Cpl. Xavier Payne knows a good thing when he does it because that’s the way they do it back home in his hometown of Greensboro.

Payne, a Marine from Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, was among a group of volunteers who helped hand out free Christmas trees to Marines and Sailors as part of the Trees for Troops program Friday at Cherry Point.

“I just wanted to do something just to help people out,” Payne said. “I’m from a medium size town and we always help people out so I figured I would reach out to the folks at Cherry Point and do the same thing.

“It’s a revolving circle. If you help someone else out, in the end they will help you out. Especially in this time of year, there are some Marines who don’t really have family at home so by helping out a little, gratitude goes a long way.”

About 700 Christmas trees were brought to the air station Friday morning in a program organized by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and facilitated by transport services provided by FedEx.

Hundreds of cars formed a line from Hancock Marina to Roosevelt Boulevard to pick up the trees.

Staff Sgt. Eric Kolk, of Combat Logistics Company 21, helped the evergreens on the roofs of vehicles passing through.

“I’m, actually pretty good at it,” Kolk said. “The parents will probably enjoy it. But I think it’s probably more for the kids. Kids really like to decorate the trees and light the trees, and it is a good experience for them.”

Most of the Marines involved were part of the Single Marine Program, but Kolk, who is married, still helped.

“I just think it is a lot of fun to see everybody come through here,” said Justin Smith, a worker from Marine Corps Community Services. “It’s Christmas time, so it makes you excited for Christmas and just to see people happy and getting their trees and taking them home to their families, I think that it is really exciting to be able to help them out with that. We just really enjoy coming out here and I asked him if we could volunteer.”

Samantha Byrne, a coworker at the Devil Dog Dare Challenge Course at Cherry Point, was there just to make sure that everybody got a tree and to make sure that it was tied on well to the cars.

“And to make sure everyone is happy when they leave,” said Byrne. “It’s really gratifying to be able to give back to the Marines, the Sailors, and their families. It’s a great feeling.”

According to Beth McKenzie, marketing director for Marine Corps Community Services at Cherry Point, the trees have been delivered to service members at Cherry Point since 2008. She said the Marines and Sailors are very appreciative of the free trees.

“They know that the community supports them and that the community wants to give back to them. They are very excited about this event,” said McKenzie. “Especially during the holidays, it’s tough for some of them. For some of them, their family members are away. They are deployed. The spouse and the children are here at home. Some of the single Marines are away from their families and they have never been away from their families before. It can be tough, so we’re trying to spread a little Christmas cheer. It makes them feel loved.”

DeAnna Sallee, spouse of a Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Sallee, a Marine Air Ground Task Force planner, said the program is amazing and appreciated.

“For one, it’s free,” she said. “And somebody else spent their hard earned money so that we could have these trees. That’s just amazing.”

Lance Cpl. Corie Kennedy, of Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28, got a tree for his young son Jonathan and for his wife Brittany, who is expecting.

“With having another kid on the way, it’s definitely helping out with the financial,” he said. “It kind of puts a little something extra in our pocket so we can get out kid something else extra.”

Since the program was launched in 2005, more than 176,000 trees have been delivered at 65 bases in 17 countries. About 18,000 trees are being delivered this year alone.