Faith Like a Child

The “Friends of Show-Me” Annual Fish Fry and Multi-Miracle

You can’t miss it. The large blue building is the central landmark and most recognized feature of Show-Me. The Multipurpose building, or “Multi,” is the hub of life at the main campus. Daily, within its walls: K-12 school is taught, office staff conduct business, counselors listen to kids’ concern, visitors cheer on our athletes, and God is praised. Each year, nearly 500 supporters will unite during our Annual Open House, former kids and their families will return “home” to share a meal at the holidays, and tears will be shed as a once struggling young person crosses the stage to receive their high school diploma.  

Even more impressive than all the ways the Multi is used, is the story of how it came to be. It is the Show-Me version of the miracle of the fish and loaves. The testimony of how a childlike faith passed from one group to another sparks an overflowing of blessings that continue to multiply from generation to generation.   

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

“What do you do when the weather gets bad,” Kirk Bruce asked while touring the La Monte campus in 1990. “Pray! There is not much else we can do,” housemom and current Director, Karen Culler, said with a smile. Kirk continued, “what is something Show-Me could really use, but that you feel is not such a pressing need that you should ask for help?” Karen responded that a dream would be to have an area where the kids could play on a rainy day. A space large enough where all the families could gather as one big Show-Me family at the holidays or for special events. 

Driving home, Kirk and his wife, Bonnie, talked about the 40’ x 60’ metal building that he had recently built on his property for a cost of $14,000. Why couldn’t they build something like that for the kids at Show-Me? A simple shelter would give them a safe place to go when the weather turned bad. He had the skills to build a shelter like that; all he needed now was the money to do it.

A Challenge to Christians in Action

The Bruce’s decided to approach the 25 members in their Christians in Action (CIA) Sunday school class about the need. He challenged them to raise $15,000 toward the project. “If we are going to do it, let’s do it right!” Bill and Donna Crockett exclaimed. The group decided to hold an all-you-can-eat fish fry fundraising event. These “Friends of Show-Me,” as they called themselves, resolved to “give it a try, and with God’s help, see what happens.” As they brainstormed ideas, each member took stock of what talents, gifts, and connections they could bring to the project.

Smiling Faces and Fish Guts

Donna, a mother and former city council woman, utilized her organization and delegation gifts to lead the project. She turned the group’s idea into an actionable plan. “Mom never met a stranger,” laughed Tim Crocket, Donna’s son. “She was never afraid to ask for help. She could see the talents of others and know exactly how she could use them to fill a need.” Friends reached out to friends. Soon, everyone wanted to join the cause from the church to the wider community in Columbia, MO. 

Local businesses donated oil, cups, and other supplies. Donna found a fisherman in Louisiana, who caught 1,800 lbs. of fish. The CIA class met to clean and prepare the fish. Bob Fletcher, a member of the class, stored the fish in his industrial freezer near the venue. The Church family prepared desserts and side dishes. Greg Johnson, the pianist at Westside, provided the entertainment. On the day of the first event, Donna had lines of men waiting with their fryers. “Everyone had a great time,” recounts Kirk. “It didn’t matter if you were gutting fish or washing plates.”

All-You-Can Eat Fish to Satisfy the Multitudes

The event, held at the Kemper Arena outside of Columbia, MO, exceeded even their wildest expectations. By the end of the night, they had fed 1,200 people raising over $20,000. “After the success of the first event, everyone wanted to do more,” Kirk remembered. 

Daring to Dream 

They dared to dream bigger. The group vowed to hold more events each Spring. What started as a building project for a simple covered shelter transformed into an indoor recreation “hall of many uses.” The new plans included an indoor gym, kitchen, stage, tutoring and preschool facilities, as well as much needed storage. Looking to centralize operations under one roof, they added administrative offices, a counseling area, a print shop, and a library. Bill Crockett, an architectural engineer, offered his expertise to ensure the construction process would be a success. 

“The more people we get, the more things we can do,” Donna encouraged. Kids held “change for children” coin drives. Kirk donated all the tips from his barber shop. Other members of the CIA class made large donations. A young man from their church even wrote a $6,000 check. He said he felt compelled to give the money that he saved since his company was paying for all his expenses while he worked overseas in Africa.

The “Friends of Show-Me” Annual Fish Fry continued for the next four years, each year seemingly larger than the last. From 1990 to 1994, the “Friends of Show-Me” raised a total of over $125,000. 

In 1994, construction began at Show-Me. Volunteers helped with the finishing work on the interior part of the building. On July 8, 1995, the new Multipurpose building was dedicated at the Show-Me Open House event. 

Why Can’t We!?! 

The biggest impact could not be measured by a dollar sign. More significant than the money raised was how the project opened the hearts and eyes of all those who were involved. Hundreds of people, who had never heard of Show-Me, sat down to a great meal, and left with a new awareness of a place where struggling families could get help. Scores of volunteers, who first got involved to help do a “good” thing, caught the passion, and become faithful supporters. 

“Mom’s (Donna) goal was to get people to think about the kids in our community who needed a safe place like Show-Me,” stated Tim. “As she would say, family does not end when a person turns 18 years old. Everyone needs a place where they can come ‘home.’ If these kids do not have a place, then why can’t we make a place!?!” 

The Real Miracle 

The Show-Me Fish Fry miracle was never about fish; it is about what can happen when we have faith like a child to respond to a need we see in our community. A need that even some of the Lord’s disciples might think is too big to attempt. God’s miracles rarely involve the sky opening and manna from heaven descending. More often, they occur when ordinary people accept His invitation to be part of the solution.

God will show us the miraculous when we look at what we been given, and have the courage to offer Him even those little gifts. Then, He will multiply it to be more than enough as we pass the basket to invite others to share in the blessing.

“You realize that the blessing is pouring yourself out,” stated Elton Fay, a member of the CIA class and Show-Me board member. “The truest blessing comes when you do something for someone that can never pay you back.”

By |2024-02-14T13:03:42-06:00February 14th, 2024|Categories: Celebration, Children, Uncategorized|

What Good Can Come Out of Covid-19?

YOU!!!  How a Pandemic Reveals Blessings of God

Homelessness. Loss of a job. Addiction. Coronavirus. The recent upheaval has brought to light for the country something that every child who comes to Show-Me has had to learn. Since God is a loving Father, all-knowing God and Lord, who only wants the best for us – then, not only did He know of the struggles we would face, but He allowed them for some reason. Crises, unforeseen hardships, and out-of-our-control life events reveal greater truths. Instead of focusing on the darkness, we need to look for the lights He is surrounding us with. The worst of times bring out the best in people. Only if we learn to trust God looking past our current difficulties will we discover these overlooked blessings.

Show-Me was bustling as 2020 kicked off. Schools and homes were near bursting at the seams as we continued to push our capacity. Volunteer groups, staff, and skilled craftsmen flooded the campuses to keep progress moving on the construction of two new houses and site improvements. Volunteers put finishing touches on the interior of the Leadership U Arena. The main campus looked like giant moles had invaded as trenches were dug to update water, waste, and electrical infrastructures. Phase I of the 2020 Vision Campaign to Rescue and Restore Even More was on schedule to be completed in the summer.

Then, COVID-19 happened…

In March, the difficult decision for safety was made to begin to isolate our families and limit any outside contact. Sporting events, the school play, and the Troy Culler Memorial Basketball Tournament were canceled. Volunteer activities, mission teams, and tours rescheduled. All off-campus travel, promotions, and church visits postponed. School continued at each campus, but satellite homes no longer came to the main campus for programs like Leadership U or Path to Purpose. But, for the most part, day-to-day family life still remained relatively “normal” except for maybe not seeing new places or faces.

A New “Normal” !?!
That all changed in April following the governor’s stay-at-home order. Since the physical, emotional, and spiritual mission of rescuing and restoring young lives is considered essential, our staff were frontline workers providing around-the-clock care. The main office remained open only on a limited basis. Staff worked remotely from home, coming in only as needed. Remarkably resilient, our houseparents played the role of teacher, counselor, and recreational director as they balanced the needs of eight to ten kids under the same roof.

School was conducted at home. The flexibility and self-paced format of the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum adapted well to the circumstances.  Using rotating schedules, each family was able to meet with school administrators for testing. Regular counseling appointments were conducted by video conference. From the gym to the clothing barn, families coordinated ways to share resources and keep the routines as normal as possible for the kids. Minimizing any chance for germs, each area was cleaned before the next family’s turn.

School wrapped up in May with all 46 students finishing their studies and passing their classes. Each of the five seniors received their diplomas. Due to social distancing, this year’s graduation was a small event with only immediate family attending. Those not able to attend in person watched the ceremony online. Face masks were as much in style as the traditional cap and gown.

Now, as restrictions ease, Show-Me is shifting back to traditional routines. Staff resumed full-time on-site operations on June 1st. Families have begun speaking at churches and other promotional gatherings. In July, volunteer groups, tours, and outside contact will gradually start again on campus. At the end of July, Show-Me Christian School students will start their 2020-2021 school year.  And, our families are eagerly looking to reconnect with YOU, our bigger Show-Me family, at the 2020 Annual Open House in September.

Problems…Meet Blessings
Like the rest of the country, we improvised and adapted to ensure everyone remained healthy, basic needs continued to be met, and that there was always enough toilet paper. Yet, in the chaos, God, through His people, continued to meet each challenge with a blessing.

With so many teenagers under our roofs, you might think that food would need to be rationed. But, our food supply was one of the biggest blessings. Each family had plenty of meat due to 12 cattle from our Drysdale campus being butchered in February. We didn’t have to deal with empty store shelves because we utilized the donated items in our food barn. We continued to receive the left-over baked goods from local grocery stores and returned clothing from Walmart. Hiland Dairy provided milk to each of our households. A steady supply of fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs was brought to us from local farmers. We were even able to share these blessings with former Show-Me families, local ministries, and other non-profits.

There were even benefits to being quarantined at home. No longer having to juggle sports schedules and church visits, houseparents found some much appreciated downtime. The kids helped with projects around the house and campus. Some of the older boys helped Nathan Smith finish putting together horse stalls for Leadership U. The extra time also helped the three new sets of houseparents – the Bowser, Holloway, and Stilfield families –  get settled into their new surroundings.

Families coordinated movie nights on the lawn, pool times, and other activities for the kids. Pick-up games of volleyball, basketball, and kickball were organized. They united around kitchen tables and backyards to play games or talk. Using their musical talents, some kids led worship in the homes on Sunday while others sang or read scripture.

Even from a distance, supporters found ways to encourage and keep spirits high. A church in Nebraska filled our food pantry with 250 boxes of kid’s cereal. An anonymous couple sent each of our staff a letter of encouragement and $20 to do something nice for their family. Two RVs were donated for our families to share. To help remind them of better days ahead, one supporter offered to pay the cost for each family to go on a fun recreational outing together.

COVID Only Confirms the Mission More
Show-Me has not been immune to the effects of the pandemic. Financially, there has been an overall decline in donations as some long-time supporters and churches face financial hardships of their own. God answered our immediate need with a large estate gift, which at this time has made up for the current loss.

COVID-19 may have caught the world by surprise, but not God.  We know that times like this magnify problems and hardships for families. Too often, children are the ones caught in the middle. Situations like this reflect on how crucial our ministry is to take care of these vulnerable lives, and to show Christ’s message of love in action, not just words. In faith, we continue to strive ahead carrying on the mission He has given us. And, thanks to you, we know that we are not alone.

By |2020-06-25T20:06:05-05:00June 25th, 2020|Categories: Celebration, Children, Houseparent|

Overcoming the Impossible

A Step to Connect What We Love with Who We Know

“A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With One Step”

– Lao Tzu

“IMPOSSIBLE!” would be the gut-reaction of most of us, if we saw God’s plan for the rest of our lives. Knowing the challenges ahead, our fear could paralyze us before we start. Lao Tzu’s saying, the 2020 Restoration Gala’s theme, reminds us that all tasks – no matter how big or difficult – start in the same way…with a single step. It doesn’t matter if it is expanding to meet the ever-growing need of children, or trying to outrun childhood ghosts. Each seemly ‘impossible’ journey starts with a single step of faith, trusting God to provide along the way everything else needed.

“How Can I Do Nothing?!?”

Left to grow up in unhealthy environments, children experience traumatic events that remain with them the rest of their lives affecting relationships, prospects of a successful future, and their faith – in God, in others, and in themselves. Even the lucky ones, who appear to break the cycle (see Keyon Dooling’s story on page 3), may carry emotional scars that threaten everything. Without help, the odds are stacked against these young lives having a happy childhood or growing into healthy, independent adults.

Over 50 years ago, upon seeing these battered young spirits, a group of Good Samaritans were compelled to answer, “How can I do nothing!?!” Collectively, they stepped forward to create Show-Me and rewrite the near and eternal futures for hundreds of children.

Can We Keep Turning Them Away?

The sad fact is that each year Show-Me can only say “YES” to five percent of the requests for help. Our current homes have reached their capacity. Safely, we can no longer add to the 50-year-old framework with short-term renovations, which are not cost-effective or adequate. If we are to meet the growing demand to help more children, our infrastructure must be rebuilt so new homes can be added. Compelled once again by the Spirit, a request is being sent out to find compassionate hearts willing to step with Show-Me as part of The 2020 Vision Campaign to Rescue and Restore Even More.

The $3 million campaign will enable us to serve up to 85 children by adding three new homes and expanding our school capabilities. The first step is almost complete and funded with the updating of the main campus infrastructure (water and waste management systems). The next step is to build two new homes and enlarge the current school facilities to accommodate up to 80 students. The second campus in Barnett, MO continues its development with the Reed home currently under construction. Future steps will include a new office across from the homes and school, creating more safety check-in points and relocating non-school staff and programs.

If Children Can Be Helped, But No One Knows…

To provide the stability needed for the new families that will live in the three homes currently under construction, we must not only maintain, but increase our steady, ongoing, monthly support. The estimated cost to support a new 10-person family is an additional $5,000 per month per home. New supporters must be found to help the children waiting.

But where? Each year, more and more of our most faithful, long-term supporters have gone on to be with the Lord. Congregations struggling to keep their doors open trim their missions support. Today, fewer churches and Sunday Schools provide time for missions to speak. Christian Conferences and camp attendance have seen a steady decline over the last 25 years. Relying more on mainstream methods such as billboards or commercials is just too costly to be practical.

The problem is not people believing in the mission; almost everyone who talks with a child or comes out to visit becomes active in some way. “I never knew a place like this existed for kids,” is a common phrase uttered by first-time visitors. The problem is how do we connect Show-Me in its rural locations with new supporters, most of whom do not live anywhere close to Show-Me and whose lives are dictated by their hectic schedules.

If They Can’t Come to Show-Me, Bring Show-Me to Them!

In 2018, the 1st Annual Restoration Gala was held. While financially a success, the greatest treasure came in the form of new relationships, which have opened doors for Show-Me to speak at their businesses, community groups, and churches.

Kim Ream, a former American Family Insurance agent in Warrensburg, MO, was instrumental in connecting Show-Me with the American Family Insurance Charity, Inc. (AFIC). Thanks to her nomination, Show-Me was selected as the beneficiary of the 2018 AFIC Annual Golf Tournament. The tournament raised over $25,000 and resulted in American Family Insurance donating over $45,000. “I don’t know many people who can write a check for $25,000 out of their own bank account,” laughed Director Chad Puckett. “But, many of us have relationships that could have a tremendous impact to help the ministries we love.”

With this in mind, this year’s 2020 Restoration Gala is focused on raising new friends. We are asking those passionate about children to use this event to connect Show-Me with these kind of key relationships, who may have the expertise and gifts we need to take the next step. In hopes to get the message out to as many new people as possible, ticket prices are $25 (covering the cost of the meal). Former NBA player and Mizzou star, Keyon Dooling’s testimony offers a rare and candid glimpse into how events in our childhood set the foundation for the rest of our lives. Hearing from Keyon and a teenager at Show-Me, Josie, folks will understand the critical help and healing that a place like Show-Me provides.

A Formula to Move Mountains

By ourselves, the journey to solve these problems seems impossible. We are just ordinary people with limited resources on our own. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, our weakness is our greatest strength because that is the formula God has used time and time again for the world to know His grace and love. Jesus promises we can move mountains. We just have to trust Him enough to take that first step, then enjoy the journey ahead.


By |2020-02-06T10:37:18-06:00February 6th, 2020|Categories: 2020 Vision Campaign, Celebration, Events, Uncategorized|

New Image for Show Me Homes

Dear Friends,
‘Things don’t happen by chance, they happen by change.’
After celebrating 50 fantastic years of Show-Me Christian Youth Home, let’s launch into the next 50 with a fresh new image of what Show-Me is all about.  Let’s challenge the image of a “youth home” by exploring who needs a place like Show-Me and what the ultimate goal of this ministry truly looks like.
You, I, and the rest of the world, need Show-Me.  Not all of us will need to place a child here (but, honestly, if we ever find ourselves in that position, I’m glad we have a choice).  We need this ministry because there will always be vulnerable kids who need a home, a family.  As a Christ-follower, I have a unique opportunity and obligation to reach into their lives.  Christianity never looks more beautiful than when His people engage in the needs of the world around them.
The ultimate goal beyond the “Rescue” includes the “Restore.”  We strive to prepare each child for a healthy future and excellent eternity.  Healthy, restored, Christ-following adults make this world a better place for all of us.
Show-Me evaluated every aspect of the program and made significant changes and updates to reflect the needs of the children we serve.  Now, in this 51st year, let’s launch a new image of Show-Me Christian Youth Home!
I love the new image: fresh, inspiring, simple.  “Show-Me Homes,” what most folks call us anyway, and though “Christian” and “Youth” are no longer part of the branding, it will always be our driving force, as reflected boldly in our Mission:  “Compelled by Christ to Rescue and Restore Young Lives.”
Thank you for joining the force to reach into vulnerable lives, provide for their needs, and prepare them for a great future and eternity!
Blessed to Bless,
Chad Puckett
By |2018-09-18T16:55:12-05:00September 18th, 2018|Categories: Celebration, Children, Events, Uncategorized|

Drysdale Unit Breaks Ground for New Home

On May 7, Show-Me Christian Youth Home (SMCYH) ceremonially started the construction of its new Reed Home at Drysdale Farm in Barnett with approximately 60 in attendance to make the occasion.

The addition of this new home will mark the first major step in expanding the current Drysdale Farm facility into becoming a campus community for the non-profit organization as modeled at the main campus in La Monte, Mo.

SMCYH is a faith-based organization aimed at helping young lives by providing a safe, stable, loving home to young people struggling because of circumstances in their current home environment, according to their mission statement.

“We face a challenge to rescue and restore even more young lives,” explained Director Chad Puckett. “The need exceeds our capacity. The Reed Home is the next opportunity to meet this challenge.”

The Reed Home will serve as a residential home for a new Show-Me family of up to eight children. Located just north of the current house at 19314 Jones Creek Road in Barnett, this second home will be approximately 3,500 square feet and will have six bedrooms.

The main construction will begin this summer and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2018. Like most of the homes at SMCYH, volunteers will assist in much of the labor.

“Show-Me’s story is our story: one person will tell me about how their church helped to put up the roof, another how they built the porch,” Puckett said. “The Drysdales or Reeds may have set aside the funding and dream, but it takes the whole community before a child can find safety under its roof. ”

The new home is named in honor of Ned and Louise Reed, who donated their property in Camdenton, to start the Camdenton Unit in 1988. Due to the close vicinity of the new highway directly next to the unit, it was closed in 2008. Funds were set aside to establish this new home at Drysdale.

By |2017-06-02T17:50:12-05:00June 2nd, 2017|Categories: Celebration, Children, Events|

Hard to say goodbye

How lucky we are to have known someone who is so hard to say goodbye to…

Turning to a new chapter brings mixed emotions – the confusing culmination of loss with anticipation.  But, face a new chapter we must from time to time, as the “Author and Perfecter of our faith” continues to write our stories.

Justin Danielson served as a dear friend and excellent member of the Board of Directors since 2011.  Prior to that, his family served as Relief Houseparents from 2006-2008.  Justin combined his voice of experience with his heart of a pastor to guide the Board toward great decisions.  He and his family invested their time and talents to make the ministry a wonderful place, cheering on the athletes, encouraging the children and staff at Show-Me, and championing the value of this mission in the community.
God called the Danielsons to serve with the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  While the new adventure brings excitement, we mix that with our sadness to have to say “goodbye.”  They will touch lives for the Kingdom there and we will forever be grateful for the fingerprints they left all over our lives at Show-Me.
By |2017-02-25T21:09:13-06:00February 25th, 2017|Categories: Celebration, Uncategorized|

2015 Annual Open House

Faith, Family and Fun!

Saturday – September 12, 2015

Join us, Saturday, September 12th for the 2015 Annual Open House!  See first-hand the difference your support is making in the lives of the outstanding young people that call Show-Me “Home.”

The fun starts at 10 AM with refreshments followed by tours of the homes and campus. Throughout the day, there will be activities for:

The whole family will enjoy including:

  • Music Concert by Link Union – Let this award-winning family band take you away on a musical experience of true Americana music combining: country, gospel, folk, bluegrass, jazz, rock, swing, and celtic music.
  • Live Radio broadcast by Spirit FM Christian Radio
  • Smoked Pork Lunch with homemade deserts
  • ‘Leadership U’ Horse Program Exhibition
  • Music by the Kids of Show-Me
  • Tours of Homes
  • Much, much more…

Just for Kids:

  • Family Carnival
  • Bounce House
  • Face Painting
  • Kid’s Games
  • Swimming
  • Prizes

Alumni Reception:

The afternoon will cap off with a special Alumni reception with former staff and Show-Me Children at 3 pm.    Bring your camera or flash drive to make copies of your favorite memories from past years.  We will have picture albums and digital images available for alumni.


By |2015-08-25T09:43:49-05:00August 25th, 2015|Categories: Celebration, Events|