Making a Difference Doris Dunn Helps Those in Need in Her Community
BY MARY ELLE HUNTER
Special to The Pilot
An Eagle Springs woman has set a clear goal for herself: to lend a hand to those in her community who need a little something extra to make their lives easier.
Doris Dunn, who has worked at FirstHealth in Moore County for the last 15 years, is devoting her "spare" time to running Cora's House.
An unpretentious but cozy house that belonged to her grandmother, and where Dunn was raised, is now what she calls "A Vision of Hope" that advances the cause of helping those in need and less fortunate than the average person.
The house was left to Dunn when her grandmother passed away, and is now home to a variety of activities.
"At first, when I found out that the house now belonged to me, I had tenants there," says Dunn. "But then I decided to put it to use for a larger purpose. My grandmother, Cora, was a very wise woman, quiet and soft-spoken, but she inspired me with her simple virtues, and I grew up with a desire to help others."
Cora's House continues to work to help make a difference in the lives of people of all ages.
It is the scene for a 4-H Club, which has been officially chartered and concentrates on projects such as crafts and gardening. Other projects that Doris Dunn has started that meet at Cora's House on a regular basis are a health club and a senior citizens club, for example.
Last year, Dunn had a list of several dozen senior citizens from local communities to whom she provided small gifts at the holiday season.
"The women at a Seven Lakes fitness center helped me tremendously by collecting funds and items for the project," says Dunn. "Unfortunately, the center is no longer in business, but I am sure that others will come forward, although realistically, I am going to be concentrating on a smaller area this year."
The Senior Citizens Club meets at Cora's House once or twice a year for a community dinner. Dunn tries to plan some entertainment, and she says, "They have a good time just meeting and socializing with friends."
The Health Club meets every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. and focuses on weight control, exercise and proper diet. The club was started when a similar group at Dunn's church had disbanded, and Dunn stepped in and moved the location to Cora's House.
Members of the club weigh in at every meeting and chart their progress. Activities such as health fairs, games, club dinners and an occasional speaker are part of the continuing program.
Dunn has turned one of the bedrooms in the house into space where she has an ongoing collection of donated household items for people in need. There is also a limited selection of baby clothes and a few outfits for women who need something to wear for a job interview or other important occasions.
Children are always welcome at Cora's House, and Dunn has an assortment of toys to keep them occupied while the adults are attending a meeting, a workshop or a get-together.
One of the other small bedrooms is outfitted as an office for Dunn, and another one is furnished with a double bed for emergency use for anyone who needs a place to stay for a night.
Cora's House is a nonprofit organization created by a local attorney, so any financial donations or gifts of items are tax-deductible.
Dunn was encouraged by her -attorney to take this step, and she has become more confident in asking -people to support the work she is doing.
"I am pleased that the response has been good," she says. "However, we are dependent on contributions to keep Cora's House open."
In a move to draw the smaller Moore County communities of Eagle Springs, Jackson Springs and others together, Cora's House also has an outreach program, the main activity of which was a community softball game held recently at the West End School baseball field.
Under the slogan "Steppin' It Up a Notch," a successful second annual game took place the third Saturday in October and featured teams from three local fire departments playing against volunteers representing their communities.
Dunn has been married to Lee Dunn for more than 40 years.
"We raised six children," she says.
Her husband is a minister at the Holy Way Church in Eagle Springs, and according to Dunn, he has been very supportive of all she is doing at Cora's House.
"Our goals in life are the same, since we both want to help our neighbors as well as reaching out to the wider community to make a difference in as many lives as we can," she says.
Contact Pinehurst freelance writer Mary Elle Hunter at email@example.com.
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