One Connection at a Time

“We get lonely,” says Community Connections participant Karen Cross. “When you’re by yourself, even though you have big families, they’re very very busy with other things in their lives. You can feel very lonely if you don’t have anybody around.”

After Karen’s husband passed away, Karen struggled with loneliness and social isolation, but because of newfound relationships and purpose through her time at TrueNorth Community Services, Karen’s overall well-being has improved.

Karen first became involved at TrueNorth by donating to its Hunger Prevention Programs. It wasn’t until later she started coming to Joker’s Wild, TrueNorth’s card playing group.

Karen continues to come to Joker’s Wild, and has also participated in the Senior Thanksgiving Luncheon and Coffee Connections. She has even invited others from her apartment complex to come to TrueNorth programs. Karen has a heart for service and connecting with others, wanting to reach out to those in the same way others have previously done for her.

Because her apartment complex does not have a gathering place, Karen and a few of her friends there have been working to get more residents involved with TrueNorth programs, particularly Coffee Connections. Karen has opened up her home to bring people together, letting TrueNorth staff use her lawn and garage for Coffee Connections to create their own gathering place.

Karen says, “I’m grateful TrueNorth has made it possible for us to include new people in our little community who we haven’t been able to reach.” Karen continues to be a light in her community as she reaches out to those who feel alone-creating lasting connections that have strengthened both her and her neighbors.