A group of seven Lansing, Michigan-area farms pooled their resources to send 600 Christmas trees to North Carolina military families at the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
“It’s a big deal to me to be able to contribute back, to give them something positive for their Christmas time,” family-owned Wahmhoff Farm Nursery’s Dan Wahmhoff told West Michigan’s Fox 17.
“I know a lot of them are sacrificing [for the holidays. They’re] away from their families or the families are by themselves … It’s a nice little touch to give them a feeling of home,” Wahmhoff also told the station.
Dozens of volunteers gathered en masse to pack up the Christmas trees at Wahmhoff’s centrally located farm in Gobles, Michigan, on a very chilly Monday morning, the outlet noted.
The volunteers bind and lift the five-foot pine and fir trees, then place them on conveyor belts, which move the trees into FedEx trucks.
At that point, the volunteers stack them to be shipped.
FedEx is covering all the travel expenses for the festive project.
Volunteer Pete Matthews is a veteran himself and served in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Being a young person, [for the] first time really [being] a long way from home, it’s good and it’s bad,” Matthews told Fox 17.
“I spent Christmases in the North Atlantic, Thanksgiving at sea, where you got processed turkey,” he also said.
The trees will travel on the FedEx trucks for nearly 900 miles.
They’ll reach their destination at Camp Lejeune this Thursday.
That will give the lucky families plenty of time to decorate and enjoy their trees throughout the holiday season.
The generous holiday effort, called Trees for Troops, began in 2005.
It’s supported by FedEx, which transports the trees.
Every dollar helps! Support Trees for Troops. pic.twitter.com/Cph2AfSX6b
— Trees for Troops (@Trees4Troops) November 18, 2018
— Trees for Troops (@Trees4Troops) November 13, 2018
Trees for Troops is part of the Christmas Spirit Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “advance the Christmas spirit for kids, families, and the environment through programs and activities.”
The trees will travel on the FedEx trucks for nearly 900 miles. They’ll reach their destination at Camp Lejeune this Thursday, giving the lucky families plenty of time to decorate and enjoy their trees throughout the holiday season.
It’s a is charitable branch of the National Christmas Tree Association — a trade association for the farm-grown Christmas tree industry.
Whamhoff Farms Nursery, one of the seven participating farms, has a long history of producing award-winning trees and wreaths.
In 2011, the nursery supplied the Christmas tree for Vice President Joe Biden and his family by winning that year’s Reserve Grand Champion at the National Christmas Tree Association.
In 2011, the farm presented a Christmas tree to Michigan’s Gov. Rick Snyder.