How could I find the time to be a friend to a child?
We have heard from many volunteers that the rewards often surpass their investment
of time. They also tell us that including the kids in what they were already planning
to do takes a minimal amount of additional time from their weekly schedule. Kids
‘n Kinship asks for 1-4 hours per week and a one year commitment, however many mentors
will commit more time.
I don’t know if I could afford to take a child out once a week,
or every other week.
Rather than spoiling kids with costly outings, we’ve discovered that simply the
time together is the most valuable resource adults can provide. Time together might
involve playing a board game, making a meal, doing odd jobs around the house, washing
the car, flying a kite at the park, etc. Kids do need exposure to special events
and fun outings, too, and Kids ‘n Kinship participants receive discounts at a number
of community organizations (i.e. the Minnesota Zoo, the Science Museum, the Children’s
Museum and local YMCAs to name just a few, as well as receiving periodic free tickets
to sporting, musical, and theater events). Kids ‘n Kinship also plans activities
that are free for both the mentor and mentee every 3 months or more.
Click here to view our Event Calendar.
What if I travel frequently for my job or for leisure?
The kids in our program enjoy receiving post cards or phone calls from many of our
volunteers that travel regularly for work or leisure. Although it’s great when mentors
are able to select a constant weekly meeting time with their kids, for many it varies
from week to week.
I’m busy with my own family
One of the great things about Kids ‘n Kinship is that couples and families can volunteer
together. Instead of pulling families apart, Kids ‘n Kinship can strengthen them
through common volunteer involvement. Your children, or perhaps grandchildren, can
interact with your mentee, too.
Would a child like me?
Adult-child matches are carefully made, based upon interest, location, gender and
other preferences. The child and his/her parent or guardian have the final approval
of the mentor. Kids ‘n Kinship staff consistently monitors the matches and if difficulties
arise, we provide assistance. Few matches end because of incompatibility.
Am I too old to mentor?
Some of our mentors take on a role similar to a grandparent. The kids don’t see
age as a problem. Anyone willing to share their time and interests is commonly welcomed.
I don’t have much experience with kids
You don’t need experience to be a friend. Additionally, Kids ‘n Kinship staff provides
ongoing support when questions or concerns arise.
How much personal liability is involved?
Kids ‘n Kinship works to diminish participant liability by carefully screening program
participants and meets the rigorous Kinship Inc. standards. Kids ‘n Kinship has
liability insurance which also covers volunteers mentors.
Will this be a bad influence on my own children?
If you have children at home, Kids ‘n Kinship takes them into account when matching
you with a child. Giving and helping others is often the kind of legacy parents
want to leave with their children.
Are all of the kids difficult to work with and lacking respect
Kids ‘n Kinship has a variety of kids waiting for mentors.
Click here to see our Waiting Kids. Your preferences and comfort
level are taken into consideration Starting with kids as young as five, we’re often
able to intervene when the kids are still open to adult involvement and prior to
the development of behavior and criminal issues. Through having adults who keep
their promises, the kids learn to trust. This lays the groundwork for respectful
Do I have to drive a long distance
to be a mentor?
Usually we’re able to match a mentor and mentee within a 15 minutes drive of one
Am I good enough to be a role model?
Kids aren’t looking for perfection. Rather, they’re just interested in spending
time one who’s willing to share their life’s experience. Ordinary people can
make extraordinary mentors.