Charlotte-based nonprofit celebrates 30 years of supporting families who have lost children

MOM-O has been helping families with kids who have been violently killed for three decades.
MOM-O celebrated 30 years of service in the Charlotte area on Wednesday evening.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 10:24 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte-based nonprofit celebrated 30 years of trying to deter violence on Wednesday night, all while wrapping its arms around moms who need extra love.

Mothers of Murdered Offspring (MOM-O) has been helping families with kids who have been violently killed for three decades.

Wednesday’s event was about all the lives lost since MOM-O was founded in 1993, not just one.

Data from 1993 showed it was one of the most violent years in Charlotte’s history, with 123 homicides.

Dee Sumpter helped create the organization that year after grieving the murder of her daughter Shawna.

Now, 30 years later, alarming homicide rates are once again rearing their ugly heads, making the work of this organization just as important now as the day it began.

“We didn’t have an end date in mind,” Sumpter said. “We just knew that we were hurting, and we wanted to reach out to others that were hurting.”

Lucille Puckett, who lost her son to gun violence in 2016, said she’s just one of the many recipients of the support MOM-O has given to families like hers over the years.

“This is a very crucial organization,” Puckett said. “I don’t know what families would do without an organization like Mothers of Murdered Offspring.”

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden was also in attendance Wednesday, and recognized the important work of groups like MOM-O.

“You need an organization like this in every city. Tragically, we shouldn’t, but you do,” he said. “Because of MOM-O, we are a better community, we are a better agency for CMPD, and we are a better agency for the sheriff’s office.”

While the group gathered to celebrate the work MOM-O has already done, they also acknowledged that there is still much to do.

After spending the past three decades surviving off donations, MOM-O is now fundraising to increase its impact in the community.

“If we can do that just off donations for the last 30 years, imagine what we can do with so much more financial support,” Sumpter said.

Sumpter also said tonight that while the last 30 years have been great, she hopes MOM-O goes out of business one day, meaning that the issue of violence in Charlotte will come to an end as a result of their work.

Related: ‘This violence has got to stop’: Family pleads for end to teen violence in Charlotte

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