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"Our beautiful tree was provided by Bel Christmas Tree Farm in Salina, KS. My family wants to thank you for providing such a wonderful gift. You and this wonderful organization have made our Christmas a little brighter. Thank you so much!"
- Ford family

"Thank you for kindness. I look forward to celebrating this holiday season with my son, and will think of our troops, and offer up a prayer of gratitude each time I look at our tree. Merry Christmas and God Bless you."
- Cheryl

"On behalf of my family & myself we would like to say thank you for our tree. It is a tradition in our family to have a real tree. We received our tree prior to my husband returning from Iraq. We have a few special ornaments we always hang as a family & were so thankful to have him return prior to Christmas to be able to hang on our tree. Thank you again for supporting not only our family but all military families."
- Autenrieth Family

"Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful Christmas tree. This is my first real Christmas tree and I really appreciate it! I hope you have a Merry Christmas."
- Emile
History of Trees for Troops

For many years, Christmas tree growers have been providing free trees for charitable purposes. In the 1990s, some organized efforts started through which trees were given to National Guard units and other military personnel who were deployed in peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo and other regions of the world.

In 2005, the National Christmas Tree Association developed the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation (CSF) as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization to advance the spirit of Christmas year-round. The foundation quickly developed plans for a national Trees for Troops program that could unify the individual programs of tree growers and state Christmas tree associations.

The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and our corporate partner FedEx organized the 2005 program in only 45 days and delivered 4,300 Real Christmas Trees to families at five military bases in the U.S. and overseas. The following year, the program nearly tripled when 11,854 military families received trees. In 2007 the program grew even more, as CSF and FedEx delivered 16,846 trees to more than 40 bases in the U.S. and overseas to seven countries. The program has continued to grow and expand every year since its inception through the generosity of donors and the work of many volunteers.

In 2011, CSF and FedEx reached a monumental milestone by delivering the 100,000th Real Christmas Tree. To date, the Trees for Troops program has delivered more than 176,000 trees to military families in the U.S. and to troops stationed overseas in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Spain and Guam. Christmas Tree growers and individuals around the country donate the trees, while FedEx provides the shipping for them.

While a donated Christmas Tree may seem like a small gift, CSF receives countless e-mails and letters from families saying it was the best gift they could have received during the holidays. Not only are many military members away from their families during the holidays, but many military families are also away from their extended families. In some cases, “Dad” or “Mom” is overseas, while the rest of the family is also far from home. It is our hope that the gift of a Real Christmas Tree will help bring the feeling of home a little closer, wherever they may be spending their holiday, as well as alleviate some of the financial burden the holidays can bring.

The Trees for Troops program continues to grow with the generous support from many involved. 

 

2012

 2013  2014  2015

Program Totals (through 2015)

Trees Delivered (domestic & overseas)

   18,994

 17,051  18,032  18,833

176,096

Trees Shipped Overseas

300

150
 175  200

3,384

Farms Donating Trees

750

 450  400  TBD

800

Participating States

25

 25 25
25  29

T4T Weekend Locations

32

60
 29  25

60

T4T Weekend Trees Donated

  6,028

7,216
 6,206  5,160

50,829

Bases Receiving Trees

65

 62  65  69

79

Countries with Deliveries

3

3
 3  4

160

FedEx Miles Traveled

67,851

78,839
 74, 792
 79,918

653,411