Sunday, September 10 turned out to be a lovely day to connect with over 400 visitors at our annual Open House event. Our staff and volunteers, as well as a delicious BBQ lunch by Smokin’ Chicks, welcomed guests as they arrived. Tours of the Atherton Home were given throughout the day and children enjoyed the bounce house, face painting, playground and horseback rides. Old and young alike enjoyed free Kona Ice snow cones and hay-ride tours of our property.
The highlight for us, however, was the opportunity to celebrate our Legacy Donors. Legacy Donors are those groups or individuals who have faithfully been supporting Coyote Hill, year after year, for 20 or more years. There are over 30 of them, 17 of whom were able to attend!
Before awarding these faithful supporters with a small token of our appreciation, Founder and Executive Director Larry McDaniel had this to say, “These donors have been supporting Coyote Hill for 20 or more years. Seriously – who gives to anything for that long?! Yet many of them have told me, ‘I didn’t really do that much.’
“But I’m here to tell you that we would not be here today without you. You believed in us when there wasn’t much to believe in. Without the Legacy Donors, you wouldn’t see five homes here, and a sixth one going up. You wouldn’t see a horse program that’s one of the best in the state.
“Because of you, we’ve served over 400 children in our 26 years of ministry. We have a 200 acre property and a facility that’s changing lives everyday. And we have all of that, with ZERO debt.
“So the next time someone says, ‘I don’t give that much,’ you tell them they’re wrong. They give a LOT.
“I know every single one of these Legacy Donors. And I’m so thankful for them. I thank God for them every day. I could tell you stories about each one of them, but in the interest of time, I’ll only share one.
“Many years ago, Earlene St. Clair invited me to come share about Coyote Hill at her small rural church. After I spoke, the church was going to vote on whether or not to begin sending $50 a month to support Coyote Hill. Earlene called me after the vote, and explained that because of her small church’s budget concerns and constraints, they voted not to send the monthly support. Then she added, ‘But I’ve decided if they won’t do it – I’m just going to do it myself!’ And she has been ever since.”
That’s the heart of not only our Legacy Donors, but most of our supporters. We so appreciate everyone’s willingness to do your part. Like Larry stated, please don’t feel like you don’t do very much. You do! That’s why days like Open House are so important to us, so we can see and meet you, thank you personally, and with joy and gratefulness, show you exactly how your support is being used to rescue abused and neglected children.
Thank you for coming. Enjoy a few photos from the afternoon: