Kansas farmers donate Christmas trees to military families

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MAIZE, Kan -- Bob Scott can't get enough of the holiday season, and this year, he's surprising dozens with an early Christmas surprise.

"It's not about making money. It's a matter of having a wonderful time with the kids, with seeing families," said Scott, owner of Prairie Pine Christmas Tree Farm in Maize. "This effort we're doing now to help the military families around the country is because we feel in debt to them for what they've done for our country. We want to give back as much as we can."

He's one of many farmers across the country donating fresh farm-grown Christmas trees. The effort is for the Christmas Spirit Foundation's Trees for Troops program.

"It's partial payment for the duty they're doing, for the work they're doing," said Jerry Eck, owner of Bel Christmas Tree Farm in Salina.

Eck served in the Army, and said he's thrilled to pay it forward.

"Again, we're very supportive of the effort and the hope that things go well. We appreciate Fed Ex doing this for us."

Eck and Scott are members of the Kansas Christmas Tree Association, which is contributing 10 of 100 trees locally.

"Right now giving the trees to the military bases is very important because we want those families to be happy and to have a chance to have a little bit of hope for the future," Scott said.

Trees for Troops has collected more than 122,000 trees since it was established in 2005. FedEx is a partner with the program and this year, it will voluntarily deliver 17,000 trees to military families station at more than 60 bases in the U.S. and overseas.

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