Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Pennsylvania Adjutant General James Joseph Friday helped kick off the state’s 2015 Trees for Troops weekend.
The state officials visited the York Fairgrounds, speaking to the program’s importance and then lending a hand to load the trees for distribution to military families.
Trees for Troops is a national program that provides free, farm-grown Christmas trees to armed forces members and their families each holiday season. This year the weekend is December 4-6.
Pennsylvanians can participate in the program by visiting a farm or retail lot that is participating as a ‘Trees for Troops Weekend’ location and purchasing a tree for distribution to service members.
There are 5 participating locations in Pennsylvania--
-- Bustard’s Christmas Trees, 2210 Bustard Rd., Lansdale, PA 19525, (610) 584-4058;
-- Geissler Tree Farms Inc., 1051 Cross Keys Road Leesport, PA 19533, (610) 926-4264
-- Kenny's Trees, 909 Sumneytown Pk, Spring House Village Center
Spring House, PA 19477, (215) 628-4240
-- Strathmeyer Christmas Trees, York Fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Rd. York, PA 17463, 717-292-5683
-- Yenser's Tree Farm, 1910 Mahoning Dr. E Lehighton, PA 18235, (570) 386-5981
“We’re here today to open an important weekend and perform a small gesture of gratitude for our military personnel who protect us and for their families who live with the unique struggles that service life brings,” said Redding. “When we can offer a real Christmas tree to these families, it is our way of saying thank you for your service and sacrifice throughout the year. We appreciate our service men and women for all they do to protect us and wish them well this holiday season and always.”
More than 18,000 trees will be heading to military installations throughout the country this month as a part of the annual program.
“It’s no surprise that our troops are deployed to places that can be bleak, especially during this festive time of year,” said Major General Joseph. “Trees sent overseas will help lighten the burdens of those away from their families, and the trees that stay stateside will brighten the hearts of our troops and families who are able to be home for the holidays. These trees are a great way to let all our military personnel know that we think about them every day, that we pray for their safety, and that we are forever grateful for the sacrifices they make to ensure our freedom.”
Since 2005, Trees for Troops has provided more than 157,000 Christmas Trees to military families and troops in the United States and overseas.The program is part of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, a 501c(3) of the National Christmas Tree Association, which represents more than 700 active member farms, 29 state and regional associations, and more than 4,000 affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related supplies and services.
For more information, visit the Trees for Troops website.