KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville foster mother Jerry Moneymaker turns 78 Friday, and our gift to her is our WATE 6 On Your Side Hero Award.
Caring for little ones who need her is what makes Moneymaker happy.
“All I wanted was a home and a house full of kids and I’ve got just exactly what I want,” she said, beaming as she held a tiny baby girl.
The infant and her brother and sister, who are toddlers, are among the 450 children over the last 45 years who’ve been fortunate enough to be under Moneymaker’s wing whether for a few days, months or even years. Her niece made a quilt with the names of the children who’ve been a part of her life, and she has filled scrapbooks with their pictures. Many were either reunited with their birth families or adopted.
Moneymaker maintains her distance but keeps up with how many are doing.
Moneymaker’s sister, Sandra Miller, nominated her for our 6 On Your Side Hero Award. She read part of the touching tribute she submitted. “She loves them like they’re her own,” Miller wrote. “I’m very proud of her and thankful for someone like her. ”
Moneymaker says she is no hero. She says she is the one who is blessed to be able to care for the little ones as she turns 78.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, call the DCS Foster Parent Recruitment line at 877-DCS-KIDS or go to the Department of Children’s Services website.