Black History Month is a great time to celebrate out history, achievements, and accomplishments. February should not be the only time but it is certainly a good time to start. Many blacks have done extraordinary things. I admired Clara McBride Hale. She works with crack-addicted and HIV-positive babies.
Clara McBride Hale was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. She has suffered lots in her lifetime. She became an orphan at 16, and a widow at the age of 27. She only had her children, and she kept them close. She “adopted” a third child, and raised him as her own. She became affectionately known as Mother Hale to all in the neighborhood. She began staying at home and caring for the neighborhood kids charging only $2 per week. She later became a licensed foster parent.
Hale House was started when Clara’s daughter, Lorraine noticed a crack-addict mother with a newborn. She directed her to her mother’s house, and this baby was the first of thousands of children to reap the love, support, devotion, and care from the arms of Mother Hale. Hale House is America’s first and best known child care agency to gain worldwide recognition when Ronald Reagan introduced Mother Hale as he gave his 1986 State of Union Address. She was called an American hero, and was appointed to the National Drug-Free America Task Force.
Many of the children come to Hale House from prisons, police stations and hospitals. They get their funding mostly from private donations and times do get very rough. Hale House is still in operation today. It has become a national role model for children without families. It is a great place to keep these children to keep them out of alleys, garbage cans, and many places where mothers abandon their newborn children.
Sadly, Mother Hale passed away in 1993. In her honor, a life-sized statue was built for her in Harlem. Her dream and devotion lives on in the lives of the children she has helped raise and the many that will continue to benefit from Hale House.