Trees for Troops continues mission of delivering the Christmas spirit in 2020
The Trees for Troops program may look a little different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the mission remains the same.
Rick Dungey is executive director of the Christmas Spirit Foundation.
“The mission is absolutely the same and we have a tagline that says delivering the spirit of Christmas to military families one tree at a time,” he says.
He tells Brownfield the program is unable to deliver trees outside of the US this year. The distribution at bases may also look a little different with some locations offering drive-through Christmas tree pick-up.
“This year we’re going to be a little lower in the amount of tress we send than typical, we’re going to deliver 14,500 trees but we are going to deliver to 79 total bases which is a record,” he says.
Dungey says the program wouldn’t be possible without the growers who provide trees.
“When you ask the farmers who donate trees why they give them away, it’s pretty consistent and almost every single one of them will say something like ‘well, it’s the least that we can do,’” he says. “We all feel gratitude and we’re so proud of our fellow citizens who volunteer in the armed forces.”
Trees for Troops Weekend is taking place December 4-6 this year. During the event Christmas tree farms, retail lots, and nurseries gather donations and donate Christmas trees. Twelve retail locations are taking donations and notes for service members. For more information visits treesfortroops.org.
The National Christmas Tree Association developed the Christmas Spirit Foundation in 2005 as a charitable organization to “advance the spirit of Christmas year-round.”
The Trees for Troops program is a partnership between the Christmas Spirit Foundation, FedEx, and Christmas tree growers across the country. Nearly 244,000 Christmas trees have been delivered in the past 15 years.
Audio: Rick Dungey