2015 was another fantastic year for Trees for Troops! Our generous partners, growers and donors continue to support this program in a BIG way! For the total number of trees donated, 2015 was our third biggest year ever! We are receiving tons of thank you notes, emails and photos from those who received trees, and we feel blessed to have been part of creating a memorable Christmas for so many troops and military families. Check out some of the photos and thank you messages on our thank you page and our Facebook page. Some of the highlights of the 2015 program:
Trees for Troops Weekend, Dec. 4-6, 2015
Kickoff and International Trees
The 2015 program kicked off on Tuesday, November 17, at Dull's Tree Farm in Thorntown, Indiana. The event was filled with excitement as FedEx volunteers, Indiana Department of Agriculture, Indiana Christmas Tree growers and local FFA students helped organize, pack and load 200 trees to be shipped to U.S. troops stationed at four bases overseas: OB Fenty in Afghanistan, Camp Buehring in Kuwait, Naval Base in Guam and Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. Pictures from the Kickoff event are posted on our Facebook Page.
Growers Donate Trees
Members of the National Christmas Tree Association and many state and regional Christmas tree associations began donating trees by the thousands. This is quite a logistical undertaking and a sacrifice, as these are quality, sell-able trees being harvested, donated and collected during the busiest possible time for growers. They do it because they love the opportunity to say "thank you for your service and sacrifice" to troops and their families. In total, 13,341 Christmas trees were donated directly by growers this year. View a comprehensive list of the 2015 tree donors here.
Consumers once again contributed to this wonderful program by visiting one of the 40 farms, retail lots or garden centers across the country that participated in Trees for Troops Weekend this year. Each of these locations hosted a 28' FedEx trailer at their location all weekend so customers could purchase a tree and then place it on the truck to be donated and delivered to a military family at one of our participating bases the following week. In 2015, 5,160 trees were donated during Trees for Troops Weekend. Click here to view the locations that participated in the 2015 Trees for Troops Weekend program.
U.S. Base Deliveries
Deliveries to stateside military bases all over the country started after Thanksgiving and ended on December 11 with a grand total of 18,633 trees being donated to military families. These trees went to 65 bases in the U.S. and spanned all branches of the armed services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and also the National Guard. The joy and happiness expressed by the families received trees is one you can never forget. Check out some of the posts on our Facebook page.
A New Way to Donate - One Thousand Tree Campaign
Trees for Troops launched an online, buy-a-tree campaign in 2014. Each year, Trees for Troops has to turn down nearly one thousand tree requests from military families across the U.S. because of not enough trees are donated. Each year we hope to bridge that gap by letting the public purchase trees online. Each $40 donation to the campaign will provide one farm-grown Christmas Tree to a military family and ensure it gets delivered via FedEx in time for the holidays. To donate or learn more about how you can help, visit the Donate page.