Friday, November 30, 2018

Agriculture, Military Affairs Kick Off Trees For Troops Donation Weekend

On November 30, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Maj. Gen. Tony Carelli, Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, helped kick off the 2018 Trees for Troops weekend, encouraging Pennsylvanians to donate Christmas trees to active-duty military and their families.
“We often talk about the importance of partnerships in building a coalition of support for Pennsylvanians; and forging relationships to inspire, and to grow, and to provide,” said Secretary Redding. “Today we invite our friends and neighbors to join us in this partnership and help us thank Pennsylvania’s military service members. This simple act can help inspire hope and can provide our troops with a little piece of home, no matter where they are.”
Trees for Troops is a national program that provides free, farm-grown Christmas trees to armed forces members and their families each holiday season.
Pennsylvanians can participate in the program by visiting a farm or participating location from November 30 through December 2, and purchasing a tree for distribution to service members.
"The Christmas tree is a symbol of the holiday spirit to many people across the globe. This outstanding program will send trees overseas to spread joy to service members deployed far away from their families, and also deliver trees stateside to brighten the hearts of our troops and their families who were fortunate to be home for the holidays," said Carrelli. "By donating a tree, this program gives people a meaningful opportunity to say thank you to our troops and help ensure military families have the kind of joyful traditional Christmas memories that we would wish for America's heroes."
Speakers at the event, held at Bustard’s Christmas Trees in Landsdale, encouraged Pennsylvanians to do their part by contributing one of the more than 17,000 trees heading to military installations throughout the country this month as a part of the annual program.
During the event, Redding and Carelli joined attendees to load a FedEx trailer with trees donated from the farm.
FedEx partners to provide transportation services delivering the trees to more than 65 military bases in the U.S. and overseas, and has driven more than 573,000 ground miles for the program.
This is the 14th year of Trees for Troops, which since 2005 has provided more than 176,000 Christmas trees to military families and troops in the United States and overseas. Last year, more than 17,400 Christmas trees were delivered to 70 U.S. military bases and 250 trees delivered to four international bases.
The program is part of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, a non-profit branch 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 and participating locations, visit the Christmas Spirit Foundation website.
Want to know more about Christmas Trees in Pennsylvania?  Visit the PA Christmas Tree Growers Association website.
(Photo: Maj. Gen. Tony Carelli and Secretary Russell Redding.)
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