Keeping Up with Kinship Q.4.
Kinship provides quality mentoring for youth who face significant economic and social barriers, ages 5 to 18, living in the greater metropolitan area. The program connects children and youth with caring adults, couples and families. Furthermore, Kinship nurtures positive self-esteem and character development, strengthens connections to school and community, and is respectful & welcoming of all faiths.
Meet A Match!
Mentor Allison and Kinship Kid Sara are celebrating 4 years 2 months as a Kinship Match.
Allison and Sara were able to check-in with their new Kinship coordinator, Taneal Palmer. Wanting to learn more about how their match has grown and to reflect on the past 4 years of their relationship, Taneal eagerly began:
Taneal: "To start, Allison, why did you want to start mentoring? And Sara, why did you want a mentor?"
Allison: "I wanted to give back to my community in a personal way. I wanted to make a difference in someone's life. I also realized that I was very fortunate to grow up in a home with 2 parents and a great support structure and thought if there was someone out there that didn't' have that, that maybe I could help. I also knew it would be a way for me to grow as an adult and open my eyes to new things."
Sara: "I wanted to have a closer connection and relationship with another adult beyond my mom. I wanted to have another support system to lean on"
T: "What has been your favorite spot/place/outing?
Both: "Bull Run (now called Vicinity Coffee Shop) on Lyndale Ave. in Minneapolis. This is our 'go-to' Spot! We have carved pumpkins there, played Jenga and other games, worked on our scrapbook and just talked".
T: "Has having a Kinship friend (mentor or kid) in your life had an impact on you? If so how?"
A: "Yes!...Absolutely! Getting to know Samia has opened my eyes to what it is like to be a young adult in today's society. Getting to know Samia has been such a priceless gift and I know we will have a special relationship for the rest of our lives."
S: "Yes! Allison is always there for me and I really enjoy having another adult figure to hang out with."
T: " What have been one or two of your most memorable outings/adventures?"
A: "We took pictures together every time we hung out and started a scrapbook.
S: "We love going to coffee shops and working on our scrapbook together.
A: "Not only is it great to have and look back on, but we enjoy spending time together making it."
S: "We also love going to Timberwolves games."
T: "What would you say is the best attribute about your Kinship Friend? Explain why you shared what you did"
S: Allison is very caring and sweet. She is always helpful and generous...that's what I like about her!
A: "Sara is always open to trying new things...even if she has never tried them before. We went roller skating once and Sara had never been. She was nervous, but that didn't stop her. I love her willingness to spread her wings"!
T: "What is something you've each come to learn about each other since you've been matched"?
S: I learned that Allison is curious and wants to learn about peloplle and also that she likes to try new things"!
A: "I learned that Sara is an introvert who when given the stage shines super bright and has so much to give to this world! Her calm and respectful presence matched with her charisma for life will serve her well"!
T: "Have you learned anything new about each other's culture"?
S: "I learned water-skiing is common sport in 'Midwestern-America' culture and especially in MN (the land of 10,000 lakes). Allison and her dad and I went to see the MN River Rats water ski show one summer together and I learned that her family does a lot of water-skiing".
A: "Yes, most definitely. I am Christian. Sara is Somali Muslim. I have learned a lot about Ramadan, which has been great to understand. I have even tried some traitional Somali food. Sara's grandmother made Malawah and let me try...it is a Somoli Sweet Pancake....and it is delicious"!
T: "Allison, If I knew someone who was thinking about mentoring a kinship kid, but they had doubts about being able to do it, what would you tell them?"
A: "I would say...DO IT! You won't regret it. Whatever your reservations are, you will be able to work through them. Kinship does an amazing job of supporting and preparing their mentors! Mentoring Samia has been such a beautiful gift. Samia and I met when she was 9...she is now 13. It has been so great seeing Samia grow into a beautiful young woman. I have enjoyed how our friendship has grown."
T: "Sara, If you could tell a peer/friend why they should have a mentor what would you say?"
S: "I would say they should try it out, because it's a great support system and its great to have another adult in your life to support you.."
Over 150 Kinship Kids are waiting to be matched with reliable, caring, and encouraging mentors like Allison. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor contact Kinship today!
Community Partnership Recap
Our partnerships with various community agencies allows Kinship to make available free and low cost event opportunities.
Thank you to Target who hosted some of our Kinship kids for Mentor for a Day with TNC Volunteer Council! Kinship kids were paired up with Target staff and got to tour the Target TNC center, they got to learn about jobs/careers, lunch was provided, and each kid was able to leave with some Target swag and a $10 gift card.
Thank you to Gethsemane Lutheran Church for allowing us to partner with them at their annual Fall Festival. Kinship staff were in charge of the craft activities. Kinship matches, church members (young and old), and the community was invited to a safe and fun night of snacks, costume party, and other spooky themed activities.
A special thanks to Thrivent Financial who once again who hosted the Kinship Program for Mentoring Matters 2017: Annual Fundraiser & Luncheon. This year we were happy to have local soccer legend, Tony Sanneh, speak on pillars of character and share how mentoring has been an important part of what he believes in. We had a Kinship match of 2 years share about their friendship. Lastly, we were happy to have hosted, Barbara Carlson Gage, who Kinship awarded an honorary lifetime achievement award, for all the support and advocacy she has given to mentoring programs in her time at the Carlson Family Foundation!
Finally a big word of thanks to St. Philip's Lutheran in Fridley. St. Philip's donated their space and many members of the church to Kinship's Annual Kinshoppe Christmas Program. "Kinshoppe" is an opportunity for our families to partake in a family tradition that low income families report they are unable to do with their limited income. This is an event for the kids to shop for their siblings, parents or guardians for Christmas presents. They wrap the items and bring them home to place under the tree.
During a season of "Me Me Me" we try to intentionally provide a spirit of giving. Kinshoppe includes many partnerships to make this day a celebration; MN Trucking Association collects and provides the toys and gifts, Churches who provide the facility, volunteers who provided goodies. Many volunteers, a great deal of whom return year after year because they enjoy helping to bring the experience of " giving to others" to the kids. This year we had 155 youth register and shop for their family. We gave out nearly 350 gifts!
Thanks to the St. Paul Winter Carnival Royalty and South High's Girls Basketball team who took our event from spectacular to amazing! Their presence at this years event produced lots of smiles, and I'm sure will make our Kinship Kid's Holidays a little more special!
Halloween Fall Festival at Gethsemane Lutheran
Mentoring Matters 2017
Fall Fundraiser & Luncheon
Thank You to Thrivent Financial again, for hosting us at our Annual Mentoring Matters Fundraiser in October. Thank you to St. Philip's for the continued partnership and your churches support in helping us put on our programming and activities for our Kinship Participants. As well to all those many individuals who donated either at the Mentoring Matters Fundraiser or our current year end appeal!
There is always more need for your financial support and you can offer that here: www.kinship-mn.org/donate .
Please find below a list of this Quarter's church, foundation, and agency based supporters!
Calvary Lutheran Church of Golden Valley
The Sam and Vera Fund
Hope Esparolini Fund of InFaith Foundation
Kinship Fund for Children of the MPLS Foundation
Kopp Family Foundation
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, INC
WM TX-Life Management Services
And the many individuals who show us your support!