There are two ways that growers and retailers can donate trees to the Trees for Troops program:
1. Donate Trees through your State/Regional Association
There are more than 20 state and regional Christmas Tree associations that have coordinators to facilitate the collection and donation of trees for Trees for Troops. The state/regional coordinator sets goals for the number of trees, secures commitments from growers and retailers in their state, and works with the Trees for Troops staff to coordinate the logistics for FedEx pick up.
If you are selling trees to be donated (wholesale or retail), you must contribute, either yourself or customers, $5 per tree to help defray some costs of the program. The $5 per tree cost is paid directly to the Trees for Troops program.
2. Host a Trailer Drop during Trees for Troops Weekend
2014 Trees for Troops Weekend: December 5-7, 2014
A "trailer drop" is just that -- FedEx provides a 28' trailer at your location, for a minimal cost. During Trees for Troops Weekend, you host an event for customers and the community to help you support Trees for Troops!
Below are various materials you can use to help promote your Trees for Troops Weekend event. Be creative -- alert your local media and get Boy or Girl Scout groups, veterans, ROTC, etc. involved. Ask groups to donate money for trees or assist on-site during Trees for Troops Weekend, such as loading trees or writing messages on tree tags. When families visit your retail location to purchase their tree, offer them the chance to buy another tree to donate to Trees for Troops. Most Trailer Drop participants sell the extra tree, have the customer write a message on the tree tag and attach it to the tree, bale it, then load it onto the trailer. Most farm/lots build the $5 cost into the price of the trees. FedEx retrieves the trailers after the weekend and delivers the trees to their final destinations. A trailer can hold approx. 150-300 baled trees, depending on their size.
If you would like to support Trees for Troops but cannot donate Christmas trees, here are a few ways you can still help:
1. Collect and Encourage Donations
You don't have to sell or load a single tree to participate!
2. Get Your Customers Involved with a T4T Pin-Up
A pin-up, which is sometimes called a paper plaque, paper icon, scannable, or mobile, is sold in retail locations and any other place that has customers and a cash register. Most pinups are sold for between $1 and $5. When the customer buys one, the donation is added to their bill. They usually sign their name to the pinup, which is then displayed somewhere in the business as a sign of customer support for the cause. Try one in your retail location and let us know how it worked.
It's easy, and consumers tend to give frequently when someone just asks “Would you like to donate a dollar to Trees for Troops?"
3. Help Recruit Local Sponsors
We need sponsors at any price point, large or small. If you can't host a trailer drop, you can still provide your community with a method to help ensure trees are available for troops and military families. Ask your local business contacts to become Trees for Troops sponsors. Donations/sponsorships of any amount are appreciated. Those who give $25 or more receive a tax receipt from CSF. You can download a "Thank You" certificate to give to those who give less than $25.