care packs

Treats for Troops: What Our Annual Candy Drive is All About

October 8th, 2019

Each fall here at the Wellesley Dental Group is an exciting and sweet-filled season: It's Candy Drive time! We are reminded just how truly amazing the power of giving is, and how special it is when our community comes together for a great cause. We are extremely grateful to see this annual initiative continue to grow, now going on for twelve years! This tradition sprung from our goal of promoting selfless acts of giving in children through sharing extra Halloween candy to protect their pearly whites, and sending caring messages to honor and express gratitude to our U.S. troops overseas. Community and service to others is an essential part of our core values, and each year we could not accomplish these efforts without YOU! Last year 13,749 students were involved and we collected 12,238 pounds of candy from over 43 schools, and several other individuals and organizations. This year we plan to break this record and are excited for the celebration to be even greater.

Last year we were able to send over 500 packages filled with the candy, oral hygiene supplies, and caring handwritten cards from the community’s donations through CarePacks, a non-profit organization located in Weymouth, MA.

But, the party doesn't stop there. Once the donations are collected, we celebrate with the community at our community and press event at our office in Wellesley. This grand celebration is always a blast, with performances by young students, special guest speakers, representatives from the National Guard, and Wellesley Fire and Police departments! Take a look in the past and check out photos from 2017's 10th Annual Candy Drive here, and 2018's 11th Annual Candy Drive here.

Not to mention, we always award a grand prize of $1000 to the school PTO that donated the most candy, taking into account the number of students per school and amount of pounds of candy collected per student. Last years first place winner was Hardy Elementary School, with Broadmeadow Elementary in second place, and Fiske Elementary School in third place. Who will be the winner this year in 2019? We can't wait to find out!

So, as we head into the season of trick-or-treats with Halloween in the near future, we are looking forward to celebrating this fun tradition with you!

Our 2019 12th Annual Candy Drive for the Troops event details are as follows:

Candy Collection: 1st-7th November 2019

Press Event: 8th November, 2019 @ 10 AM

Location: 5 Seaward Rd, Wellesley, MA 02481

 

 

If you have questions or queries about how you can join hands with us for this great cause, send us an email at candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com, or call us at 781-237-9071. This year you can also register online! ????: https://forms.gle/WdvFhU9UoM6RU2fR7

Be sure to follow us on Twitter,  LinkedIn, and Facebook, and look for updates on our Facebook Event Page.

News Flash: #CandyDrive2015 in the Media!

November 16th, 2015

[caption id="attachment_9197" align="alignleft" width="502"]Wellesley Dental Group team picture! Wellesley Dental Group team picture![/caption]

What an exciting November it's been at the Wellesley Dental Group. This year brought our biggest and best Candy Drive yet! With participation from over 30 schools from across the Metro-West, and more than 9,000 students involved, the spirit of community giving and patriotism was in the air. Not to mention, our 8th Annual Candy Drive stirred up a lot of amazing press coverage. We cannot thank you and the community enough for all of the support and donations of candy and handwritten notes for the troops. A special thank you to Wellesley Public MediaWestwood Hometown WeeklyThe Swellesley Report, Wellesley Weston Magazine, and The Wellesley Townsman for featuring our Candy Drive in their publications. We can't wait to see what next year's drive has in store for us.

Check out #CandyDrive2015 in the news:

Wellesley Public Media captured our lovely Dr. Zarah Ali showcasing the highlights of the 2015 Candy Drive.

 

Westwood Hometown Weekly: Westwood Girl Scout Fundraiser Helps Overseas Troops

[caption id="attachment_9248" align="alignleft" width="430"]Photos courtesy of Chandana Gopal. Photo courtesy of Chandana Gopal.[/caption]

The fourth grade Girl Scout Troop 75364 at Downey School in Westwood ran a Halloween Candy Drive to collect candy to be packaged in Care Packs for troops stationed abroad.

The Downey community has participated in this event run by Wellesley Dental Group for the last four years.

This year, the Girl Scouts took in their biggest collection yet, and collected more than 200 pounds of candy, which equates to almost one pound per child at Downey.

 

Hometown Weekly: Candy Collected For U.S. Armed Forces At Wellesley Event

[caption id="attachment_9252" align="alignleft" width="430"]The Upham Elementary School in Wellesley and the Delaney Elementary School in Wrentham shared the $1,000 prize for their PTOs. (Photos courtesy of Femina Ali) The Upham Elementary School in Wellesley and the Delaney Elementary School in Wrentham shared the $1,000 prize for their PTOs.[/caption]

In what has become an annual tradition, Drs. Femina, Ejaz and Zarah Ali of the Wellesley Dental Group recently held a candy drive that raised nearly 8,000 pounds of candy for members of the U.S. armed forces serving our country overseas.

The candy is delivered to Care Packs, a nonprofit organization that creates and ships individual packages full of candy, handwritten notes, oral hygiene supplies and other treats and essentials from home for the troops overseas.

The week-long collection, which receives support and participation from several schools, including all the Wellesley Public Schools, and other organizations culminated last week in a big celebration that had approximately 100 people join in, including Superintendent David Lussier, Ellen Gibbs from the Board of Selectmen, MSG Trevor George and local veteran Pete Jones. Thirty-one schools from 13 towns participated in the collection.

“Our favorite part was to see the community come together in the spirit of giving and gratitude,” Femina Ali said. “It’s truly inspiring to see how much candy our kids willingly donate, and reading their handwritten notes and cards really strikes a chord. It’s a wonderful thing to see right before Veterans Day.”

Also attending the big celebration were members of the Wellesley Police Department and many of the school principals. Wellesley High’s Keynotes performed and elementary school student Evan Lariviere sang the National Anthem.

The Upham Elementary School shared the $1,000 grand prize that will go to its PTO with Delaney Elementary in Wrentham.

“We definitely raised more candy this year than last year, and than ever before, but the real accomplishment was the scope of the event,” Femina Ali said. “We’ve never had such widespread participation from the surrounding communities, and we reached as far as Wrentham and Braintree this year.”

 

Wellesley Weston Blog: Wellesley Dental Group’s 8th Annual Community Candy Drive

All Metro-West Schools are invited to join Wellesley Dental Group’s 8th Annual Community Candy Drive to benefit the U.S. troops serving overseas. From November 1st to November 5th, our office will be collecting candy, as well as handwritten notes and cards, to be sent to American servicemen via non-profit organization CarePacks, along with oral hygiene supplies.

This year, the competition is bigger than ever! We will be awarding a grand prize of $1,000 to the school PTO that donates the most candy! The winning school will be selected based on the amount of candy donated divided by the number of students in the school, to ensure fair competition.

The Candy Drive is open to any school or institute that is interested in participating in this cause. We also invites schools and organizations to be a part of our Press Event on November 5th at 10:00 am, at our office on 5 Seaward Road in Wellesley. Principals, faculty members, parents, and students (with the permission of their parents and teachers) are welcome to attend. Local institutions, media and photographers are also invited to participate. RSVP is requested.

To schedule a candy drop-off, please call 781-237-9071 or email the Wellesley Dental Group at candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com. Our goal is to teach our kids lessons in giving by encouraging them to share their extra Halloween candy with our troops overseas. These sweet treats and the handwritten cards are a reminder of home for these soldiers, and a reflection of our gratitude. To check out awesome photos and more information regarding last year’s event, click here. Let’s keep this fun tradition going!

 

The Swellesley Report: Wellesley Dental Group has sweetened the pot for annual post-Halloween candy collection

Ready to get rid of all that candy? Join Wellesley Dental Group’s 8th Annual Community Candy Drive to benefit the U.S. troops serving overseas. From November 1st to November 5th, the office will be collecting candy, as well as handwritten notes and cards, to be sent to American servicemen via non-profit organization CarePacks, along with oral hygiene supplies.

This year, the office will award a grand prize of $1000 to the school PTO that donates the most candy. The winning school will be selected based on the amount of candy donated divided by the number of students in the school, to ensure fair competition. The Candy Drive is open to any school or institute that is interested in participating in this cause.

To schedule a candy drop-off, please call 781-237-9071 or email the Wellesley Dental Group at candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com. If your child attends a Wellesley public school, check with the office. Many of the schools are collecting candy and will bring it all in a big pile to the drop-off point.

 

The Wellesley Townsman: Wellesley's candy mountain: Each year at Halloween, it grows outside a local dental office

[caption id="attachment_9196" align="alignleft" width="319"]One of the many handwritten cards from local elementary school students One of the many handwritten cards from local elementary school students[/caption]

It may seem a little ironic for a dental office to be collecting candy, but for the eighth year in a row Wellesley Dental Group sponsored their Annual Community Candy Drive. Outside their 5 Seaward Road offices on the morning of Nov. 5 stood a huge candy mountain.

It wasn’t just the Wellesley school community that donated. More than 9,000 students participated this year, not including colleges. From Nov. 1-5, students from 30 schools in 13 towns brought their extra Halloween candy to Wellesley Dental Group for the benefit of U.S. troops serving overseas. The students also wrote letters and cards to accompany the candy that will be sent along with oral hygiene supplies.

“It’s become a community event. I love it,” said Dr. Femina Ali, who added that this year’s candy drive was definitely bigger than last year’s.

“It just gets bigger and bigger every year … she [Dr. Ali] puts her heart and soul into it,” said Wellesley resident Mary Bowers who attended the donation celebration.

According to Dr. Femina Ali, however, it was her daughter, Dr. Zarah Ali, also a dentist at Wellesley Dental Group, spearheaded this year’s event.

“It’s definitely a team effort,” said Dr. Zarah Ali. In estimating the amount of candy students dropped off this year, she said, “I know we have more than 7,000 pounds. I would guess 9,000.”

With a promise of $1,000 to the PTO of the school that donated the most candy, participation was robust. As it turned out there was a tie: Upham Elementary School in Wellesley and the Delaney Elementary School of Wrentham shared the prize money.

Dr. Zarahi Ali said they determined the winning schools by taking the amount of candy donated and dividing it by the number of students – to the 10th of a pound.

Megan Fennell was there with fellow students from the Kennedy Middle School in Natick. She said she wanted to participate because “I thought it would be an experience, and we wrote letters for the soldiers that we’re giving the candy to.” Her school collected 586 pounds of sweet treats.

Superintendent of Wellesley Public Schools David Lussier attended the event and was proud not only of his schools’ participation but also of the Wellesley students who performed for the crowd – Evan Lariviere, a third-grader from the Upham School, and the Wellesley High School Keynote Singers, who all demonstrated their vocal talents.

Rick Bruce of CarePacks was on hand with a truck to take the candy to the non-profit organization’s warehouse in Weymouth. He said the drive is “a great community event.”

After the candy gets packed into sandwich-size bags Bruce said, “We’ll get two or three shipments out of this.”

Also, don't forget to like us on Facebook to view pictures and more from the event!

Post Candy Drive:

We received a thank you note from one of our soldiers to a Sprague Elementary School student who participated in our candy drive. Read more here in this article written by The Swellesley Report:

http://theswellesleyreport.com/2015/12/heartwarming-wellesley-tale-the-soldier-the-2nd-grader/

Links:

http://hometownweekly.net/candy-collected-for-us-armed-forces-at-wellesley-event-p15630-197.htm#

http://wellesley.wickedlocal.com/article/20151112/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/151118220/0/SEARCH

http://www.wwmblog.com/news/wellesleydental-candydrive8

http://theswellesleyreport.com/2015/11/wellesley-dental-group-has-sweetened-the-pot-for-annual-post-halloween-candy-collection/

http://hometownweekly.net/index152.htm

http://bcove.me/wzjwe7qs

It's Candy Drive Time Again!

October 3rd, 2015

[caption id="attachment_9007" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dr. Zarah Ali, Dr. Femina Ali, and Dr. Ejaz Ali hosting the 2014 Candy Drive[/caption]

It's Candy Drive time again here at the Wellesley Dental Group, and we're as excited as ever! As the season changes and becomes cooler, and Halloween draws nearer, we're gearing up to host the 8th Annual Candy Drive for the troops this November 5th!

Donations to the Candy Drive will be happily accepted up until Thursday, November 5 at Wellesley Dental Group on 5 Seaward Rd in Wellesley. We request that  donations be dropped off between 8 am to 11 am. Be sure to follow our Candy Drive Facebook Page for more updates and photos!

Each year, the WDG collects candy donations, as well as hand written notes and letters, from all around the metro-west region. All the candy that is collected is sent to US soldiers serving abroad, via Care Packs, along with the heart-warming letters and cards, and hygiene packages.

DSC01877 (1)
More than 7600 lbs. of Candy collected in 2014!

 If you or your organization are interested in participating in this great cause, send us an email at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com, call us at 781-237-9071, or come drop by at 5 Seaward Road, Wellesley! Candy collection officially starts on the 31st of October, and continues until the 5th of November. Also join us at our Candy Drive finale event on the 5th of November, at 10:00 am, at the Wellesley Dental Group!

Last year's event saw the highest amount of candy donated so far, and a huge number of beautifully made cards. At our press event, even the threat of snow and the freezing wind could not sway the enthusiasm of the large group of metro-west residents, including school children, gathered to honor the US troops. As part of the Veteran's Day celebrations, and the grand finale of the 7th Annual Community Candy Drive, this event brought together schools and organizations from across the region, to express gratitude for the soldiers serving abroad.

[caption id="attachment_9003" align="alignleft" width="600"]DSC02632 Students from Wellesley High School[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8993" align="alignleft" width="600"]DSC02060 Students interacting with our Troops![/caption]

The final weight of the candy donated amounted to 7650 pounds, with participation from schools in Needham, Natick, Framingham, Weston, Dedham, Westwood, Newton, Wellesley, Jamaica Plains and Waltham! Students, parents and teachers from these schools were present at this event. The 2014 Candy Drive managed to cross state boundaries with the involvement of an organization from Connecticut, as well!

The event started with a striking rendition of the national anthem DSC02080by a seven-year old Elementary School Student, Evan Lariviere. The Wellesley High School Keynote Singers Club was present, and performed America The Beautiful. Speakers at the event included Wellesley Selectman Ellen Gibbs, who commended the Wellesley Dental Group and all participating towns in coming together for the cause. Dr. David Lussier, School Superintendent Wellesley, also spoke, highlighting how almost every person present would be able to trace their lineage back to a Veteran. The President of Care Packs, a non-profit organization that creates and sends individual packages to soldiers, Mr. Rick Bruce, thanked the community for contributing each year, and relayed how candy from past years has made thousands of soldiers happy.DSC02280DSC02248

The highlight of the event was the presence of the US Marines, Army and the National Guards, the American Legion, the Wellesley Fire Department and the Wellesley Police Department. Community members and children enjoyed personally interacting with Veterans and soldiers on active duty, and  getting their photographs taken in front of the huge candy display. The event ended with a prize giving ceremony sponsored by the Wellesley Dental Group, rewarding the students present at the event for their contribution to the cause, and awarding certificates to participating schools and organizations. 

We hope that you're as excited as we are to kick start the 2015 Wellesley Dental Group Candy Drive. For more photos, check out our Facebook Page. Stay tuned, there are more great photos to come!

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Candy Drive: Behind the Scenes!

November 13th, 2014

Candy drive

 

It is an exciting and busy day at the Wellesley Dental Group! As we prepare for the 7th Annual Candy Drive, the office is full of helping hands, bright smiles, and lots of candy! We always look forward to this time of year, as this event encourages community involvement, sharing, as well as showing our gratitude to our soldiers.

Behind the scenes, the glorious candy truck is making its way to local schools collecting candy for our U.S. troops! In celebration of Veterans Day, decorative cards and Halloween candies have been collected the past couple of weeks from several schools and participants in the Metro-West region. These items will be sent to our soldiers via Care Packs.

Today, Meenah Tariq, a graduate student and Fulbright scholar from Babson College, the Wellelsey Mothers forum, and the Wellesley College Pre-Dental Society have joined us so far as we set up for the drive. Gift bags, candy boxes, and more are being prepared for the big event.

The Community Candy Drive began as an incentive for children to maintain their oral health by sharing their trick-or-treat candy stash. Last year, we collected a whopping 7300 lbs. of candy! The candy drive encourages a spirit of giving and gratitude for the service of troops to our nation. Another fun aspect of the drive includes a raffle for all student participants, with gifts and prizes that will be distributed tomorrow at the big event!

The event will include guest speakers, Ellen Gibbs, Selectman at Town of Wellesley, and Dr. David Lussier , Wellesley School Superintendent. Not to mention the National Anthem by Elementary School students and a performance by the Wellesley High School Band. We will also be joined by guests from the U.S. Marine Corps, MA National Guard, Wellesley's American Legion Post 72, Celebrations Society, Wellesley Police and Fire Department, Wellesley Mother's Forum, Wellesley Veterans office, among others!

The help from the community is astonishing! Towns including Wellesley, Newton, Needham, Natick, Dedham, Boston, Framingham, Westwood, Waltham are all involved in the Candy Drive. Other local organizations involved are Babson College, Wellesley Police and Fire Department, Wellesley Mothers' Forum, Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club, and Wellesley Food Pantry. The candy drive has even expanded to Connecticut, with support from United Church in New Haven!

At the Wellesley Dental Group we believe that the Community Candy Drive attests to the remarkable power and strength of the community. The donations and involvement of young children giving up the treats they love to our troops is heat warming! We hope that you can join us at our office tomorrow, Nov 14th 2014 from 10:00 am -11:00 am! 

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Happy Veterans Day!

November 11th, 2014

Today, November 11th marks Veterans Day, a meaningful holiday in the United States that honors the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. As we celebrate and recognize the hard work of veterans from around the country, we hope that veterans feel honored not just today, but every day!Veterans Day was originally called "Armistice Day" when it first originated on November 11, 1919 by President Wilson. Armistice Day was the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It became a federal holiday beginning in 1938. The name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans day in 1954 by President Eisenhower in order to include all U.S. veterans, not just those of World War I.

Did you know that there are over 23 million veterans in the United States? Many veterans are our neighbors, friends, families, and loved ones! According to the 2013 Census Bureau, approximately 1.6 million are female U.S. veterans, 9.3 million U.S. veterans are over the age of 65, and over 39,000 veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War still living today.

The day typically honors veterans with parades, speeches, and other events across the nation to show gratitude towards the patriotic men and women who risked their lives to serve the nation.

In honor of our Veterans, send a sweet message of support to our brave troops overseas at our 7th Annual Candy DriveNovember 14th! At the The Community Candy Drive we send care packs to our soldiers through a Weymouth-based non-profit, Care Packs. Drop off your candy donations and notes November 3rd-14th!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

References:

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/veterans-day-facts

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/14/us/veterans-day-fast-facts/

https://www.dosomething.org/blog/11-facts-about-veterans-day

http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Veterans-Day.jpg

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