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Kinship looking for Kinkids in eastern Emmet County

By Staff | Feb 21, 2008

Are you a parent whose child could benefit from another set of ears to listen, another set of hands to help, maybe another set of feet to help carry?

Better yet, do you live in eastern Emmet County?

Emmet County Kinship is actively seeking Kinkids from the Armstrong, Dolliver, and Ringsted area who could benefit from a caring adult mentor. Mentors are already in place in the Armstrong-Ringsted area, and they’re ready to help.

In Kinship, caring adult mentors volunteer one hour a week to spend time with a child up to age 18. Mentors are rigidly screened before they undergo training. Kinkids and mentors might go to a movie, play miniature golf, attend a play or a concert, have a bite out to eat, or just take a walk in the park. The whole point of the program is to give children the opportunity to spend time with a caring adult mentor.

Children who can benefit include those who have a parent in the military, a parent who is often gone from home such as a salesperson or a truck driver, or they might be children of a single-parent family.

Hillary Clarey, the new Kinship executive director who assumed her position at the end of last year, is excited about matching more children with adult mentors. Clarey replaces previous executive director Jan Bahr.

A graduate of Buena Vista University with a degree in business management and entrepreneurship, Clarey was a customer service representative at Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative before opening her own business, Hillary’s Flower Shop, which she ran a few years in Armstrong before selling the business. She credits Jan Hampton with help in getting the business going.

Clarey brings those same management and entrepreneurial skills to Emmet County Kinship where she hopes to build beyond the current 21 child-mentor matches, with another five in the process. Clarey said another training session is set for next month.

Clarey says that both children and mentors have benefitted from the program, not to mention parents who get a little help with the most important job in the world — raising a child.

“They enjoy it as much as the children do,” Clarey said. “They find it rewarding.”

The same goes with the Kinkids.

“I think that they have fun,” Clarey said. “They enjoy the activities and the time that they have.”

Clarey said the benefits of mentoring programs, such as Kinship, include increased self-esteem, academic success, greater social interaction, better school attendance, and reduced illegal drug and alcohol use. Communities with active mentoring programs have far less alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.

If you have a child who could benefit from Kinship, there is no cost for the program. Call Clarey at 712-362-2828 to learn more. Call too if you’re interested in becoming a mentor.

If you’re planning your estate, there is no better gift that you could give than to remember Emmet County Kinship in your estate planning.

Call today.