The holidays can be a lonely time for military families, both for the service members far removed from familiar Christmas traditions, and for the family members back home, celebrating without all their loved ones present.
Wisconsin Christmas tree growers are helping to make the holidays a little brighter for these families by providing 600 free, farm-grown Christmas trees through the Trees for Troops program.
Begun in 2005, Trees for Troops is a joint effort between FedEx and the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, the charitable branch of the National Christmas Tree Association. The public also partners with this program by purchasing real Christmas trees or making cash donations for trees that are delivered by FedEx to more than 65 military bases in the United States and overseas, including Ft. McCoy in Tomah, Wisconsin. Christmas tree growers donate the remainder of the total cost.
The initiative culminates each year with Trees for Troops Weekend, held this year November 30–December 2. On this weekend, participating Christmas tree growers host a FedEx trailer at a designated collection site to gather donations. Wisconsin’s host site is Schroeder’s Forevergreens at 83 S. Lake Street, Neenah; however, the public is also welcome to donate at collection jars that will be set up at Christmas tree farms throughout Wisconsin, or directly to the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation at www.TreesForTroops.org. Those who choose to donate trees are welcome to write personal messages on the tree tags that accompany the trees.
Since 2005, Christmas tree growers nationwide have provided more than 208,720 free, farm-grown Christmas trees to troops and military families, with FedEx logging more than 800,000 miles for the Trees for Troops program.