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      Joplin tornado victims get free Christmas trees

      With our Thanksgiving meals behind us, it TMs time to prepare for the next holiday.

      Christmas is only a month away.

      Carl and Kari Wilkes lost their home and everything they owned during the Joplin tornado. The Wilkes drove back and forth between Joplin and the Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm near Boonville to spread some Christmas cheer. The owners of the farm Wayne and Ann Harmon donated 40 Christmas trees to Joplin tornado victims.

      Carl Wilkes said, Put a smile on someone TMs face. That TMs the simplest way I can put it. We TMre going to try and put a smile on someone TMs face.

      Carl TMs wife Kari organized the tree donations through an organization called Faith Happenings. That TMs the same organization that TMs helping the Wilkes search for their American Bulldog Hannah that was lost in the tornado.

      Kari Wilkes said, They had helped me right after the storm with donations and given me clothes and the immediate things that I needed. Therefore in return, I reached out to them saying, can you help us find 40 families? This is what we want to do for them.

      The Harmons can identify with the victims of the Joplin tornado. They experienced something very similar in Boonville 10 years ago. A tornado and hail storm destroyed the Harmon TMs home and more than 65,000 Christmas trees on their farm.

      Wayne Harmon said, It took us many years to get back to where we are today to be able to offer trees that we have to people who have now undergone a natural disaster in Joplin. We TMre returning the favor.

      The Harmons donate Christmas trees to worthy organizations every year. The Harmons said this year TMs donation is just another step on the long road to recovery for Joplin tornado victims.

      In addition to the donated trees, 40 Joplin families are also getting Christmas decorations and Christmas tree stands through the Faith Happenings organization.