Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rick's Bike Sale Brings in over $21,000!

Every year, Kids 'n Kinship benefits from a bike sale that one of our mentors puts on.  He collects bike donations from September-early Spring and fixes them up to sell them, for extremely reasonable prices.  Bikes of all sizes were anywhere from $30-$350 with over 150 bikes for sale.  Thanks to Rick and all of the volunteers for help making this years sale a huge hit!

ALL of the proceeds from this sale go to Kids 'n Kinship.  2015 marks the 7th year of the sale and it brought in just over $21,000!  Kids 'n Kinship has several events throughout the year that play a large part of the funding in helping youth ages 5-16 have mentors and healthy relationships throughout their youth.    

Read more about the sale, see photos and make sure you like us on Facebook to stay in touch with us regarding the 8th annual sale in 2016.

For those of you that did join us and perhaps are the proud owners of a new bike from the sale, we would love to hear your experiences and see pictures!








Sunday, April 19, 2015

Meet Adam! A monopoly and math loving sports fan

Here at Kids 'n Kinship, our mission to is provide healthy relationships through mentoring with kids aged 5-16.  We've had the honor of sharing many of the children on our waiting list, with you.  For those of you that have expressed interest in mentoring because of this, THANK YOU.  We hope to encourage others to seek out mentoring, as well.  

Meet Adam!


First NameAdam 

Age:  9 

Interests: Adam is great at playing Monopoly and he is a great reader!  He is interested in football, baseball and soccer.  He also loves movies! 

Personality/Characteristics: Adam is smart, friendly, sensitive and athletic. He helps his single parent mom, around the house.   

Goals/Dreams: Adam would like a mentor who likes sports and might want to go to a sporting event.  He is good at math and could help teach math. 


Does this sound like you and Adam could have a great time together?  With summer coming up, there would be many activities to be athletic, be outside and perhaps enjoy sports together!  We would love to connect you.


For more information: Adam is waiting for a mentor through Kids n’ Kinship in Dakota County. To learn more about this agency, contact Kids n’ Kinship at www.kidsnkinship.org or 952-892-6368. For more information about mentoring, contact the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota at 612-370-9180 or check its online list of mentoring programs at mpmn.org under "Find a Program."rough Kids n’ Kinship in Dakota County.
To learn more about this agency, contact Kids n’ Ki
nship at www.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Guidelines on Gift Giving

How should I respond to my mentee's requests for gifts?
Most formal mentoring programs have specific guidelines about how to handle gifts and spending money on your mentee, so check with your coordinator first. Some programs strongly discourage or even forbid gifts. Programs that have “no gifts” policies typically put them in place to avoid offending a mentee’s family or putting mentors in situations they can’t afford. Other programs leave the decision to give or not to give entirely to the mentor’s discretion.
Some factors to help make a decision about how to respond to your mentee include your own financial situation, the type and length of the relationship, the nature and amount of the request, the boundaries you have set for the relationship, the mentee’s family’s feelings and financial situation, and the type of activities you and your mentee do together.
Deciding not to spend money on your mentee: If you decide not to buy things for your mentee, you should not feel guilty. If you wish, you can explain why but it is not necessary. A simple response (such as, “I don’t have the money for that right now”) may just end the matter. Try to avoid getting into a discussion of whether your mentee “needs” the item; it sets up and adversarial tone between you.
If you have been spending money on your mentee for activities you do together, you can say that you prefer to spend your money on activities you can do with each other rather than on things. Of course, if the requested item is related to your activities, such as a baseball mitt or a new book, you might consider talking with your mentee about how he could find the item at a cheap price.
Deciding to spend money on your mentee: Before you decide to spend money on your mentee, consider the family’s feelings. You do not want to make parents or guardians feel unable to provide for their child. If you are thinking of giving your mentee a birthday gift, for example, ask the family for advice on what your mentee may like. This will help them feel included and will give you some spending parameters.
Doing some activities with your mentee will most likely involve money, such as going to a movie or sports event or having a meal out, but be low-key about it. If you would like to work with your mentee on financial literacy, you can establish a monthly spending budget for doing things together and ask your mentee to make decisions about how you will spend it.
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Reprinted with permission from The Mentor’s Field guide: Answers You Need to Help Kids Succeed by Gail Manza and Susan K. Patrick; Questions about the Mentoring Relationship, Question 33. Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®, Copyright © 2012 Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN ; 877-240-7251, ext. 1;http://www.search-institute.org. All rights reserved.
For more information on mentoring a child age 5-16 in Dakota County through Kids 'n Kinship, go to www.kidsnkinship.org

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Enjoy wood-working & building things? Share what you know with Steve!

A mentor match with a birdhouse they made together
Here is one youth waiting for an adult friend to hang out with:


First Name: Steve

Age: 9

Interests: Steve likes going to parks, reading comics, biking and making things.

Personality/Characteristics: Steve is fun, energetic, nice, caring and enthusiastic! Steve’s' single parent mom is interested in a male role model or couple or family for her son. Steve says lunch and recess are his favorite subjects at school and his teacher is super nice. He is a great reader!


Goals/Dreams: Steve would love to learn more about making things with metal or building things.

Steve is waiting for a mentor through Kids 'n Kinship mentoring program in Dakota County. Currently there are 62 youth ages 5-16 living in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville or Rosemount waiting for mentors. Volunteer mentors are individuals, couples, or family wanting to spend time with youth.  Mentors get together weekly with youth for fun and engaging everyday activities like bike riding, going to parks, having a meal together, or doing crafts or other hobbies together.  To learn more, attend our information session on March 23rd, 6-6:45 pm at the Wescott Library in Eagan.  RSVP to Rita 651-686-0990.  You can also see other profiles of waiting kids, read stories about matches and more on our website www.kidsnkinship.org.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Like this warm weather? Spring is the perfect time to get started mentoring!




Like fishing, swimming, and spending time outdoors?  Like you, many kids can't wait to get outside!  Be a friend to a child age 5-16 and include them as you do your hobbies and sports.  

Below is one child out of the 61 who are currently waiting for mentors with Kids 'n Kinship.

First name:  Jack

Age:  9

Interests:  Jack enjoys going to parks, swimming, fishing, legos, puzzles, and playing with dogs. He also likes building things, floor hockey, basketball, and football and is a Packers fan. He would also like to go to Grandslam or to volunteer at an animal shelter with a mentor.

Personality/Characteristics:  He is smart, fun to be around, and likes to make jokes. Jack lives with his mom, younger brother, & step-dad.  His biological dad is not in his life.  He is looking for an individual mentor preferably with a dog to spend time with him.


Goals/Dreams:  Jack would like to become a police officer.

For more information on Kids 'n Kinship, go to www.kidsnkinship.org.  We have volunteer applications, child profiles, success stories, as well as date of upcoming information sessions to learn more.  The next information session will be March 23, 6-6:45 pm at the Wescott Library in Eagan.  RSVP to Rita rykinship@aol.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Feeling discouraged by your mentee's needs?

I think my mentee needs more than I can give...and I am worried that I am letting her or him down. Am I?

teen male portrait
Question 34 from The Mentor's Field Guide
Every mentoring relationship goes through its ups and downs, and it is a rare mentor who doesn’t get discouraged at times. Sometimes a mentor has unrealistic expectations and is not seeing the changes she had hoped for, or she might worry about how slowly the relationship is progressing. A mentor may also become concerned when the mentee appears to withdraw from the relationship or engages in provocative or inappropriate behavior. It can be natural for the mentor to conclude in such circumstances that she is not being effective when in reality the mentee is just testing her mentor’s commitment.
It is also true that some mentees have more needs than others and that these needs may be beyond the scope of a mentoring relationship. It is not unusual for a mentoring program to either recruit or be faced with referrals for troubled young people with multiple life challenges. Your mentee’s life circumstances may also change significantly during the course of your relationship, placing him under more stress and challenging his coping skills.
One place to start in thinking about your capabilities with your mentee is to examine your expectations and boundaries. You may be taking on too much responsibility for your mentee’s problems. As we have observed, your role is to be a friend. And friendship itself is an important source of support for your mentee, especially if he or she has multiple needs. Your program coordinator may have ideas about strategies you can use with your mentee and can also provide additional moral support as you try them out. It might help to review the first three mentoring stages about the principles for making your relationship work.
It is possible, however, that your mentee needs professional help to cope with stressful situations. Talk to your program coordinator, who can consult with your mentee’s family and school to discuss what services might be needed.
If you are patient and persistent, you are likely to find that the situation improves. It also helps to remember that you are “planting seeds” that may not bear fruit until years later. So, it is difficult to tell right now if you are giving your mentee what she needs.
Reprinted with permission from The Mentor’s Field guide: Answers You Need to Help Kids Succeed by Gail Manza and Susan K. Patrick; Questions about the Mentoring Relationship, Question 34. Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®, Copyright © 2012 Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN; 877-240-7251, ext. 1;http://www.search-institute.org. All rights reserved
For more information on Kids 'n Kinship mentoring program in Dakota County, go to www.kidsnkinship.org

Friday, February 27, 2015

Like hockey, skiing, snowboarding, & other winter sports? So does Rachel!



Consider stepping forward to be a friend to a youth today!  Below is just one youth waiting for an individual, couple or family to meet with her once a week for fun and engaging activities:

First Name: Rachel

Age:  11

Interests:  Rachel loves hockey, animals, and reading.  She also enjoys ice skating, soccer, football, playing board games or card games, coloring, and movies. She likes going to the mall, the zoo, the library, to a movie, or to a Wild hockey game.

Personality/Characteristics:  She is friendly, active, sweet, and sensitive. She lives with her mom and 4 other siblings. 


Goals/Dreams:   Rachel wants to learn how to ski and snowboard. She thinks her mentor could help her learn how to get along with her siblings better. 

For more information about mentoring through Kids 'n Kinship in Dakota County, go to www.kidsnkinship.org