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Military Connection: Trees for Troops: By Debbie Gregory

Trees for Troops

Each year, hundreds of thousands of American service members spend their holiday season away from home and families, in locations around the country and around the world. While they are proud to do their duty and make sacrifices for their country, it’s a hard time of year to be away from their families. Morale can dip around the holidays, and many service members have a hard time finding their holiday cheer. But one national charity is raising spirits for American service members and military families.

Trees for Troops is a charity that spreads joy and raises spirits for all branches of the U.S. military. Since 2005, the non-profit has provided more than 139,000 American-grown Christmas Trees, free of charge, to the military community.

The program is designed to bring holiday cheer to deployed military and military families. For deployed troops, the tree symbolizes a touch of home around the holidays, and for military families, it spreads joy by expanding their holiday budgets.

Trees for Troops became a national program in 2005 when the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, a charitable arm of the National Christmas Tree Association, unified the programs of tree growers and state Christmas Tree Associations. The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation partnered with FedEx Corporation to ship the Christmas trees from the tree growers, delivering them to military bases.

Last year, 450 tree farms delivered over 17,000 Christmas trees to 62 military bases. Trees for Troops estimates that FedEx traveled 78,839 miles to deliver last year’s trees for the charity.

It is only through the generosity of the American people and their donations to Trees for Troops that the program is able to continue the delivery of Christmas trees, a valuable gift to service members and military families. To donate, visit http://www.treesfortroops.org/dnn/Donate.aspx

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Military Connection: Trees for Troops: By Debbie Gregory