The CentraCare Health Foundation recently awarded $180,000 in Community Grants to seven different projects in Central Minnesota to improve health and healthcare, and True Friends was one of them.
True Friends received $15,000 for support for health services programming, including hospital beds, mechanical patient lifts, and maintenance of current lifts.
True Friends was created when Camp Courage and Camp Friendship/ Friendship Ventures merged in 2012. With camps near Maple Lake and Annandale, True Friends serves children, teens, and adults with a variety of disabilities, including autism, Down Syndrome, attention deficit disorders, neuromuscular disorders, spina bifida, spinal cord, or traumatic brain injuries as well as communication difficulties and sensory disorders. Primary programs include summer day and resident camps, winter camp, year-round weekend respite camps, therapeutic riding and hippotherapy sessions and a companion travel program. In addition to benefiting participants, programs give parents a crucial break to rest, relax, focus on other relationships and work to stabilize any imbalance caused by their child’s special needs.
The CentraCare Health Foundation awards Community Grants three times annually for projects that best enhance the community, support or create innovative solutions, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. The grants fund health education programs, research to improve health, and programs that improve health and safety. The Foundation does not support building, fundraising, or capital campaigns.
Other organizations to receive funds were Helping Hands Outreach for Elders, Lupus Link, Open your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless and Talahi Community School. The Foundation also funded two applications from CentraCare Health, one for a support system in response to patient safety events and the other to provide for a Community Health Worker to aid the area’s Muslim and Somali residents.