YORK, Pa. — Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, today helped kick off the 2019 Trees for Troops weekend with an event in York County, encouraging Pennsylvanians to donate Christmas trees to active-duty military and their families.
“During this season when we are focused on family, friends, and traditions, it’s good to hit pause and appreciate our freedoms that are not free,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This Christmas, we invite you to send a small token of gratitude to our armed forces and their families through Trees for Troops. A simple act to provide troops with a little piece of home, and let them know that we in the commonwealth remember and appreciate them.”
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 major symbol of the holiday season around the world,” said Maj. Gen. Carrelli. “The Trees for Troops program sends thousands of trees to service members and families all over the world. This significant gesture supports our military families by providing them a touch of holiday tradition to ensure their season is cheerful and bright. The success of the program is driven by the thoughtful supporters who donate trees to our troops and their families so they can enjoy the holidays despite the great sacrifices of their military service.”
During the event, Redding and Carrelli 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 600,000 ground miles for the program.
This is the 15th year of Trees for Troops, which since 2005 has provided more than 225,300 Christmas trees to military families and troops in the United States and overseas. You can support the 2019 Trees for Troops program by visiting a participating location from December 6-8, 2019 to purchase and donate a tree.
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.
–Shannon Powers, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture