Finding the time and energy within your heart to volunteer for any organization is a big step, but also a wonderful opportunity to grow, whether you are 18 or 80. Each and every Kinship volunteer is essential to the program and its mission to help bring about a positive change in the life a child. Kinship volunteers mentor because they care and they want to give of themselves. In fact, mentors have shared time and again that they have appreciated, benefited and grown from the relationship just as much, if not more, than the youth!
The role of a mentor is that of a friend, not a social worker, case counselor or psychologist. They are volunteers who have a sincere interest and concern for youth. Individuals over the age of 18, married couples and families with a desire to be role models for another are encouraged to apply to become mentors. Prospective volunteers attend an orientation meeting and then begin the application process (including background check, reference check and interview with staff). Once enrolled, the search for a "match" begins.
A great benefit of mentoring through Kinship is that it doesn't take much time nor money. In fact, mentors are asked to spend only four hours per month together with their Kinkid doing no or low cost activities. Those activities vary from match to match but could include walking, hiking, baking, feeding the ducks, gardening and the list goes on and on. Mentors are not Santa Claus; the gift they give is themselves as a consistent friend & role model. A volunteers commitment is four hours per month for one year, renewable annually!
Kinship supports its volunteers through one on one conversations with staff and regularly scheduled Mentor Nights Out (evening of fun, food, fellowship, sharing and support). Each month, mentors are given a calendar to keep track of the time they spend with their Kinkid. Access the calendar here.