being able to give it to the dentist and have him ship it to our troops overseas, there just isn't anyone more deserving," added Jennifer Adkins.

Where you can donate:

Shepherd of the Mountains Church

68 Fairfax Drive
Murphy, North Carolina 28906
(828) 837-4276

Young & Polite Childrens Dentistry
11101 South Tryon Street, Suite 101
Charlotte, North Carolina 28273
(704) 587-7336

Dentistry – Dr. Stephanie Eissens
1004 Lower Shiloh Way, Suite 103
Morrisville, North Carolina 27560
(919) 472-0910

Brookdale Dental Care
9621 Brookdale Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28215
(704) 597-7772

Carolina Kids Dentistry
5829 Phyliss Lane
Mint Hill, North Carolina 28227
(704) 790-0590

Dr. Keith A. Kye
8936 North Pointe Exec. Park Drive, Suite 120
Huntersville, North Carolina 28078
(704) 896-0515

Dr. Gregory F. Valeriano
7812 Fairview Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28226
(704) 364-6544

University Pediatric Dentistry
2325 W. Arbors Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
(704) 688-1664

Hickory Smile
322 10th Avenue Drive NE
Hickory, North Carolina 28601
(828) 324-4535

For a complete list of North Carolina locations, click here.