2nd Annual Garden Party Event

Attendance was very low for our fundraiser. Even people who purchased tickets did not attend the event. With so much delicious food, many silent auction items, and of course the main purpose of a fund raiser being to raise funds, I was a little worried at the beginning of the evening that the event was going to be a failure.

I am sad to say that I even doubted the success of the event. I should know by now that when doing God’s work, He is running the show and that I need to have more faith in what He has called us to do!

A quote that came to mind after reflecting on last night’s event is…”it’s not the quantity, but the quality that matters.” A synonym for quality is excellence and everyone from the MC to the live entertainment, the speakers to all of those in attendance were excellent. I have no doubt that God put all of those pieces, I mean people, together last night for His purpose. Northern Star raised more money last night through donations and the silent auction than last year’s Garden Party with only 1/3 of the number of attendees.

Back to where I thought the event would be a failure…what was I thinking?! The testimonies that were shared were meant for the attendees who were there. The artists’ paintings were exactly what more than one attendee wanted…which made the auctions exactly what they should be. There was so much extra food you would think would be a problem, nope, just turned bags of meat into auction items and some happy bidders got to take a delicious meal home.  

Thank you to all of those who helped support this event even if you were not there in person. Every prayer, dollar, donation, and minute of time spent played a part in making our 2nd Annual Garden Party a success! It was humbling to be reminded that we need to have faith in what we have been called to do and that God will do the rest!

In Full Bloom!

Looking around at all the things Spring brings, you can see an abundance of blooming flowers, green grass, busy bees, and so much more going on. Northern Star’s new campus is also going in to full bloom! We have staff, board members, volunteers, past participants, and even children asking what needs to be done at the new campus. I wanted to share with everyone the plans that we have so far and will try my best to keep the website, Facebook, and InstaGram up to date with current opportunities and needs.

Northern Star would like to share the exciting news and first steps of making the vision of building a campus a reality!

The program has been searching for the ideal property for several years to be able to serve all our program participants in one safe, spacious, and convenient location. We are thrilled to announce the groundbreaking of our Northern Star Campus on April 15, 2023!

Plans are big, and we are reaching out to all our supporters, surrounding businesses, and organizations to get involved in becoming part of Northern Star’s mission.  The campus, as outlined below, will be able to provide:

  • Individual housing for up to 14 young adults, under 26 years of age
  • Opportunities for learning, practicing, and mastering everyday life skills with concentrations in education, career, money management, physical and mental health, transportation, permanent housing, parenting, intrapersonal skills, and building a long-term support system 
  • A day center for public use that will include help with the above-mentioned life skills, community resource connections, hygiene, and clothing closet.
  • Weekly Bible Study opportunities and Drug Free Accountability meetings

Northern Star is expanding to accommodate the growing number of young adults in at risk environment needing the transitional housing, life skills education, and support our independent living program can provide to aid in successful transition to adulthood.

If you would like to become a member of the campus committee, donate supplies, assist with labor, or monetary assistance for any of the Phase 1 projects, please contact Mandy Williams, northernstarga28@gmail.com, 770-364-9319. We are thankful for the generosity and support of our community and surrounding communities for coming together to help create this safe, educational, supportive environment for young people.

We have created a wish list for our local Dahlonega Home Depot. Items do not have to come from Home Depot, it was just the easiest way to have a central list. The campus address for delivery is 2076 Dawsonville Hwy, Dahlonega, GA 30533


Monetary donations can be made via our website https://northernstarga.org/donate-now , mail, or Venmo.   

We hope that you will be able to support our mission in one of theabove-mentioned ways! Please contact me with any questions or to volunteer.

Campus outline proposal

Phase 1:  April – December 2023

  • Property clean-up:

Removal of old barnwood and tin

Clean up trash – will need several dumpsters

Demo log house, 2 chicken houses, barn, and mobile home

Clean up fence – all property line fence will need to be secured and hooked to existing t-posts (the posts will need to be firmly driven into the ground), majority of interior fencing will need to be taken down and rolled up.

  • Renovate existing brick house to include:

Kitchen appliances

Kitchen sink

Washing Machine and Electric Dryer

New countertops

Update kitchen cabinets

Take down 3 walls and adding header to create a large life skill & dining area

Sheetrock throughout

Painting throughout

Update minor electrical

Clean chimney

Patch and refinish hardwood flooring

Kitchen and dining room flooring

6” gutters

Add moisture barrier under house

Caulk and paint exterior windows

Add smoke and carbon dioxide detectors

Remove handicap shower and tile in added on room – will need flooring

Level/lift concrete porch and repair roof over porch

  • Preparation for Quadplex building


2 – 1500 gallon septic tanks


Stubbed plumbing and concrete slab foundation 

Concrete slab foundation

  • Complete Quadplex building

2 story, 4-unit building will house up to 6 participants

Building supplies needed –

Lumber, metal roofing material, gutters, siding, electrical, plumbing fixtures, drywall, insulation, doors, windows, cabinets, flooring, kitchen appliances, washing machine & dryer

Skilled Labor needed –

Grading, Framing, Roofing, Electrical, Plumbing, Drywall, Painting, Flooring, Heat/AC mini split

Additional Volunteers- Join the Campus Committee and help with any of the following:

  • Planning and organizing
  • General labor, assistants, clean-up
  • Community connections
  • Project Management

First floor

Second Floor

Spring Forward!

For those who have followed Northern Star since our journey began in 2016, many of you know that our dream was to purchase our own property for a campus where we could oversee all of our projects, participants, and visions unfold in one location. Northern Star was grateful to be able to use our first location “The Bricks” on Carpenter Lane to get Northern Star started. During Covid we began searching for the perfect property to begin making our future vision a reality. God did not quite have that perfect property ready for us yet, so for the past 3 years we have been faithfully and patiently searching. After meeting with the county again a couple weeks ago, we found out that we could use a different zoning classification which opened some new opportunities for the right property. A week later we made an offer on a property and are currently…

Thank you to everyone who has supported Northern Star’s mission and vision over the years! We are so excited to share with you that we are moving in the direction of our dreams! More updates to come!

Only 2 Weeks Until the Inaugural Summer Garden Party Fundraiser

Northern Star wants to share with the community life “Through Their Eyes”.

The mission is simple…life skills, love, and support. Every youth/young adult needs these 3 things. Many who have been in the foster system, who have been left to learn life on their own, or are homeless, do not have any of these three things. Northern Star needs your help to provide life skills, love, and long-lasting support to all of the youth in our program both now and in the future.

If you would like to learn how you can be the difference to a young adult, please purchase your ticket to the Summer Garden Party and come learn all about Northern Star and making the difference in the lives of youth/yound adults in our community.

Thank you so much to those individuals, businesses, and organizations who have already donated to make this event possible!

2020…an uncertain year? Northern Star knows where it wants to go!

Northern Star staff and board of directors agreed that with the uncertainties that the first 2 months of Covid-19 brought, that it would be in the program’s best interest to relinquish the lease on Carpenter Lane’s 4-house campus. With Georgia being under a state of emergency, DFCS ceased field visits; this meant that the state was unable to complete the needed walkthrough for Northern Star to receive approval and a contract to open the maternity and parenting support program this summer. With everything being put on hold for an indefinite period of time, the smartest decision seemed to be to move some of the participants into the house Northern Star had purchased for the maternity program and into community apartments.

Does Northern Star still plan to open the maternity and parenting support program? YES! There is still a huge need and when the state adapts to the “new normal”, the maternity and parenting support program will open!

While many things remain uncertain, Northern Star witnesses every day the definite need for maintaining and even expanding supportive programs for teens and young adults in foster care. With the 3 months remaining in 2020, Northern Star has a large vision that we would like to get underway.

The first step is finding land, preferably in Lumpkin County, but not mandatory. If anyone has land to sell, knows of land available, or would like to help in the search, the county has set the following minimum acreage for building a Northern Star campus:

  • Agricultural Preservation- minimum lot size for multifamily is 15 acres.
  • Rural Places- minimum lot size for multifamily is 10 acres.
  • Residential Growth- minimum lot size for multifamily is 5 acres

The following is the initial plan/dream:

Investing in Our Future


Homeless? Incarcerated parent? Foster care? Family drug use? Poverty? Untreated family or individual mental health?

Any one or combination of these situations can cause a teenager to lack the life skills and experiences necessary to transition into the role of a successful adult. Over the past three years, Northern Star has served over 40 youth bridging the gap between at-risk teenage years and becoming a productive community member.


Due to the continued growth of Northern Star’s independent living program and the knowledge gained throughout the growth, it is time to restructure and build to fit the program’s long term needs.

The program is very thankful for having a landlord over the past 4 years who supports Northern Star’s mission and was able to provide the physical space necessary to get the program established, in operation, and thriving. Renting “the bricks” property, as participants called it, made it possible to invest in the lives of over 40 youth. While renting was ideal for program start up, currently, Northern Star would like to invest in becoming a self-sustaining organization. With individual, business, and community support, Northern Star would like to create and own a campus that would meet the needs of all participants and staff.       


A 5+ acre property in North Georgia (preferably Lumpkin County)  with a terrain to support the building of several small structures. 

Phase I – by the end of 2020

  1. Obtain Land
  2. Clearing/Grading
  3. Well
  4. 2 Septic tanks 
  5. Power

Phase II – by the end of 2021

  1. 2 story Multipurpose Building – Offices, large meeting room, kitchen for life skills and space for all residents to dine, entertainment/hang out area, family visitation, gym, storage.
  2. Foster Closet – for all foster families, relative guardians, and community members in need.
  3. 2 Tiny Houses for first two Independent Phase level participants.

Phase III – by fall 2022

  1. 2 story Apartment – for entry level participants. Each story will have 3 resident bedrooms plus an additional space for around the clock staff when necessary.
  2. 2 additional Tiny Houses

Phase IV – by end of 2022

  1. Half basketball court
  2. Fire pit
  3. Gazebo – outdoor gathering area


A permanent location will allow Northern Star to become an established organization in the community.

The design of the campus will allow for a safe environment and housing of participants in various levels of independence.

Northern Star’s independent living program will provide opportunities for participants to:

  • Learn, practice, and master basic life skills
  • Household – cooking, cleaning, safety, nutrition, meal planning, shopping, basic maintenance
  • Obtain all personal identity documents – ID, Birth Certificate, Social Security Card
  • Health – physical, emotional, mental
  • Relationships – self development, communication, respect, healthy
  • Complete high school level education
  • Community involvement – volunteer, religious, organizations
  • Career interests, determine education/experience needed to obtain career
  • Create a resume, job search and apply, interview preparation, obtain job
  • Money management – budgeting, saving, credit, taxes, investing
  • Obtain own transportation – learner’s permit, driver’s license, insurance rate quotes, purchase vehicle
  • Obtain own housing in the community

As participants progress in their journey toward independence, they are not only changing their lives, but also becoming productive community members.


Northern Star staff, volunteers, and local supporters have been diligently investing in the youth of Northern Star over the past several years. This project would allow the program to serve additional participants, have a central location, and the resources necessary to run the most effective program possible.  

Northern Star would like to invite individuals, community members, businesses, organizations, and friends to invest in building a campus and to equip youth with the skills necessary to become successful community members of OUR future.

Phase I – Northern Star needs you to commit to help with:


5+ acres (preferably in Lumpkin or surrounding county) donated or exceptional purchase price 

Financial Donations

Mail, PO Box 1781, Dahlonega, GA 30533

Via our website, https://northernstarga.org/donate/

Via Venmo, @northernstar28 phone #9319

Via Cash App,  $NorthernStar

Building supplies

            Lumber, Roofing material, siding, electrical, plumbing supplies,

Drywall, insulation

Skilled Labor

            Grading, Drilling well, Septic installation, Framing, Roofing,

Electrician, Plumber, Drywall, Painter

Additional Volunteers – Join the Campus committee and help with:

            Planning and organizing

            General labor, assistants, clean-up

            Community connections

            Project Management

If you personally, your business, or affiliated organization would be willing to commit to making this vision happen, please donate monetarily via one of the methods listed above or to commit to donating materials or labor contact Mandy Williams, 770-364-9319,  mwilliams@northernstarga.org


*All financial and in-kind contributions are tax deductible.

Summer 2018 Update

Fostering Youth into Adulthood

These past few months have been life changing for us as a program. Thank you so much to all of those who have helped to make this program what is today. Just take a look at some of our recent events:

Northern Star Run Dahlonega
Run Dahlonega
Kappa Delta raised $28,000 for Northern Star as part of their Sorority’s “Run Dahlonega” fundraiser. We chose to donate $5K of the proceeds to our local Habitat For Humanity in appreciation for all they have done for us and to support them after the loss of their space in the True Value fire. We plan to use our portion of the proceeds to build a much needed community room and Office Space for our residents and staff.

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Landscaping Day
Thank you to an amazing volunteer, Talitha, for organizing the “Make Northern Star Beautiful” landscaping day on June 9th. The rain held off and allowed residents, staff, board members, and 20 additional volunteers to make the campus clean and colorful! Thank you to Chick-fil-A for donating breakfast and to True Value for the beautiful flowers and mulch. We are looking forward to Round 2 in early October.

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Lumpkin Youth Leadership

This year, Lumpkin County’s Youth Leadership Counsel chose Northern Star as their beneficiary. They planned, publicized and carried out fundraisers to raise over $500 for the program! Northern Star is so grateful for all the thought, time and heart that is standing behind that big check!

What’s New With Our Youth?

Currently we have 2 males and 6 females living on campus. 2 of those are private placements and we would love additional business or individual sponsors in order for those youth to continue in the Life Skills Program. Every month they receive sponsorship is another month they gain independent living skills and continue on the path to becoming a successful adult.

  • We’ve officially helped our first program participant to earn her Driver’s License!
  • One of our program participants received her GED!
  • All of our participants are either currently employed in the community or are taking summer classes!

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We Currently Need:


  • Tutor, one on one, a couple evenings per week for the next month or two for GED Math.
  • Help with transportation. We are down a staff member due to an injury. If there is a day of the week you are available please let us know
  • A routine maintenance worker to make minor repairs a few days per month


  • Families/Groups/Businesses who would like to sponsor significant events and celebrations
  • Gift Cards to be used as incentives for our participants (Most improved, Most ambitious, etc.)
  • Household items such as: Cleaning supplies, Kitchen trash bags, Laundry detergent, Dishwasher detergent, Dish soap, Hand soap, Paper towels, etc.


Please email staff for donation pick up or drop off at northernstarga@yahoo.com.

**If you are interested in planning a fun summer or fall outing, celebrating a youth’s birthday, or planning and cooking a meal with one of the houses, the participants would really enjoy some of those activities!

Keeping Northern Star Cool

From no AC to all new central air throughout!! Thank you so much to Linder Heating and Air Conditioning for all the time and dedication donated to equip one of the Northern Star houses with air conditioning.  Countless hours spent on searching for the best equipment deals, running all the new lines and installing the new unit.  I can’t forget to mention the quick fix that was made when another dedicated volunteer (thank you T.S. for finishing the new subfloor) fell through the vent in the floor taking out all the duct work with him; the ducts were fixed right away thanks to Linder Heating and Air! Tommy has such a passionate heart for supporting Northern Star and its mission. Tommy, we appreciate all the time you have donated to help keep residents cool this summer!  If you are looking for a fair, hardworking, Christian man to take care of your heating and air needs, give this new, local company a try!

Linder AC

Spring Yard Sale Success

So much time, dedication and energy was spent to ensure Northern Star’s spring yard sale was a huge success…and that it was!

Thank you to Vicki Jarrett, Annette Bassett, Beverly Bond, Susan Lancaster, Ms. Judy, Ms. Gail, Laura Bowers, all the donors, shoppers and everyone else who contributed to set up and take down of the sale each day.  Amazing team work among volunteers helped raise $2200 for Northern Star!!  I cannot thank the volunteers and community enough for making the yard sale so successful.  Northern Star will continue to have a Spring and Fall annual yard sale each year so please keep on donating items to and shopping our sales!

University of North Georgia gives back

University of North Georgia…where do I start??

So many organizations have dedicated time, donations, décor, labor and support throughout the past year to get Northern Star ready to open it’s doors.

It all started with several volunteers from various fraternities and sororities at Side-by-Side 2016.  Many groups and/or individuals have come back to help work or collect donations throughout the past year after learning about the mission of Northern Star.  I know I have personally seen representatives from Kappa Delta, Phi Mu, Alpha Gamma Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Pi Kappa Phi on the property giving their time and energy.  Thank you UNG Greek Life!

Two special UNG groups have collected donations to help Northern Star stock up on hygiene items and gently used clothing for incoming participants.  UNG Serves collected all types of everyday essentials for each participant, enough to last them a few months.  Lewis Hall 400’s donated several bags of gently used clothing for the participants as well.  Northern Star now has a nicely stocked clothes closet full of wonderful attire to get these ladies started in their workforce and college journeys.

ung serves

Most recently, Habitat for Humanity college students alone with Mr. Bob and Mr. Larry have spent a couple Saturdays wrapping up many projects at the property.  From base boards and painting to cleaning and installing shower walls, this group is always ready and willing to take on any project no matter how large or small.

Work day - Habitat 3-25-17 (2)

BCM served with several members of Habitat the last weekend of March to help get the houses in move in ready condition.  One group of ladies helped wash, sort and stock dishes for all four kitchens while another group distributed and hung the beautiful canvases that Kappa Delta Sorority painted for Northern Star.  The guys helped get furniture in place and several other small projects.  “Things” got painted and houses cleaned leaving the houses almost ready for the first week of April when Northern Star’s contract goes into effect!



Northern Star appreciates this college town and all of the organizations from the college that support local nonprofits!