Organizations donate Christmas trees to Ellsworth families

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Two organizations are helping reduce some holiday stress for families at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Fresh Christmas trees were provided free of charge to families on Ellsworth Air Force Base Friday. Photo Date: Nov. 30, 2018.

Trees were distributed to Ellsworth families Friday.

For the 11th year, the Christmas Spirit Foundation has teamed up with FedEx to bring fresh Christmas trees to base families.

The trees come from a tree farm in Lincoln, Nebraska and also include donated trees from individuals.

The event hopes to raise the holiday spirits of military families, especially those with loved ones deployed away from base.

“It really promotes all of that morale in the families, especially deployed family members,” said Chelsey Mastalski, outdoor recreation manager at Ellsworth. “Their loved ones are overseas or wherever their location is. They’re not here for the holidays, and so it just means a lot to the families and the airmen of this community.”

Master Sergeant Bricker carries a fresh Christmas tree to a waiting family at Ellsworth Air Force Base Friday. Photo Date: Nov. 30, 2018.

MSgt Bricker carries a Christmas tree to a waiting family.

Each tree carried a message of thanks to all who serve as well as the families who support them.

“There’s little notes on each tree that say thank you for your service and Merry Christmas,” Mastalski said. “There’s a colored picture that comes with every tree, so it’s really nice, it’s really something that you know that the community really enjoys giving back to the military.”

FedEx delivered 181 trees as part of this year’s program.

Airmen from Ellsworth helped families load the trees into their vehicles.

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