BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Nothing says home for the holidays like the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree.
One local family farm wants to make sure that those who can’t be home this season like the troops who are stationed all across the country and the world get their piece of Christmas spirit.
“It’s a small thing we do. We feel it’s small but the impact is huge,” Chip Ellms, of Ellms Family Farm, said.
Ellms Family Farm is packing up the Christmas spirit for those who can’t come home for the holidays the best way they know how.
Chip has been at the helm of the Capital Region Trees for Troops effort for 12 years now. For him and his staff, the effort is personal.
“A number of our employees have been in the Korea or Vietnam. So one of them is right here today helping load the truck.”
Volunteers got up early Tuesday morning to load a FedEx truck with collected trees from Capital Region farms delivered across the globe.
Nationally, the Trees for Troops provides festive firs for military families and those who are deployed.
This year, our local batch will be shipped to families at the National Guard facility in Stateboro, Georgia. They’ll come with ornaments made by students at Ballston Lake schools.
For Iraq veteran Richard Goldenberg, the trees are much more than decorations. He says he still remembers the moment he first saw a Christmas tree overseas.
“You really don’t have that sort of joy of the holidays until maybe you look out of the corner of your eye and you get that sense of the Christmas tree. It revives that holiday spirit for them,” Goldenberg said. “It was amazing to be able to come out as a volunteer since that time to sort of pay it forward.”
He says he hasn’t missed a Trees for Troops since the effort started, and he hopes to continue that tradition.
All of the trees are going to stay on the trailer the entire time all the way to Georgia. They are expected to make it there to the base by Thursday morning.