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House of Dawn raises funds in annual charity event

Members of the House of Dawn Board of Directors pray before the nonprofit organization’s annual fundraising gala Saturday night. (Special Photo)

Members of the House of Dawn Board of Directors pray before the nonprofit organization’s annual fundraising gala Saturday night. (Special Photo)

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Dawn Murray, center, is the founder and CEO of House of Dawn. She is standing with the organization’s board of directors during its annual fundraiser. (Special Photo)

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Framed stories of teenage mothers who have overcome adversity adorn the tabletops of the annual House of Dawn charity gala. (Special Photo)

JONESBORO — The success stories were laid behind ornate frames set up as table centerpieces for visitors to read as they trickled into the ball.

Pictures of young mothers introduced prose describing how each overcame adverse circumstances with the help of the nonprofit House of Dawn.

It was a successful night for the organization’s sixth annual charity social and fundraiser, held Saturday at Morrow Center.

“We raised several thousand dollars,” said Dawn Murray, CEO and founder of the group. She said funds are still being tabulated.

House of Dawn provides a safe and home-like environment for teenage mothers and their children who were previously homeless or in foster care as well as transitional living for the young families up to age 23.

Murray said the organization was established in 2000 but began operations in 2005. It has grown to include a “second-chance” home in Jonesboro and a transitional living program in Riverdale.

“We are changing lives,” she said. “We’re changing generations. We have positive outcomes for our programs. We equip these young mothers with tools that they’ll need to become self-sufficient and to lead productive lives.”

Her organization serves Clayton, Henry, Fayette and Paulding counties, helping teen moms continue their education and giving them support in job searching, parenting and life skills training.

“We collaborate with other organizations in the community in order to decrease the number of adolescent pregnancies,” she said. “Our program has also reduced the number of repeat pregnancies among young mothers. That’s very important to us.”

Murray said she believes House of Dawn can continue to offer its services to needy youth thanks to the charity social’s donors and its main sponsors Highway 138 Package Store, Heritage Cadillac, Thomas Bailey CPA and Vibha Singla CPA. She said about 175 people attended Saturday’s event.

State Rep. Mike Glanton (Jonesboro-D) was on hand to support the group. He is chairman of its board of directors.

Glanton said all proceeds from the fundraiser go to the House of Dawn. He encourages residents to support the organization’s efforts by volunteering or donating.

Donations can be made by calling 770-477-2385, visiting www.houseofdawn.org or mailing P.O. Box 1222, Jonesboro, GA, 30237.