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.”
“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.
(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