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Miracle Trees

With trees and playhouses, a family supports sick kids.

This article appeared in the Winter 2024 Issue of Y Magazine. Find it here.

Daniel W. (BS ’93) and Pamela Dunn crank the Christmas music in July. The carols accompany their annual season of service: every year for nearly two decades the Dunns have spent their summer and fall putting together a Christmas tree or playhouse for families in need.

It began with a miracle. In 2002, when the Dunns—already the parents of five girls—learned they were pregnant, they went in for an ultrasound and were thrilled to discover they were expecting twin boys. But then came a shock: the babies were experiencing twin-to-twin transfusion—one was getting too many nutrients, the other almost none. The parents were informed that neither twin was likely to survive.

“I don’t know if they’re going to make it,” Pam remembers telling her mother, “but I feel peace that [it’s] going to be okay.”

Jarom and Jared were born at only 24 weeks and were transferred to Primary Children’s Medical Center for the next six months as they underwent multiple surgeries. The Dunns’ prayers were answered, and the boys were eventually sent home without complications.

Due to generous support from the Festival of Trees, an annual auction of donated, pre-decorated Christmas trees, the Dunns didn’t pay a cent for their boys’ treatment. Touched by the winter wonderland of sparkling trees dedicated to loved ones, the Dunns determined to donate a tree of their own the following year.

Over the ensuing years, the Dunns donated not only trees but construction labor, handmade ornaments, and ideas to the festival. Once the twins were old enough to help with projects, the family started donating playhouses instead of trees, building pirate ships and castles to sell at the festival. Today, both twins have served full-time missions.

“The miracles we’ve seen really did strengthen my testimony,” Dan says. “That’s part of the reason we do the festival—to testify these things still happen.”

Full Name: Daniel W. Dunn and Pamela Dunn
Grad Year: BS ’93
College: Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering
Post date: June 5, 2024
Author: Rachel Hatch Webb