'Trees for Troops' supports armed forces and their families this holiday season

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Sunday, December 6, 2020
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Bustard's Christmas Trees in Lansdale, PA, is making the season bright for those serving our country.

LANSDALE, Pa. (WPVI) -- Bustard's Christmas Trees is making the season bright for those serving our country.

"It's difficult for people to be away at Christmas and service people are putting their lives on the line so it just seemed the right thing for us to do," said Jay Bustard, a co-owner of the 91-year-old family business.

Parked in the back of his wintry wonderland was a Fed-Ex truck filled with more than 200 trees for members of the armed forces and their families.

"It's not much. It's giving them a Christmas tree. But I think if everybody can do something to help somebody else, everybody would just be a lot happier," said Bustard.

Now in its 15th year, the annual Trees for Troops campaign was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Honestly, I'm just glad we were able to still do the program this year," said Rick Dungey, Executive Director of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, in a statement to 6abc Action News. "When we started contacting bases, nobody knew what was going to happen in December in terms of restrictions and protocols."

Thankfully, through creative solutions, Dungey was still able to team up with businesses like Bustard's from around the country.

"We know it has a positive impact on the military families who receive a tree, because they tell us it does," Dungey said. "That's very rewarding for everyone involved, probably even more so this year."

Just as Trees for Troops carried on this year, Bustard's annual traditions also adjusted to survive. The seasonal shop is open for business with plexiglass, masks and an outdoor atmosphere.

"We want to keep consistent and make sure those traditions continue on," said Ron Heiler, a customer shopping during what is traditionally the biggest weekend at Bustard's each year.

The Bustard family hopes to keep these customers coming back to celebrate traditions for many years to come.

"We've been through ups and downs and recessions and all, and now a pandemic, but that's an important thing, the feeling of community," said Jay Bustard. "And I think that's what a lot of small businesses offer."

To learn more about Trees for Troops or Bustard's Christmas Trees, visit their websites.

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