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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Kids 'n Kinship Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult & Child Matching Programs, Children & Youth, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The program is primarily for children from single parent families or children who have a need for an additional positive adult role model.  The goal is that the child will form a long-term friendship with a responsible, consistent adult role model. Through their Kinship relationship children receive positive attention, experience a variety of activities, and are helped to develop the sense of self-worth that is essential to successfully functioning in school, in healthy relationships, and eventually on the job. The volunteer mentors model responsible citizenship; being involved in our community, sharing skills, taking pride in providing for oneself and ones'' family. Throughout a mentor relationship, the volunteer plans and carries out activities with the child, one on one in the community. Volunteers are individuals, couples and families. Some examples of typical activities are: picnicking, attending sporting events, hobbies, baking cookies, and going to a movie.

Target demographics: strengthen youth through mentoring

Geographic areas served: Dakota County area

Programs: Kids 'n Kinship provides a community mentoring program for children who live in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville and Rosemount. Currently 110 volunteers mentor 88 youth and 84 youth are on a waiting list. Mentors spend time on a weekly basis with the child for a minimum of one year. The average relationship lasts 3 years! Kids 'n Kinship also has a school-based mentoring project in collaboration with Glacier Hills Elementary school. School based mentoring serves children with the following identifying factors: high transience rate, low income, not eligible for formal educational assistance, but needing help to keep up with grade level. Mentors meet with the child at school once a week and then get together during school breaks for community activities.

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kids 'n Kinship is truly one of the best nonprofits around. The program pairs children in need with an adult to help build a friendship and mentorship between the two. As a former mentee, I can fully attest to what the program did for me and impacted my life. Whether its by volunteering or donating, the program can use your help to further provide a positive impact on our community.

Deena Lomas M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor with Kids ‘n Kinship for over five years. I enjoy spending time with my mentee weekly. We have done a variety of things over the years. We have done crafts, bike riding, baking, cooking, and just hanging out.

Randy K.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very rewarding experience and the opportunity to change a kids life! Such a great organization!

Karen356

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served on the board for this excellent organization and am very proud to continue to serve as a volunteer. The work done to connect mentors with kids is priceless. So many youth benefit from the dedication of the staff overseeing the matches. I was a mentor myself in the program earlier on with a girl named Leah. The benefits we both received through our friendship are hard to describe but we shared many new experiences in the community.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Kids 'n Kinship for over 25 years.; as a mentor and later a long-time board member. I have seen so many wonderful friendships grow through the careful matching of mentee and mentor in the program. Many, many youth have benefited from a caring adult helping them navigate the rocky road through adolescence.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Kids 'n Kinship goes back to 1992 when our family of four became mentors to two siblings. We developed a long term relationship with these two at-risk kids and have enjoyed knowing them for 26 years. We went through many highs and lows with both of them and their wonderful mother and now enjoy an adult relationship with both of them and their families.

When young, we would have both to our home for fun and games, take them places like the zoo, theater, sporting events and much more. Kids 'n Kinship also hosts 4 -5 fun group events for mentors and their mentees, which we all enjoyed going to together. It's hard not to build a lasting relationship with your mentees and hope that by doing so, you make a difference in their lives.

Kids 'n Kinship has been serving at risk youth in Dakota County, Minnesota for over 40 years and have enjoyed continual success in matching kids with mentors and thereby changing lives for the better -- for the children and the adults who reach out to them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kids n’ Kinship is a wonderful nonprofit! I have been volunteering for them for quite a few years and it always amazes me to hear the stories of what they do for young people. By volunteering I get to meet the families of the mentees and the mentors, and everyone is so nice, and everyone seems to be so happy with the matches that they do. We love doing the yearly charity bike ride, and the support we get from the staff is incredible. This is my favorite charity :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife, daughter and I started mentoring a young girl this last April. We all look forward to our weekly time spent together. I will admit that we are struggling with some language barriers but watching two girls laugh and play brings joy to all. The fun we can have with a little effort is amazing. I feel we are making a difference in her life and in ours. This has been a positive experience all around and I would recommend this program for volunteers with the time and heart, along with the children that could use a larger support group.

Sean S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having been a volunteer with this organization now for almost 2 years, I can say for sure that this is a great organization that provides youth with meaningful mentor matches. You can really see the kids develop and grow into great people!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great local nonprofit dedicated to improving children's lives by matching children between the ages of 5-16 who are in need of a positive role model with a caring adult/couple/family! Mentors and mentees spend time together on a weekly basis, sharing conversation and activities. The activities don't need to be complex or expensive. An hour of throwing a football around, baking cookies, or playing a game are examples of everyday activities that may be enjoyed together. The goal of the program is for the child to receive positive attention, participate in a variety of activities, and develop a greater sense of self-worth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kids ‘n Kinship provides the best mentoring experience. The program is customizable to single people or families and to schedules. They coordinate quarterly events, but usually it is on a mentors own schedule to coordinate match activities. They support the match from the beginning with applications and interviews to ensure a successful match. Plus the match coordinators are a great resource throughout the match experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I along with our daughters mentored a pair of siblings for a few years, till they moved further away. No doubt in my mind even the shorter period of time made a difference for these kids, even for us, The Giving back part. We still support and Volunteer with fundraising events. It's a great Non-Profit organization supporting area youth. The staff is awesome to work with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family has been matched for a little over a year, and the experience has been transforming. Our little boys look forward to our weekly activities with our mentee, and our three year old sees our older mentee as a type of role model. My husband and I are inspired by the positive attitude he brings to every situation he encounters. As a result of our weekly meetings, our family is much more intentional about planning meaningful activities that have exposed us to more of our community. We hope that the match has been as impactful on our mentee as it has been on us. Thanks, Kids 'n Kinship!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kids 'n Kinship has been a wonderful experience for both us as a mentor family and for our mentee. We have been able to enjoy so many things in the community together, form a connection with another person in our community, and be more intentional about the time we spend together. Kinship staff are very organized and committed to matching up mentees and mentors in matches that have a high likelihood of success. They also are great about sharing ideas for new experiences and activities to do together.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this great organization as a mentor for over 5 years and have just recently accepted a position on the board. The commitment to providing the best possible mentor match for the youth of our community is simply amazing! My Mentee and I have enjoyed so many great experiences together and I can say that at this point we are family. Over the years, seeing the efforts of Kids n' Kinship has humbled me and I am SO proud to be a part an organization that is making an immediate and lasting difference!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Joined Kids n Kinship to give back about a year and a half ago. Been nothing but a truly rewarding experience. We found lifelong friends in our mentee and her family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have volunteered for 8 months now and have enjoyed working with our mentee. Kids 'n Kinship is very helpful in making a great match and providing any further assistance with the relationship!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am honored to be a part of this organization. I have been involved for several years with this group and currently serve on the board. I can not say enough great things about the experiences, how well it is run and impact on our youth. The staff is a group of dedicated people that have a tremendous amount of power to serve our youth through mentoring. They are professional and have keen insights into making the best mentor/mentee matches! I have witness how mentoring can be life changing and secure brighter futures. I have seen children blossom is areas they never thought possible. Youth in this program develop a sense of hope and excitement for the future. Some of them become leaders, college students or working towards or in fulfilling career paths. If you are considering becoming a mentor or volunteering, Kids 'n Kinship is a great organization to invest your time.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth in Dakota County! This organization has a great group of mentors committed to helping prepare youth for the future while having fun. Engaged, caring staff facilitate mentor/mentee matches and remain available to provide guidance and support throughout the ongoing relationship.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Going through the process to become a mentor my thoughts were on a teenager. I made my choice but even before meeting, her family moved away.

Then I met Mentee who was 11. It was an instant click as we found how much we had in common. We both are middle children from large Catholic families. We both have five sisters and our birthdays are a week apart.

It's now two years later, I have my teenager and I can't imagine my life without her. Thank you Kids-n-Kinship.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a mentor with Kids 'n Kinship for 11 years. This organization is invaluable because it not only focuses on making excellent, long term matches (after my first mentee moved out of state, I've been matched with the same young lady for 9 years!), it follows through with continual support to all sides of the match. We get detailed personal support as mentors, and the organization even provides fun events for mentor/mentee pairs. Over the years, I've seen amazing growth in my match, and she's on track to finish high school with excellent grades, and she knows she's going to college, it's just a matter of where. Without Kids 'n Kinship, she wouldn't have the confidence to have overcome life obstacles and see a bright future! The best part about Kids 'n Kinship is individuals, couples, and families can all mentor a child in need, making it a great option for any family. Mentoring is the most rewarding volunteer activity I have participated in, particularly because there's a long term relationship. My mentee is now a member of my family, and Kids 'n Kinship made that happen.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a mentor with Kids 'n Kinship for 10 years. It's a great feeling to know that a small investment of time pays amazing dividends in the life of my mentee. I've seen her grow from a shy 8-year old with very little self-confidence into a lovely young lady who is mature, applies herself in school, and dreams of going to college. The best part is that she and I spend time together doing the silliest and easiest of things: we go for walks, scrapbook, and even draw on my driveway with chalk just for fun. Spending time with her is a highlight of my week, takes very little effort, and is just plain fun. This organization is important for kids like my mentee who are looking for a positive adult role model. I'm grateful that Kids 'n Kinship supports our match and gives us opportunities to spend time together by providing free events and suggestions for activities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I became mentors 11 years ago and mentored Jon. About 4 years ago we added his brother Marcus. It has been a very rewarding experience with both boys. Jon is off to college this fall and we are still mentoring Marcus. Fun to watch them grow and learn. I also started a bike sale where we accept donated bikes, clean and fix them and have a sale every May. We have had 9 sales and raised over $130,000 for Kids 'n Kinship. People gladly donate bikes. we enjoy bringing them back to life and keeping them out of the dumpster, someone gets a smile on their face because they get a new bike at a good price and Kids 'n Kinship get money to operate their program. Win-Win-Win-Win which does not happen that often. Volunteer somewhere, it will make you feel good. Rick and Lise