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Kinship campaign seeks mentors

As National Mentoring

Month nears its final week, Kinship Partner’s campaign is continuing

its effort to recruit 50 mentors by the end of January.

David Downing, Kinship Partners executive director in Brainerd, said 16 new applicants stepped forward so far.

Kinship reports there are 10 top reasons to mentor a child.


More people are making volunteering a priority. Research shows that

volunteering is the second highest priority to baby boomers — traveling

is first. Young people are also volunteering at record levels. There is

an increase in corporate volunteering — companies allowing time away to

pursue personal growth and service time. Why not turn that into time

spent with a child?

9. Mentoring a child creates a positive

connection with youth. It can give insight into one’s own childhood or

children. Maybe it won’t help understand their music or choice of

clothing, but one might gain knowledge of Facebook and programming the


8. Out of work? Exploring different careers? Mentoring

a child allows the chance to see what it is like working with kids.

Mentoring also looks swell on a resume or job application.


Mentoring is “paying it forward.” Did someone give you a hand when you

needed it as a kid? Research shows one in five kids have no caring

adults outside family to help ensure healthy development.


Mentoring is all about sharing life experiences and skills with a

child. Kids love learning. Introduce a child to snow shoeing, create a

new recipe, build a bird house, and play a board game. Tell a child

about your own childhood and family. They will appreciate hearing that

you walked two miles to school backwards and uphill. Oh yes, share


5. Mentoring is healthy. Spending time with a child keeps

one young and youth-centered. Studies show that mentors have improved

health and self-esteem and enhanced self-image. You will look marvelous.


Mentoring builds positive communities. A community that values its

youths is good for all. Children with supportive mentoring

relationships are four times more ready to be healthy, productive


3. Mentoring a child has some of the benefits of being a

grandparent. You can enjoy the experience for a couple hours a week —

just listening, playing together, and hanging out — and still give them

back, happy, tired and satisfied to their parent or guardian in the end.


You can be part of a life-changing experience for a child. True growth

and learning happens best with close relationships. Research shows 46

percent are less likely to start using illegal drugs; 52 percent are

less likely to skip a day of school; 35 percent are less likely to

become pregnant or cause a pregnancy; and 86 percent are more likely to

attend college. These children also become more trusting of their own

parents and guardians.

And the number one reason to mentor a

child, Kinship Partners states: “Mentoring offers a window of hope at a

time when few such windows are open.”