Moriah's eggs are Mo' Better

Local girl sells eggs to raise money for a children's home.


Photo Credit: KEVIN SPERL - Moriah Riley tends to her chickens at her parent's property off of the O'Neil Highway.Moriah Riley often acts like a typical 5-year-old, riding her bike through the puddles in her family’s dirt driveway off of the O'Neil Highway.

At other times, she becomes a determined young lady, helping those that live at the New Mexico Christian Children's Home in Portales, NM.

Moriah, known to her family as “Mo,” raises chickens and sells their eggs in order to raise money to send to the home—thus the moniker Mo' Better Eggs.

“I feed them and pluck their eggs, water them, and get them in the chicken coop with a stick to go to bed,” explained Moriah. “After collecting the eggs, I put them in cartons and sell them for $3.50.”

Her mom, Kathy, is quick to correct her.

“$2.50 a dozen,” she said. “Mo is always trying to get us to raise the price.”

Moriah got the idea after listening to a guest speaker at her family's church, who came to talk about the children living at the facility in Portales.

“Mo just felt called to help them,” said Kathy. “She sends all of her loose change, her grandparents loose change and any money she makes from doing odd jobs.”

Her dad, John, and grandparents John and Leslie Riley help out as well, making it a family affair, a chore they have done together for two years.

When asked why she does it, Moriah's answer is simple.

“The kids there might not have moms and dads,” she said. “I call the place 'my children's home'.”

Kathy said that her daughter has always had a soft spot for other kids and those less fortunate than herself.

“When she saw pictures of kids doing projects at the home, she was just taken by them,” she said, adding that it was then that Moriah declared that she was going to save money to send them.

Moriah manages about 20 chickens, down a few that have been lost to racoons, and harvests about a dozen eggs each day.

According to her mom, Moriah's regular customers are family and fellow church members.

“My great Uncle Rick, who lives in Washington, buys them when he comes down,” explained Moriah. “Whenever we head that way we take him a couple of dozen.”

Moriah also stays in touch with the home, receiving a newsletter every couple of months letting her know what the children are doing.

John said that the family was impressed that the New Mexico home takes in single-parent families, giving them a chance to get back on their feet, providing them small apartments.

Kathy added that the facility also encourages retired people to become “house parents,” taking in children to live with them.

“These kids don't go into a home that is just full of other kids,” she explained. “They are moving in with families and taking part in 4-H, Boy Scouts and sports leagues.”

And, Moriah is determined to do her part to help, despite being kept busy with her household chores.

Additionally, as a member of the 4-H club Barnyard Shuffle, Moriah takes care of a pig, two steers and her goat named Candy.

“I showed my pig at the Crook County Fair,” she proudly announced. “I was about to ride him because he was eating other pig's food and I ended up getting poop on my finger.”

Moriah is also excited to begin kindergarten this fall at the Powell Butte Community Charter School, proudly proclaiming that her teacher will be the same one that taught her dad when he was in kindergarten.

And, she will continue to help those kids in New Mexico, one dozen eggs at a time.




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