By Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On Wednesday, 24 locations in the Philadelphia area are collecting donations for active military men and women, veterans and first responders. “Operation Gratitude Day” is now in its ninth year.

It’s an easy way to say thank you to our men and women in the military ahead of Veteran’s Day and the gift-giving holidays.

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The donated items will be assembled into care packages and shipped all over the world just in time for the holiday season.

Organizers bet you have something at home right now that they’d love to take off your hands.

“Number one item: Halloween candy. Bring it. It’s a sweet treat for the troops. They love it, and I know a lot of people have extra Halloween candy lying around. So bring that on in. Toiletries, socks, playing cards,” Brea Stanko with PHL Sports said.

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Donations will be accepted until 1 p.m. Wednesday, but you can also make a donation at the Army-Navy game on Dec. 14. Just look for the “Operation Gratitude” boxes outside the Linc.

Desired items include:

  • Toiletries: all-purpose wipes (single and 30ct packs or less), deodorant (travel size, non-aerosol), foot powder, lip balm, sunscreen
  • Food: drink mix, instant coffee, gum, jerky, non-perishable items
  • Clothing: socks, scarves, gloves, knit hats
  • Miscellaneous items, such as books, batteries, small plush toys, puzzle books, sewing kits, playing cards, travel board games, or video games
  • Letters of appreciation

Find a drop-off location near you:

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For more information on Operation Gratitude, click here.