Coyote Hill Will Celebrate Its 20th Christmas

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HARRISBURG - Coyote Hill Christian Children's Home is preparing for its 20th Christmas.  In keeping with tradition, the children made their lists early back in October.  Each of them wrote down one big item, such as a bike or gameboy, along with some smaller items they would like.  Just like the past 19 years, the presents are donated by mentors and other community members, churches and businesses.  However, this Christmas will bring about plenty of change. 

Jamiee Marshman and her husband will celebrate their first Christmas since becoming foster parents at the Zimmer Home in Coyote Hill.  Right now, they're trying to finish up all the decorations and hang up the lights with almost a dozen children running around.  They are one of three new parents at Coyote Hill and are looking forward to starting their own traditions. 

Another change this year is the drop-off location for the presents.  First Presbyterian Church in Columbia has opened up its building to store the gifts, as well as to host volunteers as they wrap the presents.  It is the largest space Coyote Hill has had for this purpose by far.  Developement director Kari Salmom says she was initially worried about getting enough material for thirty kids, as they opened up a fourth home this year, but each child now has more than what they asked for. 

The most unique item on the wish list this year was a whistle.  The sponsors of the six year old who asked for the whistle made sure they found the biggest, loudest one they could find on the internet.  The item on everyone's list at the Marshman's home was a Nintendo DS.