REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH) — More than 100 Christmas Trees were inspected, wrapped and packed to send to military personnel serving overseas in Kuwait.

The Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OCT), Ohio Department of Agriculture, and FFA students from New Lexington Middle School tagged and bagged all of the handmade decorations, letters of support, and Christmas Trees Wednesday morning for Operation Evergreen.

“They give us our freedom, they help everyone,” said New Lexington eighth-grade volunteer Michael Steele. “They risk their lives to give us our freedoms.”

The Department of Agriculture inspected each tree to assure there were no insects or diseases on the trees, to be sure they were safe to ship abroad.

“The trees are coming from all over the state of Ohio,” said volunteer and tree grower Stacie Hopple. “All of the farmers associated with the Tree Farmers Associated donate their trees, and schools from all over Ohio make ornaments.”

There is always time to participate. While this year’s shipment is ready to go, local schools can participate by helping the group prepare for next year. They need handmade decorations and tree ornaments to send to the troops. Now is the time to make those and send them to the OCT.

“Now is a great time, as young people are wanting to think about the holidays. Make some donations for us today, ship them to our address, and we’ll put them in the tree boxes next year,” said the Ohio Christmas Tree Association Executive Director Valerie Graham.

“It’s a way they can say they are thankful for the country that we live in,” said Hopple.

Each tree costs roughly $200 to deliver from the United States to Kuwait. The bill won’t come for another two months.

Should your group of children want to send letters of thanks, make ornaments and other decorations, you can send them to:

Ohio Christmas Tree Association
6870 Licking Valley Road
Frazeysburg, OH 43822

Should you want to make a monetary donation, checks can be sent to the above address and made payable to OCTA Operation Evergreen. There is a link on this website to donate with a credit card.