Farm Donates Christmas Trees to Joplin
COOPER COUNTY - Wayne and Ann Harmon own Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm near Boonville. They are donating 40 Christmas trees to families in Joplin.
"There are families that really need Christmas joy this year," Harmon said. Two volunteers from Joplin picked up the trees at about 2 p.m. Tuesday. The trees will go to families affected by the tornado through an organization called Faith Happenings.
"People will have one less worry about where they are going to get their Christmas tree," volunteer Kari Wilkes said. Wilkes organized the tree donation for Faith Happenings. The organization supported her family in searching for their dog lost in the tornado. Wilkes and her husband also lost their home.
"It's about starting new traditions and new memories," Wilkes said of families receiving the trees. "When you don't have anything to look back on or reminisce, that's when you need to look forward... to start new memories."
Wilkes will also help decorate the Christmas trees with lights, ornaments, tree skirts and tree stands before giving them to families.
The Harmon's were motivated to donate Christmas trees after losing their farm to a tornado in 2001. "We can totally relate to the devastation that happens in just a few minutes," Harmon said. The farm lost 65,000 trees in about eight minutes.
"We usually donate to a group every year," Harmon said. Last year, Starr Pines donated Christmas trees to Central Missouri Community Action.
Starr Pines has been planning the donation to Joplin for about a month. Volunteers expect the trees to be ready for pick-up on December 3.