Community Friends

Social opportunities through shared experiences

A new social opportunity aimed at individuals 55 and older is emerging in Newaygo County. Community Friends is spearheaded by TrueNorth Community Services and Camp Newaygo and provides opportunities for the older population to stay active and socially engaged with their peers as well as connecting with younger generations. There have been several curated outings since the group formed in the summer of 2021. Members have participated in a guided baking class in the kitchen at Camp Newaygo and created bespoke glass Christmas ornaments with the instructors at the Artsplace in Fremont. Every Tuesday in January and February Camp Newaygo is hosting euchre for Community Friends. This popular winter event has drawn in up to 20 avid new and veteran card players each Tuesday and has the possibility of continuing through March.

Currently most events are free to attend but donations are welcome to help plan and promote future excursions. Events are varied and focus on discovering new resources and entertainment within and outside of Newaygo County, learning and brushing up on new and old skills, and creating new friendships and social networks. These programs also adhere to all currently prescribed Covid precautions from the CDC.

If you are interested in learning more about Community Friends or joining their mailing list please reach out to the coordinator, Caitlin Voyt at (231) 652-1184 or email at You can also join the Facebook group here.

Hunger Among Us

Missy shares her involvement with Hunger Pgms.

Missy (pictured above) is serving as a National Service AmeriCorps member with our Hunger Prevention Programs. She grew up in a local, working-class family. She saw her parents struggle, even though they worked long, hard hours. As Missy put it;“As a parent, no matter what you do in life, your kids can always tell you are struggling. They can hear when you don’t think they are listening, and can see when you don’t think they are looking, and they can always see past your fake smile.”

Missy recalls coming to TrueNorth with her mother (back when we were still called NCCS) because her mom had a bill they couldn’t afford to pay. She remembers a nice woman named Margie (Marge Fraser) helping her mother with the bill and them leaving with two bags of pre-packed groceries from our old Food Pantry closet.

“I helped my mother carry them out; looking up at a real smile instead of the fake one she gave me when we entered.”

Later, as a teen Missy volunteered with our Food Depot program. She recalls working with Program Director, Becky Beets (pictured above on the right) and being moved by the compassion, love and acceptance Becky showed for everyone she helped.

Missy says her perspective as an adult is much different. In the relatively short time she has been here, she has had the chance to see the impact made on the people we serve.

“I have seen a homeless man go from sleeping in his vehicle to having a place he and his daughter could take a hot bath and a bed to sleep in. I saw the impact of the PowerPacks we create and deliver to schoolchildren so they have food on the weekend. My son came home and told me his friend whose family was struggling and had no food made an entire meal with his PowerPack. I have learned firsthand what the volunteers mean to the organization. I have had a chance to see first-hand what it’s like to make an impact on the community through the power of compassion, generosity, love, and acceptance.”

TrueNorth Day of Giving

February 22, 2022

By now, you know TrueNorth is turning 50 this year. As part of our celebration, we have set Tuesday, February 22 as our first annual TrueNorth Day of Giving.

The TrueNorth Day of Giving is an opportunity for supporters to come together on one day to show their commitment to our mission of bringing together influencers, innovators, and change-makers to inspire hope and create a better world. During the 24-hour event, we are asking the community to meet the challenge of raising $15,000 to strengthen communities for individuals and families.

“There’s a few ways to get involved,” said Mark Kraus, our Community Liaison and Development Director. “You can make a financial donation on the Day of Giving; February 22 and unite with compassionate people like yourselves by giving at the link below. Your gift provides safety, improves self-sufficiency, and builds social capital in our communities,” he continued.

You can also help spread the word about TrueNorth’s Day of Giving. Share your passion for helping those in need. Encourage your friends and family to give a gift to help the families who urgently need the support TrueNorth programs offer, and if you are on social media, be sure to like and share our Facebook posts about the TrueNorth Day of Giving on the 22nd.

If you have additional questions, please contact Mark Kraus at (231) 924-0641 ext. 161 or