Friday, November 6, 2015

Join Us for Give to the Max Day

Give to the Max Day is November 12th.  New this year, you can now schedule your donation in advance!
On Give to the Max Day Thursday, November 12, 2015, thousands of Minnesota nonprofits will come together to raise millions of dollars in just 24 hours. This year there is a new feature that allows you to schedule your donation to Kids ‘n Kinship in advance. Your donation will go towards matching youth on our waiting list with mentors. You can change a life with your gift- that’s exciting!

To donate, go to to schedule your gift. Your donation will be processed automatically at 12 a.m. on November 12.
-- Every hour an individual donor will be randomly chosen by to win a "Golden Ticket." An additional $1,000 will be given to the charity that received the original donation. Pre-scheduled donations will be eligible for this as well.
-- Finally at the end of the day, will randomly choose one donor and that charity will receive $10,000. So your donation of $10 or more could be multiplied by a thousand!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Kids 'n Kinship Gala 2015!!

With your help, we exceeded our goal!   
The Gala was magical! 

A local harpist provided lovely background music, James Backstrom, Dakota County Attorney, was the Master of Ceremonies and a former mentee shared the significant impact his mentor family had on his life.  Entertainment for the evening was provided by Brodini’s Magic and Comedy Act.  The Silent Auction featured 100 fantastic items and the Craft Beer Pull, Wine Cork Pull and a delicious dinner were enjoyed by all.

Funds raised at our Gala enable us to serve more youth in the upcoming yearThe Board of Directors, staff and participants value our communities confidence in our mission and are all very appreciative of your donations.  We value your confidence in our mission of providing friendships to children and teens in need of a positive adult role model. 

There were lots of positive comments heard through out the evening such as "Excellent", "I thought it was GREAT", "Good size crowd" and " The Magician was good!  Loved the addition of the comedy."  Thank you on behalf of the many youth whose lives will be improved because of the presence of a mentor.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Raspberry Pi -Lesson 2


Best Buy finished up their Raspberry Pi classes with the students by teaching them how to create their own game!!   The students worked together with their mentor and were guided in how to use the variables in the program.  The game design consisted of having the character go back to "go" when it touched a certain designated color.  The students also created a course the character had to navigate through from beginning to end.  The students were actively engaged and totally enjoyed the process as well as the finished result!!
Excited to have created their game!!
Making a game together!!

Many thanks to Best Buy Geek Squad and Ben Harwell and Andrew Miller, who were our instructors for the class. Thanks also to the Western Service Center who hosted us again!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kids 'n Kinship Youth Receive Instruction on Raspberry Pi Computers through Best Buy grant!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

 Thanks to Best Buy, teens received instruction on how to use the Raspberry Pi computer and a program called “Scratch” in this year's first Tech Mentor program class!  The Raspberry Pi is a tiny and affordable computer that you can use to learn programming through fun, practical projects. In the first class students learned about what the Raspberry Pi can do. With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations. The students learned the basics of Scratch. In our second class, they will be working on creating their own game as well as all the variables in the program.

Many thanks to Best Buy Geek Squad and Ben Harwell, who was our instructor for the class. Thanks also to the Western Service Center who hosted us!!

Ben Harwell explaining the scratch program

Ready to begin!!!


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 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 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.
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; All rights reserved.
For more information on mentoring a child age 5-16 in Dakota County through Kids 'n Kinship, go to