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Students help send hundreds of Christmas trees to troops overseas

WMUR Manchester logo WMUR Manchester 11/27/2018
a group of people wearing costumes: Trees for Troops © Provided by Trees for Troops

More than 600 Christmas trees donated from across New Hampshire are now en route to service members around the world.

Fifth-grade students from Bethlehem Elementary School worked together Monday to make the holidays brighter for others.

>> How to help: Trees for Troops

"It feels good, because we are giving the trees to the troops who don't have any trees or family to celebrate Christmas with," student Asa Toms said.

The trees were loaded into trucks at the Rocks Christmas Tree Farm. Organizers of Trees for Troops said the students worked hard to make the campaign successful.

"They learn how to raise money," organizer Nigel Manley said. "They do cold calling. They write all the tags that send special messages to the troops, and we put them on the trees."

The trees will arrive in Florida within days and join others donated from across the country.

The Trees for Troops program is in its 14th year.

"Every state has a coordinator who does Trees for Troops," Manley said. "They find out which businesses and farmers will donate trees."

The campaign has become a tradition in New Hampshire.

"I think it's a great opportunity for kids to give back and realize they can have an impact on the world," guidance counselor Sue Greenlaw said.

Sam Petree was among the first group of students from Bethlehem Elementary School to get involved in the project. Years later, he joined the Marine Corps and had a tree delivered to him.

"I know how it feels to be away from your family and your loved ones during the holidays. It's a really tough season," Petree said. "These kids are supporting the troops, learning about them and what they do, and with that, it builds respect for everybody, and it teaches the kids some good work ethics."

READ MORE:Students help send hundreds of Christmas trees to troops overseas

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