Volunteers across the country are being recognized this week. Though volunteerism is widespread and covers a variety of needs, not many volunteer jobs have as lasting an impact as mentoring. Everyone can remember a special teacher, neighbor, or family friend who influenced them in a positive way. Children who are missing the role modeling of one or both of their parents are especially affected by the addition of a mentor in their life.
These are the kids in Kinship Partners.
The boys and girls enrolled in Kinship Partners are often from single parent families where the parent is hard pressed to meet all the needs of the child. In families with several kids, it is an even more daunting task. A mentor can make all the difference.
Billy is 6 years old, the youngest of a large brood, and the only boy. All but one of his sisters is "matched" with a mentor. He watches them go off each week on a new adventure and wishes it would soon be his turn. He's a busy little boy, curious, smart and always asking questions. His curiousity can get him into trouble if he isn't careful, but everyone who has contact with Billy says the same thing: Don't squash that innate wonder that he has about his world. A Kinship Partner could have a wonderful time being his friend -- exploring, reading, playing or just listening.
A man with tons of energy would be a great partner for Billy. Or a young couple who want to do some volunteer work together and have a lot of fun along with it. Billy is easily entertained. A pile of Legos to create an imaginary structure, or a walk in the woods looking for treasures would be all that is necessary for a great afternoon. An ice cream cone added to it would make the day glorious.
Billy is waiting for someone to call Kinship Partners to claim him as their partner. It's a simple process. Just phone the nearest Kinship Partners office and the process will begin: Brainerd, 829-4606; Crosby, 546-7308; or Pequot Lakes, 568-4015. Still wondering if mentoring is right for you? Visit Kinship Partners Web site at www.kinship.brainerd.com to learn more about this volunteer effort that can change two lives -- a child's and yours.
Kinship Partners is grateful to the 153 partners who have made the commitment to mentor a child. Each of the kids waiting for a mentor wishes that number were 154.
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