A little red, white, and blue bag filled with caramel corn has a big meaning to our troops abroad.
Since 2003, Naper Nuts & Sweets has sent out hundreds of thousands of them to brighten the days of those serving our country.
“It would be so nice to hip something that as something that has a long shelf life, something that was made from your hands, and something that would be sweet, which was my goal, to make their days a little sweeter,” said Dominique Martucci, owner of Naper Nuts & Sweets.
And when you’re in the candy shop, you can see the impact Operation Caramel Corn has had.
Over a dozen tri-fold American flags, once carried in planes, sailed on ships, or even flown over the capital can be seen.
Pictures of soldiers receiving their caramel corn and countless letters of thanks line the walls and pack several two-inch thick binders.
A flag from the 82nd Airborne Division with handwritten messages – “Thanks for your popcorn, I ate the whole bag.”
Each letter, picture, or signature is a human connection with those serving.
“’Sleep is a commodity, typically we work 12-13 hours a day. Everybody is looking forward to getting to American soil, seeing our loved ones, eating great food, getting sleep, and breathing fresh air,’” said Martucci, reading from a letter. “And when you read something like this it just sums everything else why, especially during this time of the year how important it is that we support our troops.”
Many members of the Naperville community have come to help Naper Nuts & Sweets with their donations – bringing candy, bathroom supplies, and other items like handmade ornaments.
They all get packed into boxes along with the caramel corn and a newsletter to get shipped off.
“You might have heard of Naper Nuts & Sweets giving caramel corn but what you haven’t heard of is just how many people have joined Naper Nuts and have given their time and so many things and I am indebted to the town as well,” said Martucci.
New boxes are sent out every week, sending treats all year round to those who could use a sweet reminder of home.
Operation Caramel Corn takes requests – their list of names is long but by contacting Naper Nuts & Sweets you can get your loved one signed up to receive the treats.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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