Trees for the Troops

Proud Wisconsin military mom sends parcels of comfort and joy to soldiers overseas.

Trees for the Troops | Country Woman Magazine | Love the Country

TREES FROM HOME

"It touches our hearts to give these brave men & women a piece of home at Christmas." - Julie Stuhlmacher

Trees for the Troops | Country Woman Magazine | Love the Country

TREES FROM HOME

Julie decorates mini trees for American troops overseas.

Trees for the Troops | Country Woman Magazine | Love the CountryTrees for the Troops | Country Woman Magazine | Love the Country

Even from afar, Julie Stuhlmacher made sure her son, John, had a piece of home for the holidays in 2002. She trimmed a mini tree with garland and ornaments and sent it from Glendale, Wisconsin, to Iraq, where he served with the National Guard. The tree was such a hit in John’s unit that Julie founded her own charity, Trees From Home. Since then, she’s shipped more than 13,000 trees to troops.

Why did you start Trees From Home?

John was the one who told me I should send some trees to his wife, Kristina, since it was so special when he received mine. Kristina was deployed in 2009, and we sent trees to her entire unit of 120 people. After that, calls flooded in from people with donations and names. I officially started Trees From Home in 2010.

How do you send the trees?

For the first three years, we sent each tree in an individual box, but now we send a big box with the trees in individual bags. We also include some goodies and a pen with a few cards in each pack for the soldiers to send their own holiday wishes back home.

Who decorates the trees?

We have decorators from all over Wisconsin and North Carolina, and we have ladies knitting helmet liners as far away as Tennessee. Volunteers include kids, men and women from ages 4 to 80.

Gotten any feedback from the recipients?

We have received many responses from service members who have never gotten mail from home. They were touched that strangers cared enough to send packages of Christmas cheer. One commander said it brought him to tears.

Deliver Some Cheer

Show your support for the troops with these thoughtful gift ideas.

Visit treesfromhome.org to make a donation or request a tree delivery for someone close to your heart. Sweeten up their day by sending packaged goodies like gum, candy, trail mix or nuts.

Hand-write a special holiday greeting, then let your kids or grandkids illustrate the card. The personal artwork is sure to bring big smiles.

Send the essentials. Simple gifts like body-care products are a luxury when they aren’t readily available.

Kathy Hastings 1 December 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm

The mother in Wisconsin is God sent what a thoughtful wonderful lady for sending soldiers a price of Christmas I’m sure she’ll touch a lot of hearts
Thank you Julie Stuhlmacher and Merry Christmas to you and your family

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jBarbara 2 December 18, 2015 at 5:23 pm

what a nice thing to do. it brought me to tears reading it all. the trees are lovely and so enjoyed by all who received them. It’s inspiring to know there are such caring people in this world. thank you for sharing this with us.

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mary irving 3 December 19, 2015 at 7:32 am

Really loved the article about sending Christmas trees to our troops. What a thoughtful idea!

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Donna Curry 4 December 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm

What a wonderful charity!!! I have volunteered for The Hugs Project, making cooling ties (Hugs) and a helmet cooler (Kisses) for the military.

Do you work year round on the Trees? I am in Oklahoma and would like to participate.
Can you supply me with more details please?

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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pam tessman 5 December 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm

You are a lovely, thoughtful person. I heard about your program too late for this year but I will be sure to plan for next year. Bless you and Merry Christmas.

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Terri 6 December 20, 2015 at 12:00 am

I so appreciate this article supporting our troops. God bless Julie & all the volunteers who take the time to remember the true heroes of the USA.
Air Force Pilot Mom,
Terri

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