The 9 Orphan Siblings Who Raised Themselves Rather Than Split Up

The 9 Orphan Siblings Who Raised Themselves Rather Than Split Up

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Mary Mingo family photo

When their mother Mary died during childbirth in a Charlotte, North Carolina hospital there was no one left to raise her nine children. “The only realistic option appeared to be to divide up the siblings and ship them off to relatives or foster parents.”

A senior in high school, 19-year-old Kayle Mingo decided not to allow that.

Together with Karen, Kathy, Kelda, Kaiser, Kasper, Karla, Kertis and Kemuel, they fought for the opportunity to raise themselves. Miraculously, the Charlotte Housing Authority who ran the low-income housing project where they lived, allowed them to stay.

Last week, 35 years later, Mary’s kids reunited at Charlotte’s Veterans Park to honor their mother. “The first-time family reunion surely exceeded their mother’s wildest dreams,” the Charlotte Observer reported. “Eight were able to be there – an artist, two shop owners, an attorney, a contractor, two college students and a former professional boxer who was a one-time Olympic hopeful.”Team Casa Hogar

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“Their story is amazing,” John T. Crawford, 77, told the newspaper. He is the retired Charlotte Housing Authority staffer who convinced that agency to let the Mingo kids stay after their mother’s death.

Together they raised the newborn baby, cleaned the house, cooked, made sure homework was done, and enforced rules for behavior. Neighbors, who had often received help from Mary, paid back the favor whenever they were needed.

(READ the amazing story from the Charlotte Observer)

Photo of Mary with 4 oldest children via Kayle Bernadete Mingo’s Facebook Page/ Story tip from S. Ghent