Superstar singer Usher's mother throws party for those strugglin - CBS46 News

Superstar singer Usher's mother throws party for those struggling with addiction

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

This time of year can be stressful for everyone, especially for those struggling with addiction. That's why Jonnetta Patton, mother of Atlanta superstar singer Usher, is doing all she can to help out.

This is the second year that Patton has partnered with the Mary Hall Freedom House to throw the party, that gives women struggling with addiction a reason to stay uplifted and focused during the holiday season. Women like Charlotte Walraven.

Walraven has a lot to celebrate this Christmas, including her one month of sobriety. Walraven, a mother of a young son, began drinking at age 13 and by 20, was drinking everyday.

"I realized a few months ago, there was no hope for my son having the life that I'd always hoped for him unless I got some help," said Walraven. "This will be a Christmas that I will remember as there have been too many that I have not."

The Mary Hall Freedom House, which as their website states, specializes in giving women and their children a chance to live and dream again. They're helping Walraven and women like her a chance to take control of their lives.

They received an early Christmas present on Friday as Patton treated them to breakfast.

"To meet these women and see where these women are in life was just amazing to me and I wanted to be a part of it," said Patton. "What they don't understand is, they're doing for me, just as much as I'm doing for them."

Patton hosted the event at her new business venture, J's Kitchen Culinary Incubator, a shared kitchen space for up-and-coming culinary entrepreneurs. She roped in certified Master Chef Daryl Shular to help with the menu. Shular is the first African-American and minority to pass the grueling 130, 8-day test, known as the Master Chef exam.

"I grew up with a single mom so this is very close to me," said Shular. "I remember not having things for Christmas and not having good meals and to be able to be here to make a good meal for someone else is truly special for me."

Lucy Hall started Freedom House and it's annual Christmas breakfast 20 years ago, after her own battle with drugs and alcohol. 

"My mom died of alcoholism when I was six and so I know what it's like to grow up with your mom," said Hall. "These women got to get their life together so these children have a mother."

Hall says donations have been increasing each year as word spreads about her organization.

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