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History of Kinship

Kinship of the Park Rapids Area is an affiliate of the National Kinship Network. The first Kinship program was begun in 1954 as the Christian ministry of four theological students at Luther Seminary in the Twin Cities. These students befriended some boys in a tough Minneapolis neighborhood who were in need of a positive influence. They weren’t trying to evangelize, or act as psychologists or counselors to these boys. They simply wanted to be their friend, to reach out to the less fortunate, and make a difference in their lives.

Kinship is now going strong in 24 communities around the state of Minnesota with many more programs across the country. It is still operated on that simple premise that all kids deserve our friendship. Kinship of the Park Rapids Area has been reaching out, one child at a time, since 1992, Our mission is to provide a preventive program for children, by matching them with Kinship volunteers who provide adult friendship and serve as a positive role model. We match children who need an adult friend with mentors.

Most of our children come from single parent families or live with a grandparent. Our adult mentors give these children a positive experience through mentoring. Mentors may be an individual, a couple, or a family. An adult mentor is someone a child can talk to or look up to as a positive role model in their lives. The children enrolled in Kinship of the Park Rapids Area are ages 6 to 19 and live in southern Hubbard County. Currently 45 children are being mentored by a caring adult. However, another nine children are still waiting for mentors.

At Kinship of the Park Rapids Area the adult mentor and child are matched according to their interests, location, age and needs. The commitment is to spend at least an hour together each week for a minimum of one year, doing everyday things that both persons enjoy. We stay in touch to offer support of the mentorship. We keep it simple so you can simply be a friend.

If we positively affect the life of a child, we positively affect our community’s future.

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