July 7, 2014
Brandie Harris, 29, is a mother of two living in Palmyra, but in August of 2013 her aunt, Crystal Trent, was shot and killed by her boyfriend, who also turned a gun on himself.
Harris then took on a great task of taking care of Trent’s four children, who are all now living in her house.
"My life got turned upside down, going from two kids to six overnight,” says Harris. “Not being able to do the things I wanted to do, but it's about them now, not me.”
“So I just gotta do what's best for them."
The children range from four to 14 years old and Harris says there's just not enough space in her three bedroom house for all of them.
"Everybody is just crammed right now, there's no privacy at all, no leeway and it's just one level so everybody is just always into each other," says Harris.
She wants to build extra rooms onto the house for the kids, but she needs help, so she started a fundraiser, hoping to raise $40,000 for renovations.
Since taking in her aunt's children, her finances have also suffered.
"I've had to stop working, I've cut back from full time in school to part time, to now not even going for the summer, because it's just too much to take six kids somewhere,” Harris explains. “It's hard, I can't even lie it's hard."
Friends and family have come to her aid and are also spreading the word about the fundraiser.
"Going from two kids to six kids overnight is drastic and Brandie is not the type to ask for help,” says Jessica Henson, girlfriend of Harris’ brother. “She tries to be strong and she wants to do everything on her own, but in a case like this, you need help."
Harris loves the children as her own and says that she's grateful to be able to take care of them, but is still saddened by the way they came into her care.
"They don't see my emotion behind this; I hide it from the kids,” says Harris. “It's very hard at times and very emotional, but I have to put the kids first."
For more information on how you can help with their fundraiser, click on the link underneath the photo.