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

Overview

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.

Purpose

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.       

Vision

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

Benefits

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.

Invest

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:

Land

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

NORTHERN STAR IS A 501(c)3 PUBLIC NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

*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:

VOLUNTEERS

  • 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

DONATIONS

  • 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 SEND DONATIONS TO
PO BOX 1781 DAHLONEGA, GA 30533

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!

Dahlonega Country Day makes a “change”

Local Daycare, Dahlonega Country Day, staff, parents and children had a great time supporting Northern Star during the month of February.  All classes participated in a competition to see which class could collect the most change to help Northern Star make a “change” in the lives of young ladies aging out of foster care.  We appreciate the director and staff sharing the mission of Northern Star with parents and their children, getting them excited to raise over $500 in change (picture was taken before an absent jar of change was added to the total)!!  DCD you rock; thank you for your continued support!

dcd

Life Teen Hidden Lake Volunteers

Northern Star has become great friends with Lumpkin County’s fairly new organization Life Teen Hidden Lake.  The interns, leaders and participants have come at different times throughout the past year to help with various projects on the property starting with a huge workday last March.  The hearts of these young interns are amazing; after serving youth all week they still have more to give through community service on Saturdays.  We have been blessed to have these hard workers continue to make Northern Star beautiful.  Life Teen keep up the remarkable ministry!

life teen

Refinished Floors!

Mr. West from West Carpet and Flooring came to visit Northern Star’s campus early this year.  He paid attention to the condition of the original hardwood flooring in the first house on campus.  That house had been smoked in for decades and the floor had been well worn and scratched.  Mr. West contacted Northern Star in February to let us know he was sending out a refinisher to strip and finish all the hardwood in the first house.  What an amazing transformation! No more smoke smell, scratches or worn spots; a beautiful, shiny new finish makes this house look remarkable!

Before:

After:

Thank you Mr. West!

Beautiful Blankets

Some of our favorite donations are the one of a kind, personal, thoughtful and snuggly gifts.  Thank you to Ms. Kay and Ms. Ruth for making each of our first 12 young ladies fleece blankets.  They are beautiful and I am sure they will be well used and loved.  Northern Star staff cannot wait for these generous ladies to come teach the participants to make blankets that they can pass on to the incoming participants.  Just a little touch of love and color for each bedroom really makes “a house a home”!  Thank you Ms. Kay and Ms. Ruth!