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

Thanks to our Wonderful Gala Sponsors!

Partnership Sponsors

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN
Boeckermann Grafstrom Mayer CPA's
Burnsville Breakfast Rotary
Burnsville Rotary
Dale and Bette Schenian
Hess & Hess Inc
Home Federal
Joel and Kris Carberry
Think Mutual Bank

Contributing Sponsors

Bill and Margaret Traiser
Lakeville Behavioral Health
Park Nicollet – Burnsville
The Urgency Room

Collaborative Sponsors

Arnold Orthodontics
Curlee State Farm
Dakota Electric
Don Hess
Jan and Dave Belmore
Mike and Kris Hess
Monica Jensen
Pam and Ron Bernal
Re-Max Advantage Plus

Gala Donors

Beverly & Richard Mayer Brad and Barb Mayer Carol and Mike Milligan
Christin Gigstad Dave & Dawn Kalb David & Laurie Knutson
Doug and Deb Anderson Doug Daniels Elizabeth Younger
Jackie & Calvin Shannon James & Elizabeth Mandell Jim Arbuckle
Jim Olson Marc & Mary Kay Anderson Martha & Chris Hoyt

Gala Donors

Terri & John Pedace
Tim & Sandy Ake

With Special Thanks to

Blue Cross Blue Shield Volunteers
Brackett's Crossing
Cornerstone Printing
Life Development Resources
Media Relations, Inc.
Michael Moschogianis
Scott Swenson

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

Making Memories

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This is one of the most touching and descriptive pieces I have read on mentoring.  This was a Kids 'n Kinship match from a few years ago.  I am sure you will love reading it too!!  Feel free to leave a comment on the blog!!


By Karen Kitchel
Twelve years ago, I became the mentor of twin five-year-old girls whose Mom came from Sudan. Among the many fun “firsts” I got to share with them was their first carousel ride, first visit to a library, first time to go fishing, and first time they heard the word “college.” My daughter was a freshman at a local university, and one Saturday when they had an open house, I decided it would be fun to take the girls to campus. On the way there, they asked “What is college?” What a treat it was for me, as a mentor, to introduce them to the concept

During the next eight years, we enjoyed baking a lot of cookies and spending Sunday afternoons together. While the girls were both soft-spoken and usually very quiet, I figured they were enjoying the relationship because they never turned down an opportunity to get together. Because their Mom was raising five kids in a small apartment on an entry-level salary, I knew their exposure to many things I take for granted was very limited.

I believe mentoring isn’t about having someone tell you what a great person you are or what a difference you are making. Rather it’s an opportunity to experience first-hand what another life might be like, and perhaps to share the joy of just being together with people you otherwise might never meet. I was suddenly sad the day I heard my beautiful mentees and their family were moving to Alaska and had no forwarding information.
Then came one of the happiest days of my life five years later when I opened the door to find these two beautiful girls had come to visit me. I could not have been more thrilled when they said they remembered the Saturday we went to visit college, and then proceeded to tell me how they were both applying to various colleges next year — one to study criminal justice and the other pre-med. I would never assume that our one little college visit at age five had a direct impact on their decisions, but one of the great benefits of being a mentor is that you never know the impact you might have. And while their visit was short before returning to Alaska, their heartfelt words about how they want to stay connected, made me ever so happy to have been their mentor.

For me, the experience of being a mentor has been a unique blessing. I’ve had the chance to meet some people and experience a part of their life situation which I never would have been able to do. The reward perhaps is a richer life for all and memories that last a lifetime.

About the author:
Karen Kitchel is a Community Volunteer who is passionate about helping those who are homeless or disadvantaged. Previously she served as President of Cheerful Givers, a nonprofit organization, and Director of BI University at BI Worldwide. She can be reached at

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.