We are dedicated to providing extraordinary experiences through comprehensive programming and services like our wheelchair accessible high ropes challenge course, our therapy and adaptive riding program, or our travel program that opens the door to new worlds. We offer the opportunity for individuals to challenge themselves; to grow in their own self-awareness and build a sense of confidence that will support them throughout their lives.
True Friends relies on the support of generous donors to help us provide our programs and services in an inclusive, safe environment.
Ways to Give
What Your Gift Does
Support adventures at Weekend Respite, where children and adults leave behind doctor visits and therapy to enjoy camp activities like tye-dying, s'mores by the fire, or exploring mother nature.
Help our Therapy and Adaptive Riding program participants strengthen their bodies
and boost their self-confidence.
Help underwrite Travel costs, from permit fees and state parks passes, to supplies and transportation.
Help supply harnesses, helmets, ropes, and belay devices so campers can discover they CAN conquer our wheelchair-accessible high ropes course and zip-line.
Support waterfront activities that include paddle boarding, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing. Waterfront activities build participants self-confidence, strengthens their muscle control, and gives them a chance to learn a new skill.
Gifts In Action
In the summer of 2018 True Friends received a $2.2 million investment from the Camp Cambria Foundation to renovate several buildings at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN.
“The investment from the Camp Cambria Foundation has truly enhanced the quality of experiences our participants enjoy,” said True Friends President and CEO John LeBlanc. “We are humbled by their dedication and commitment to support individuals of all abilities.”
The Camp Cambria Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation team up every summer to offer a specialized camp session for kids and teens with juvenile arthritis that is held at Camp Courage in Maple Lake.
Over the years the group saw an opportunity to not only create a better experience for their campers, but also for the more than 1,300 children and adults with disabilities who enjoy the camp each summer.
The dining hall is now equipped with a new kitchen layout to better serve those with special dietary needs, as well as a nutrition nook to promote healthy choices. Bathrooms were updated and an elevator was added to enhance accessibility. Additionally, high-end Cambria products were used throughout the space in areas such as the bathrooms, kitchen, and fireplace. The health and wellness center and arts and crafts buildings have also been given new layouts, updated fixtures, and accessible work spaces.
The project was supported by more than 49 local vendors from 19 different trades.
Lions Clubs International Foundation Grant
True Friends is honored to be the recipient of a matching grant of $100,000 from the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).
This grant supports the completion of needed exterior renovations to cabins and the laundry facility, flooring replacement throughout the program center, and the installation of a new sport court flooring in the program center gym at True Friends Camp Friendship. True Friends is proud to display the LCIF logo at center court to recognize their generous commitment.
This matching grant was made possible by several local Lions Clubs and individual donors who donated the initial $100,000 making True Friends eligible for the LCIF grant.
“The continued support of the Lions Clubs impacts thousands of children and adults with disabilities each year and this gift will enhance the accessibility of our program center, as well as our cabins,” said John LeBlanc, True Friends President and CEO.
The dedication, support, and commitment displayed from the Lions Clubs International Foundation and MD5M Lions Clubs to True Friends is just one example of their enthusiasm to support the local community as well as the individuals with disabilities True Friends serves.
Norman C. Skalicky
In 2019 True Friends received a $100,000 donation from the Norman C. Skalicky Foundation and Stearns Bank to benefit general operations at True Friends.
“This generous gift from the Norman C. Skalicky Foundation and Stearns Bank makes it possible to carry on our mission of high quality, personalized care to our clients,” said John LeBlanc, President and CEO of True Friends. “I know our clients and board of directors are very thankful for this gift.”
Beyond keeping the lights on, general operations at True Friends supports program development and critical infrastructure initiatives to provide exceptional care for individuals participating in camp, respite, therapy and adaptive riding, and travel services.
“Stearns Bank has always been passionate about giving back to the community, even more so to those needing a helping hand,” Skalicky said. “The work of True Friends to enhance self-esteem and independence aligns well with our mission to help foster growth and success.”
While True Friends programs provide life-changing experiences for our participants, they also offer caregivers a moment of respite; a chance to rest and to relieve the stress that sometimes occurs while caring for individuals with special needs.
How You Can Support Our Events
Attending our events is one of the best ways to support True Friends and encourage the individuals and groups who host events on our behalf. Connect with our staff, the community, and guests you bring, all while having fun.
The more the merrier! Invite your friends, families, and coworkers to attend an event with you. Introduce them to True Friends, and spend quality time with them all while supporting True Friends.
Share the event online with others and encourage them to attend with you! They will get to learn more about True Friends, and enjoy all our events have to offer including meeting our staff, hearing from our participants and their families, and more.