The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation runs the Trees for Troops campaign
By Diego Flammini
American Christmas tree producers are helping deployed troops celebrate the holidays.
The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation has run the Trees for Troops campaign since 2005. The initiative helps send locally grown Christmas trees to military bases with help from FedEx.
Since its inception, the program has provided about 208,000 Christmas trees to 65 military bases in 17 countries.
Across the U.S., Christmas tree growers are loading up trucks with their donations.
Three producers in Wisconsin, for example, donated a total of 600 trees to a base in Texas.
Supporting the Trees for Troops program is a small way to say thank you to those men and women that keep America safe.
“When you realize the sacrifice they give, which I think is so wonderful, and the service they give and time they are gone from their families to protect us,” Paul Schroeder, founder of North Countree Christmas in Wausaukee, Wis., told WBAY yesterday. “I mean, it’s pretty easy to say thanks with a Christmas tree.”
Greg Hann, owner of Hann’s Christmas Farm in Oregon, Wis., is donating 125 trees to service members in Texas.
Seeing a real Christmas tree will help the troops feel like they’re at home, he said.
“I think a real tree provides that nice, warm memory of Christmas and fun home times. A lot of these troops are moved from base to base depending on our military needs,” he told WKOW yesterday. “It just feels like (they’re) coming home with a live tree.”
Christmas tree farmers in Michigan are also supporting the cause.
Volunteers gathered at Wahmhoff Farms Nursery in Gobles, Mich., to load more than 500 trees destined for Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Kenneth Johnson, a former Marine, helped load the trees yesterday.
Receiving a tree while away from family can feel like “a little piece of home,” he told MLive. “For the holidays, it helps (the troops) push through the next day and make it to coming home.”
About 600 trees from New Hampshire and 300 from New York will also arrive at U.S. military bases in time for the holidays.