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Community Foundation award Kinship Partners $7,500 for youth mentoring program

The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation (BLACF) announced it awarded grants to support key community programs at 10 local nonprofit organizations.

Kinship Partners received one of the largest grants, totaling $7,500, to support its One-on-One Youth Mentoring Program.

“We’re very happy with the reward we received this year,” said Kinship Partners Director David Downing.

Kinship Partners is the only organization currently providing youth mentoring services in Crow Wing and southern Cass Counties.

The organization focuses on matching children ages 5 to 14 with positive adult influences.

“Success for anyone is measured by the amount of direct adult mentorship in their lives,” Downing said. “That’s really the main goal of mentoring is to get adults involved with kids.”

The organization seeks to improve the lives of kids now and in the future by improving their self-esteem and offering new opportunities to them. The organization collaborates with several organizations in the Brainerd lakes area to enhance their impact. Local school districts and mental health facilities work with Kinship Partners by referring children to their mentoring program. Downing said the award money received for the One-on-One Mentoring program will help Kinship Partners recruit enough mentors to knock out the rest of the waiting list. Kinship Partners hopes to recruit about 70 new mentors in the month of January, which is mentorship awareness month.

The Community Foundation awarded a total of $50,400 in this latest grant round. Other recipients include:

■ Brainerd Lakes Chamber, for the Bridges Career Exploration Day, $5,000.

■ Confidence Learning Center, for Mobility Impairment Concrete Replacement, $3,400.

■ Initiative Foundation, for “Thriving Organizations Partnership Leadership Circles,” $5,000.

■ Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers, for program operations, $5,000.

■ Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project, for a pilot project with Crow Wing County Community Services, $7,500.

■ Nisswa Community Children’s Library, for the 2013-2014 Children’s Summer Reading Program, $5,000.

■ Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, for the “Kids Packs to Go Backpack Project,” $5,000.

■ The Warehouse of Riverview Church, for their after-school program, $5,000.

The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation (BLACF) is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local community. Since 1998, BLACF has awarded over $2 million in grants to local nonprofits. BLACF is affiliated with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at or 855-5879.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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