"It's official now," said 13-year old Jodie. "Our divorce was final yesterday."
Jodie's parents have lived separately for two years. She's been enrolled in Kinship Partners for several months knowing that she probably would never live with her mom again. Yet, the finality of the divorce decree was difficult. "Our divorce," she said. Truly, it isn't just a split between two adults. It is the whole family's divorce and the whole family's difficulty. The finality of it hit Jodie hard.
"I'm glad they won't be fighting anymore, but still it's hard," she declared with a crack in her voice. Now, more than ever, Jodie needs a woman to be her mentor. To listen. To understand. To be the female adult in her life.
Jodie is making the transition from middle school to junior high. One day a little girl, the next a young lady. A difficult time at best. Doubly hard under these circumstances. A mentor through the Kinship program can make this transition a lot easier.
Remember going to the mall as a young teen and looking at the latest fashions? Remember trying your hand at applying make-up? Remember going to garage sales and finding great bargains for under a dollar? Remember the feelings associated with growing up - boys, girlfriends, fitting in, school struggles? Remember having a close adult who you could talk to? If you do, then you were lucky. And so will Jodie be lucky when you call the Kinship office and say, "I'd like to be her partner."
Kinship Partners matches boys and girls throughout Crow Wing and southern Cass Counties with volunteer mentors who spend time each week with them. The commitment is a couple hours a week for one year. The ultimate goal is a lifetime friendship. The children come in all sizes -- from 5 year olds who love to play trucks and cars, to teens who like arts and crafts. Whether you enjoy hunting and fishing, or sewing and dance, there is one child who is just right for you. Visit the Kinship Partners website www.brainerd.com/kinship or call the nearest Kinship office to learn more: Brainerd, 829-4606; Crosby, 546-7308; or Pequot Lakes, 568-4015.
Kinship Partners fundraising effort Miles for Mentoring, a bike trek across the country by county commissioner Gary Walters, has raised over $10,000. Thank you to all who helped in the massive effort. To read Commissioner Walters' journal detailing the trip, visit the website www.milesformentoring.com.
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