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Letter: Kinship mentoring makes a difference

January is National Mentoring Month – timed to offer opportunities to people with new year intentions of stepping up, reaching out and making a positive difference in life.

Right now 56 people are committed to mentoring a Kinship youth; another 48 are helping first graders learn to enjoy reading in Nevis and Park Rapids. Thanks to these volunteers, more than 100 children will experience affirmation, encouragement, constructive challenges and wholesome fun this year. The impact? Most of these youth will do better in school, get along better at home, and find it easier to make positive life choices. They will be more likely to graduate, stay out of trouble and become wage earning, tax paying citizens.

Kinship always has children needing a mentor. They are good kids who want to do well. You can learn more at or call 732-0058 to discover how you can begin mentoring.

Quality mentoring programs need donors as well as mentors. We at Kinship were delighted to reach our 2014 budget goal on one of the very last days of the year. Truly, your gifts are essential and we are extremely grateful for each and every one of them.

Without this fabulous community support, there would be no Kinship. There no longer are big grants, there is no state or federal funding, and no fees for service are charged. Kinship is wholly dependent on direct donations, special fundraisers and local contracts. We are so very appreciative of the many ways you have supported youth mentoring through Kinship that it is difficult to even think of asking again. However, the need for mentoring only seems to increase, our kids have so much potential and we know that mentoring works! So to enable us to continue this important work, we invite and depend on your renewed financial support in 2015.

Started within our community, governed by members of the community, supported entirely by the community, and serving people of the community, Kinship truly belongs to the community. Thanks in advance for your continued commitment and support in 2015.

Jennifer Therkilsen

Kinship Executive Director