Wisconsin Christmas trees heading to U.S. troops - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Christmas trees heading to U.S. troops

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Hundreds of Christmas trees are on their way from Wisconsin to troops across the country.

Trees for Troops is a nationwide effort designed to bring the holiday spirit to those serving the country. U.S. troops and their families receive Christmas trees donated by tree growers.

"Christmas is generally a family experience and tradition, and when troops can't be with their families during Christmastime, we feel that this will help make their Christmas better," said Charles Newby, a tree grower and owner of Newby's Evergreen Farms in Wausau.

The trees are shipped via FedEx, which sponsors the program along with the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation.

"Last year the trees went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky," said Newby. "I'm not sure where they're going to go this year."

Volunteers gathered Wednesday at Marathon Park to help load trees donated from the Wausau area.

"I keep getting called to help, and I can't say no because we're doing something for those young people that are doing something for us," said Don Southworth, a volunteer and a Vietnam veteran. "This country has got the biggest thing there is in the world, and we've got that freedom, and we want to keep it that way."

The Trees for Troops program has been running since 2005. By the end of this season, organizers say, it will have delivered more than 100,000 trees.

"It's a way that the Christmas tree growers could help serve the country," said Newby.

And that service will help those who can't come home to have a happier holiday season.

Gathering trees for troops is a year-long process. If you'd like to get involved, organizers say you can donate at your local Christmas tree vendor.

You can also call the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation at 636-449-5060. You can also visit www.treesfortroops.org.

Online Reporter: Daniel Woodruff

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