Keeping Up with Kinship 2018 Q.1

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.

2017 In Review

Wow!  What a year 2017 was for all of us here at Kinship!  We said goodbye to some familiar faces, and welcomed some new faces to our team.  Even during this year of transition, Kinship Greater Twin Cities was busy at work making matches, coordinating events/activities, and most importantly providing all of our participants the high quality program support they've come to identify with the Kinship name!  Thank you  -  Staff, Mentors, Families, Youth, Donors, Supporters near and far - for making this a year one that will launch Kinship into 2018!  2018 will be our 64th year in mentoring!  64 years at building and supporting a stronger community one relationship at a time! 

Please enjoy these highlights from 2017.  

We continued to serve families in need:

  • 83% of all Kinship Kids served (matched and waiting) were from households that qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch
  • 70% of all Kinship Kids were from Single Guardian households

We are supporting Volunteers in quality Mentoring Relationships:

  • Kinship supported 155 volunteers, in 131 ongoing Mentor Matches
  • Kinship made 29 new Mentor Matches 
  • Kinship Mentors stick with their Kinship Kids for much longer than the national average of mentor matches!  Kinship Mentor Matches on average are between 3 and 4 years in length!
  • Of all Matches closed in 2017 the average match length was over 5 years
  • 2017 saw 11 Kinship Kids Graduate highschool

We offered our Kinship Kids experiences they might otherwise not have had do to access and/or other barriers.

  • MANY opportunities were offered: here is a glimpse of those memories made:
    • 159 Twins tickets used
    • 78 MN United Soccer tickets
    • 311 YMCA swimming lessons were offered
    • 20 sports camp spots
    • 37 free bikes 
    • 147 Admissions to the MN Science of Museum
    • 121 tickets to the Children's Theater Company
    • 320 Gifts were given to 153 Kinship Kids during the Holiday Season
  • Kinship organized and offered unique opportunites so our youth can learn and thrive!
    • 20 attend literacy Class
    • 20 attend a Kids Build construction class
    • 20 attend a Back to school resource give away
    • 33 attend our annual SkyZone Jump Night

January was National Mentoring Month

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Volunteers who mentor with Kinship mean a lot us!  As such Kinship was sure to take part in National mentoring month activities:

1 - 15 - 2018   Martin Luther King jr. Day of Service:

Several Kinship Matches participated in the National mentoring Month's National Day of Service.  Kinship participants joined other youth serving programs at Second Harvest Heartland for a 2 hour volunteer shift where together the youth and adults packed over 3800 pounds of food!    (See picture highlights below)

1-25 - 2018  Thank Your Mentor Day

Kinship Kids had signed thank you cards at Kinship's December Kinshoppe Christmas event.  The Kinship staff enjoyed mailing out kid crafted thank you notes that they made for their mentors!  The entire month of January we also made sure to highlight and thank our mentors.  We offered the program's thanks for all they do to open their hearts, homes, and time to being present with the Kinship Kids they are connected with.

1-27-2018  MENTOR MN & Timberwolves Mentor Appreciation Night

11 Kinship Matches were lucky to attend 2018s Mentor Appreciation game!  The lucky matches along with other mentor matches from a select group of twin cities mentoring programs were recognized during the game.  A few lucky kids were given special fan experience as part of this years event!

Meet A Match!

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Mentor Wendy and Kinship Kid Debbra are celebrating 6 years 2 months as a Kinship Match. 

Wendy and Debra were able to check-in with their Kinship coordinator, Taneal Palmer.  Wanting to learn more about how their match has grown and to reflect on the past 6 years of their relationship, Taneal asked:

Taneal: "To start, Wendy, why did you want to start mentoring? And Debra, why did you want a mentor?"

Wendy: "Because I had amazing, loving, and great role models.  My parents were Christian, kind, and thoughtful people, and from their example I wanted to pay it forward."

Debra: "I remember not having much to do and I wanted to have something to do on weekends and after school."

T: "What has been your favorite spot/place/outing?

Debra:  "Our favorite spot in summer has always been a water park.  Our favorite one to go to has always been Como's water park and Bunker Beach"

Wendy: "The Foshay is our place....we always try to find it when we drive by Minneapolis.  Also, the new library downtown Minneapolis was one of our places to go, especially when Debbra was younger.  I would say our summer spot is any water park."

T: "Has having a Kinship friend (mentor or kid) in your life had an impact on you? If so how?"

W: "A great impact, and it helps me remember how it is to be a kid!  Debbra is a great addition to my life in many ways.  I think of her, as part of my family.  We met when she was 7 years old, and now she is 13!  The experience is beyond words, she has made my life better all the way around.  I have a higher purpose in life---what is better than that?"

D: "Having a mentor has impacted my life in many ways but the biggest impact has been seeing different places and doing things that I probably wouldn't have done if it was not for Wendy.  Like going to South Dakota and to a concert."

T: " What have been one or two of your most memorable outings/adventures?"

W: "I'd say my favorite outing was going to the Foshay and then onto a Flo Rider concert at the Mall of America.  Debra was in the video for Disney Channel while we were there.  When Debra and her sister went with me to South Dakota to stay at my mom's house for the weekend." 

D:  "One of the most memorable outings has been our trip to the Foshay Tower where we met a guy who is friends with Flo Rida and from there we went to the Mall of America to see Flo Rida perform and the guy we met waved at us!"

T:  "What would you say is the best attribute about your Kinship Friend?  Explain why you shared what you did"

D:  "Wendy is a very planned out person and she cares about what you have to say.  She is also very kind and always happy!"

W:  "Debra is a smart, kind, beautiful, creative, athletic, thoughtful, and forward thinking person, and just a wonderful kid!"

T:  "What is something you've each come to learn about each other since you've been matched"?

D:  "Wendy is a hard worker, even when she has a busy schedule she will find time to get togheter!"

W:  "Debra remembers what we discuss, and plan for our future!"

T: "Wendy, If  you 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?"

W: "Would you ever give up a niece, nephew, daughter, son, or god child?  No!  These are some of the most important relationship in our lives. The chance to help a kid through a struggling home life is a major chance to give back, to change their course in life for the get them to break the cycle of poverty, and hopelessness!  Of course mentoring is one of the best things you could and would ever choose to do in this life!!!!!!!!"

Over 150 Kinship Kids are waiting to be matched with reliable, caring, and encouraging mentors like Wendy. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor contact Kinship today! 

Kinship's first Mentor Matches of 2018:

Kathryn & Hsa 1/4/18
Aubrey & Arman 1/21/18 (not pictured)
Melissa, Jonah, and Malik  1/21/18
Tonia, Neal, Raven, and Angel 2/4/2018
Anna & Alecia 2/15/18
Kai and Sa’Lena  2/20/2018
Sam & Lydia 3/1/18

"Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her."

- Urie Brofenbrenner - 

Connect with Kinship

Give us a follow, a like, and a share on all our social media Platforms

Facebook - Kinshipmn
Kinship Web Page and Blog
Instagram - KinshipGTC

Community Partnership Recap

Our partnerships with various community agencies allows Kinship to make available free and low cost event opportunities to our Kinship participants.  

Thank you to Tickets For Kids for all the donations they have made to our program.  Highlighted below you will see a few pictures of some Kinship Matches enjoying various theatre productions around the Twin Cities!

A word of thanks for our ongoing donor Park Tavern in St. Louis Park.  Park Tavern again donated 4 hours and 8 lanes (80 bowling spots) so that Kinship could host our annual Mid Winter Bowling Event.  We had a lot of fun, and there is proof...please find those highlights below!

Thank you to a new community partner Capitol Hill Elementary for inviting Kinship to their "Do Good Together" day February 27, 2018.  Kinship staff created an "Affirmation Station", in which youth got to come and learn what an affirmations is, and then were encouraged to create an affirmation card that will make its way to one of the Kinship Kids on the wait list for a mentor.  In total the youth made 85 affirming cards, and we are eager to get them to our Kinship Kids soon to brighten their day!  See a few pictures below!

A special thanks to Thrivent Financial who once again donated funds and packaged 100 hygiene kits for Kinship Kids!  This was accomplished via their Action Leadership Training Team!  These kits are items we take out to home visits as a way to teach good hygiene habits, and to provide items that some of our families may not have access to obtain regularly. See pictures below!

National Mentoring Month: Day of Service

In honor of Martin Luther King jr.

Kinship Participants taking in fine art experiences through our partnerships with various theater companies & Tickets for Kids

Park Tavern Annual Bowling Event


Sponsor Spotlight: 

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: .  


Please find below a list of this Quarter's church, foundation, and agency based supporters!

Christ English Lutheran Church

Calvary Lutheran Church - Golden Valley

Kathleen Campbell

Patricia Cooper

Jerilyn Lemke


And the many individuals who show us your support!