IN THIS ISSUE


Find out how you can make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities
True Friends Family of Services
Conference & Retreat
  Join us at Camp Friendship March 11-13 for a fun crafting weekend! Download the registration form here.
NEWS & NOTES
Friday, February 26, 2016
YOUTH VOLUNTEER WINS
Respect Life Scholarship from an essay on her time at camp. Read it here

WANTED: Staff to engage with our AMAZING campers all summer! Apply online today

Camper Stories   Nancy's 10 Days of Camp Courage Fun
Nancy's a camper with a great smile, kind eyes and few words. Last summer, she stayed at Camp Courage for the very first time, and she did it with gusto, signing up for the 10-day session. Nancy said she knew she wanted to give True Friends a try because, "I heard it was a lot of fun!"

With all the activities to choose from, Nancy said she most enjoys meeting new people. Her second favorite activity is bingo, which she says, "Is a blast!" Nancy suggests everyone come to camp by simply stating, "You're a fool if you don't."
Campers like Nancy benefit from a longer session. The extended timeframe allows more activities, more socializing and relaxing with fellow campers and counselors. Campers in this session come with more of a vacation mindset. Just like any vacation, there are some who enjoy relaxing moments and others who look for action.
 
There is one common thread among the participants. "People who come to this session feel comfortable around their peers at camp," said Director of Camping Conor McGrath. "That's one of the reasons they don't want the session to end."
 
Many people try new experiences at camp, such as horseback riding, ropes climbing or zip lining. McGrath says the support from others feeds a camper's openness to do something new. "Campers try things for the first time when they have encouragement from staff, volunteers and other campers," he said. "It makes that first-time experience a very positive one."

This year's 10-day session will be held July 5-14 at Camp Courage. Learn more.
Volunteers Be the difference.
Volunteers have an enormous impact on the sustainability of True Friends' programs, business operations and strategic direction.
The past 12 months were some of the most impactful for volunteer service contributions. We can not operate without volunteers! 

We know 2016 will be a great year, and we're eager to spend time with many talented volunteers and interns.
Continue your involvement by logging in to our online volunteer portal or contacting the Volunteer Services Department.
Save the Date 
8 PM TONIGHT - Brackets for Good Tip-off - True Friends has been selected to participate in a tournament similar to NCAA March Madness. Nonprofits will compete against each other over the next five weeks. Check out the bracket and help us advance to round two by donating here!
 
  March 2 - Spread the Word to End the Word Day - An on-going effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. Take the pledge and join in on social media using #spreadthewordtoendtheword

March 11-13 - Camp Friendship Crafting Weekend
  - This weekend package includes two nights of lodging, five homemade meals and crafting space. Download the registration form here.  

March 20
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Dance with Courage - During the past 10 years, Dance Arts Centre has teamed up with True Friends, to host the annual Dance With Courage event, raising over $160,000.  This year, the event will be held at the Eden Prairie Center from 12-6 p.m. and feature a Dance Marathon, dance party and live performances including audience participation! Learn more about the event or sponsor a dancer here.    

April 1-3 - Camp Courage North Spring Cleaning Weekend  - Helping hands needed to get camp ready for the season. Hoping the snow is melted by then, but not making promises! Sign up by March 25 with JenaS@truefriends.org  
Giving is Good  Brackets For Good
Every March, Brackets For Good hosts a single-elimination, bracket-style fundraising tournament in multiple cities that raises much-needed funds and awareness for nonprofit organizations of all sizes in each community. Starting at 8PM TONIGHT, you can help True Friends advance in the tournament by donating through this website. All of your donations go directly to True Friends. It all comes down to the wire on Friday, March 4 ... if we have more donations at 7:59 p.m. than the other organization does - we advance to the next round an a chance to win $10k

ROUND ONE: True Friends vs. Helping Paws, Inc.

True Friends Can... clean for a cause
US Bank sent 11 employees from across the U.S. to Camp Eden Wood recently to volunteer as part of its week-long leadership training. This group accomplished more in about three hours than we expect groups to do in a whole day!
 
They cleaned like champions and became really engaged in learning about True Friends. The group also stuffed more than 100 goody bags full of items that they bought to help entertain our campers, especially during transition times. US Bank will also be sending us some donation checks that will be matched. Thanks so much for your amazing work!
Read our thoughts on the month's most viral content.

Check us out on Facebook for extra camp stories & photos!


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