Cash for Candy

Dr. Einbinder offered children money in exchange for their Purim candy. (David Stuck)

Dr. Einbinder offered children money in exchange for their Purim candy. (David Stuck)

Elliott Einbinder wants your candy. He’ll even pay you for it.

That’s the proposition Einbinder, a local dentist, had for Baltimore’s youngest Jews, although, with no takers by Tuesday afternoon, it appeared the kids preferred the candy to the cash.

After hearing about a trend involving dentists trading money for Halloween candy, Einbinder decided to apply the same concept to Purim.

“I thought it would make a nice parallel at Purim time,” he said.

A post on the Facebook page of Einbinder’s Wellwood Family Dentistry Facebook page reads:

“The meal is over/All the wine has been drunk/Time to figure out/What to do with all the junk … Wellwood Family Dentistry/Can handle your stash/In exchange for something useful/Like cold hard CASH.”

Beginning the day after Purim and running through March 20, he opened his office to the candy trade.

Children under 13 years old were encouraged to bring their sweets to his Greenspring Shopping Center office to collect $1 for every pound of candy or trade for a $3 donation to the Ahavas Yisrael charity fund. Drinks and baked goods were not part of the collection, and there was a 5-pound limit per family.

Einbinder hopes the initiative pays off in more ways than one.

Along with donating to the local charity, he hopes to help protect children’s teeth.

Sugary candies harm teeth at any age, he said. The bacteria present in mouths consume sugar, producing acid that can wear away teeth.

While adults may be careful to avoid consuming sugary, acidic foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, children, said Einbinder, “have almost no free will when it comes to candy.”

Though he knows his battle is uphill, he said the response has been positive, although it hasn’t translated into many trades. His Facebook announcement garnered dozens of likes, and one patient even donated money to the cause ahead of the holiday.

Not letting the lack of participants discourage him, Einbinder said he hopes this will be the start of a tradition he carries on for years.

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