Kids 'n Kinship

Kids ‘n Kinship's Annual Gala

Sunday, September 25, 2016
Brackett's Crossing, Lakeville MN

Galla 2015

Join us for an evening of dinner, Comedy Sportz, our famous auction, beer/wine pull, and mentee testimonials.

All proceeds match volunteer mentors with youth needing additional support.


Tickets: Click here.

Sponsorships: from $250 to $5000 - publicity and guest tables for 8
Donations: for the Silent Auction, Craft Beer Pull, and Wine Cork Pull

For more information contact Rita at 651-686-0990 or

Donate Now

Events »

Kids 'n Kinship

Videos »

Contact Us »

Kids 'n Kinship
14870 Granada Avenue #127
Apple Valley MN, 55124
Find us on facebook. Find us on Twitter.Find us on YouTube.
Proud user of Innovative Mentoring for managing our program data.

The power of mentoring

Published July 14, 2016


Former mentee returns to Kids ’n Kinship as employee

Matt Cady was 7 years old when he met Mike Haupt, a mentor with Apple Valley nonprofit Kids ’n Kinship. The young Eagan boy was in need of a male role model after the death of his father two years earlier.

The shy first-grader wasn’t sure what to expect from his new mentor but over the next 13 years, Haupt became much more than a role model. He became an adviser, a friend and someone Cady could always count on.

“It was really nice to know I always had someone there to talk to and try new things with,” Matt said.

They two often played chess and attend sporting events together. They also built catapults, which they would use to fling water balloons and softballs across the yard and over the top of Haupt’s home.

“We had a lot of fun trying to see how far we could get it to go,” Haupt said.

Over they years Haupt’s easy-going nature helped Cady overcome his shyness and the two have remained friends.

It’s this experience that inspired Cady to make a difference in the lives of other children and brought him back to Kids ’n Kinship as a summer intern. When Cady — a junior at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall — discovered he could complete his college credit internship in his hometown, he immediately thought of Kids ’n Kinship.

“Kids ’n Kinship made a huge impact in my life in such a positive way,” the 20-year-old psychology student said.

Upon graduating from Southwest Minnesota State, Cady plans to either attend graduate school with the goal of becoming a child psychologist or seek a career with a nonprofit that focuses on helping children.

For the past few months, Cady has helped the nonprofit handle documentation, organize its annual bike sale and is currently working on video project for Kids ’n Kinship’s annual Gala event that will be held this fall.

“Working here has really put into perspective the process that goes into matching kids with mentors and how lucky I was to be matched with a mentor,” Cady said.

To date Kids ’n Kinship has a waiting list of approximately 60 children who are in need of mentors.

Individuals, couples and families who are interested in becoming a mentor can attend an upcoming information session:

• 6-6:45 p.m. Monday, July 18, at the Burnhaven Library in Burnsville.

• 6-6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the Wescott Library in Eagan.

Contact Jan Belmore at 952-892-6368 or [email protected] for more information.

Local Kids ‘n Kinship Volunteer is recognized

Eagan Man Receives National Community Hero Award

Volunteer mentor, Nick Varien, of Eagan, was nominated and won his employer's (Simpson Strong Tie) national Community Hero award. The Award was presented in Arizona. Nick is matched with a 16 year old Eagan teen; they have been together nearly four years. They enjoy food, friendship, movies, sports and family. Nick and his wife, Bree consider the mentee a part of their family. Every conversation with Nick includes a recognition of his mentees' abilities, personality, manners or attitude. Nick talks about the very bright future his mentee has; his athletic accomplishments, goals, his academic struggles and triumphs, his maturity beyond his years and how he 'looks out' for his younger sister. Think about a young teen hearing a respected successful adult talk about you that way. It is very powerful.

Along with the award came a donation for $2,500 for Kids 'n Kinship. Kids 'n Kinship staff say " Nick is an excellent supportive role model and he is caring and interested. We value Nick and all he does for his mentee and our organization."

Rick's Bike Sale

The 8th annual Rick's Bike Sale was a very big success thanks to all the volunteers and customers!

Rick, Randy and crew gathered and tuned up hundreds of bikes and brought in $27,094.00 in sales. All to benefit Kids 'n Kinship, matching kids on the wait list with an awesome mentor! Thanks to everyone involved; bike donations for next year can be directed to Rick at:

Featured Video

The Power of Pizza

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ok, not really pizza power, but the power of food and getting together to share a meal as a way of connection. Last month a group of mentors sat down outside to share their stories with each other in the hopes that talking about things would help them learn what others were doing,  And it did just this- but it accomplished so very much more!  As stories were shared and "pass the pizza " was heard, the mentors began to share ideas and ways to connect with their mentees.  Over and over we heard "me too!" Which is such a compelling connection point, we realize we have something to give to others, as well as we are not alone.  And meeting outside, well that was an added bonus!!

Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota

Kids 'n Kinship has achieved Expert Partner status through Mentoring Partnership Minnesota's Quality Mentoring Assesment Path (QMAP) and has a 100% overall implementation rating on an extensive list of best practices and quality standards for mentoring programs. We are 1 of only 9 other programs to earn this distinguished rating under these rigorous guidelines.


Medical Monkeys

Kids 'n Kinship wishes to acknowledge the partnership with Medical Monkeys. Funds received from the purchase of the Medical Monkeys goes towards finding mentors for our waiting youth.

Kids 'n Kinship wishes to acknowledge the generous support of Mail Pack and Ship, Apple Valley and their wonderful donation of printing of our newsletter, and Media Relations, Inc for their pro bono work on publicity.