A Safe Haven for Kids
Just north of Harrisburg, Mo., there’s a home that serves as a refuge for children who have been mistreated or neglected. Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home offers children a safe, loving home environment and an opportunity for stability.
“The kids we serve have been removed from their homes for some form of abuse or neglect,” says Kari Hopkins, chief development officer for Coyote Hill. “They need a place to stay, and most kids will be with us for at least a year or two.”
Coyote Hill was founded in 1991 by Larry and Cathy McDaniel after the couple had become foster parents. The McDaniels observed the great need that was being unmet in mid-Missouri for foster care. The children’s home has served more than 500 kids in its 29 years of operation.
“Many of these kids grow up and continue to live in Columbia and Boone County,” Hopkins says. “We believe that whatever we invest in a child today will have a generational impact, and we can make a positive difference for our community with each child we serve.”
What started as one large foster home has grown to become a children’s home neighborhood. There are now five homes on the property and each is equipped to house up to eight children and a set of foster parents, including the Wright Home, which was Coyote Hill’s first handicap accessible residence.
A Helping Hand
Coyote Hill is in the process of extensive renovations to the Wright Home. The MFA Oil Foundation recently awarded a $2,000 grant to help provide new beds, dressers and desks for each child in the home.
“All of our kids come to us out of poverty and many haven’t had their own beds before,” Hopkins says. “They may have slept in one bed with other family members or on couches, and this is their first experience having their own bed. We teach them how to make their bed and other life skills.”
Giving each child his or her own place to do homework, store their belongings and sleep is important in demonstrating that each child has value, Hopkins says.
“Our mission is to help these kids be kids again,” she says. “We are here to help them heal from the trauma they have experienced, learn new life skills and prepare them to be successful when they eventually leave Coyote Hill.”
In addition to housing children in need, Coyote Hill has recently begun a community foster care training program. On average it takes four to six months to train and license a new foster family. Coyote Hill has already licensed 18 families through its program and is in the process of training 18 more. To learn more about Coyote Hill, visit CoyoteHill.org.
MFA Oil Foundation Grants Approved in Spring 2020
The MFA Oil Foundation provides cash grants to nonprofit organizations that are working to improve communities where MFA Oil has a significant concentration of members and employees. In March, the foundation approved more than $70,000 in grants to 8 different organizations.
Missouri Farmers Care – Jefferson City, Mo.
Community Foundation – Perryville, Mo.
Trinity Lutheran School – Alma, Mo.
St. Joseph Catholic Preschool – Salisbury, Mo.
Gallatin R-V – Gallatin, Mo.
Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home – Harrisburg, Mo.
Oats, Inc. – Columbia, Mo.
Foundation for Soy Innovation – Jefferson City, Mo.