Coyote Hill added another location to its foster home community. This one in Jefferson City.
The community held a ribbon- cutting ceremony for the ranch-style home Tuesday afternoon.
“Family” is at the heart of Coyote Hill, the nonprofit’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Larry McDaniel told about 80 people gathered at its newest home.
Coyote Hill, a ministry dedicated to providing safe and loving homes for abused and neglected children, began about 30 years ago. It is based in Harrisburg, where six homes and a duplex sit on about 300 acres.
At any given time, Coyote Hill families could be caring for about 120 children, McDaniel said.
“Family is something we hold very high in Coyote Hill, and you hold high in Jefferson City,” he continued.
The effort to bring a piece of the nonprofit to the Capital City started with a church family — at Wesley United Methodist Church — where church members and friends decided to make this happen in Jefferson City.
“They never lost sight of it,” McDaniel said.
Karen Tucker and Marty Spann toiled nonstop to make the home happen in Jefferson City, he said. We lost both to cancer, he said.
However, it’s about that family, he said. And that family brought on another family and another and another.
And Rob and Oly Warner connected with the organization.
The Warners are the foster parents in the home. They have fostered 14 children and currently foster four teenagers.
“That’s why they’re my favorite. I can assure you no one wants to trade them places,” McDaniel said. “The important part about all of this and why family is so important is it’s not going to stop there.
“That’s the eternally significant part about this — it doesn’t stop there. This goes on for generation after generation.”
All that these families have learned about how to make a functional family will pass down for generations to come, McDaniel said. Their children will have lives that are full and complete — and pass that along within their communities.
Helping foster children will make Jefferson City even better than it is now, he said.
“If you want to love your city, if you want to love your county, I don’t think there’s any better way to do that,” McDaniel said.
Teresa Parson, Missouri’s first lady, was among the well- wishers at the ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
“I visited the Coyote Hill homes, and they’re doing great work for these foster children,” Parson said. “It’s a good cause to support.”
The Coyote Hill effort meshes well with Parson’s work, focusing on Missouri children, she said. And added the new home is great for Jefferson City.
“I hope this (expands),” she said. “If communities can support it, and they should, I think we can see something like this grow across the state.”