Clara Hale: The Warm-Hearted Mother Hale

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Clara McBride Hale, also referred to as Mother Hale, was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on April 1, 1905, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was an American humanitarian who started the Hale House Centre, a place for underprivileged kids and those with drug addictions from birth. Hale’s father passed away while she was a young child. Her mother was left in charge of raising Hale and her four siblings by herself as a result.

Clara went to New York City shortly after graduating from high school, got married, and started studying business administration. She was 27 at the time of her husband’s cancer death. Through a severe depression, Hale found it difficult to provide for her children. Her difficult existence made it challenging for her to provide for and raise her three children. Hale worked day and night to make ends meet as a result, cleaning homes and keeping up her janitorial duties.

Hale left these positions to devote more attention to her children. Hale created her own daycare while still being at home with her kids in order to be as involved in their lives as possible. Initially, she looked after the kids while their parents were at work during the day. Later, most of the kids she looked after started staying full-time and only saw their mothers on the weekend. She provided creche for other struggling parents in her house, which subsequently inspired her to become a foster parent.

She offered both short-term and long-term care for neighbourhood youngsters in the 1940s in her house. She also helped homeless children find permanent homes and gave parents advice on how to be good parents. Hale obtained a licence, registered as a foster parent, and adopted 7-8 kids at once. She looked after more than 40 foster children between 1947 and 1968.

Hale initially exposed her home to the public as a means of generating income, but soon she discovered her true vocation. Mother Hale became well renowned for the job she accomplished and for being a mother to people who lacked one. Hale started taking in kids who were born addicted to their mother’s drug use during pregnancy when she was 65 years old.

She kept at least one baby in her room up until a few days before her passing in New York City. On December 18, 1992, at the age of 87, she passed away as a result of stroke complications.

Awards won/ Recognitions

Ronald Reagan, who was president at the time, recognised Clara Hale as a national hero in his 1985 State of the Union Address. The Living Legacy Award, which honours women for their great contributions to humanity, was given to Hale by the Women’s International Centre in 1986.

Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority
Member of the American Commission on Drug Free Schools
NAACP Image Award in the 1980s.
Candace Award for Humanitarianism, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, 1990.

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