TREES FOR TROOPS PROGRAM TO DELIVER 16,000 CHRISTMAS TREES
Dec. 2, 2019
The Trees for Troops program, in its 15th year, is delivering joy and a sense of normalcy to military families across the country and abroad.
Marvin Hill served 35 years in the United States Army and recalls receiving a Christmas tree while he was stationed in Afghanistan.
"That was something I just wasn't expecting and it meant a lot to me and the service members that were over there fighting because it reassured them that the American people was really thinking of them and their families back home," he says.
He is now helping other service members receive trees in his current role with FedEx Freight.
The Trees for Troops program is a partnership between the Christmas Spirit Foundation, FedEx, and Christmas tree growers across the US.
This year the program kicked off at Dull's Tree Farm in central Indiana. Owner Tom Dull says it's a great way to give back to service members.
"I can imagine that when they receive one of these boxes and open it and that aroma emanates from that box that it just brings back a flash of memory and thought and home and really the spirit of Christmas," he says.
Volunteers gathered to process Christmas trees donated by members of the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association that will be delivered to service members stationed in Guam, Afghanistan, and Alaska.
Ann O'Connor, the executive director of the Christmas Spirit Foundation, says about 16,000 trees will be delivered this year.
"We absolutely love what we're doing- the Christmas tree growers love to give Christmas trees to service members around the world," she says. "We really rely on donations and volunteer hours to get this program up and running every year."
More than 225,000 Christmas trees since the program launched in 2004. For more information visit christmasspiritfoundation.org.