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Emmet County Kinship forms business partnerships

By Staff | Apr 12, 2011

Realizing the need to help Kinship mentors drive to their appointments with their mentees, Bob Houseman of Riverside Sinclair has donated two, $50 gift cards to the Kinship program. From left are Diane Nicol, Kinship director; Houseman; Jesse Sheppard, Kinship mentor; Barb Christensen, Bank Plus and Mary Sloan, Compass Pointe prevention supervisor. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

When people can come together in a common cause, great things can happen.

On Monday, Bob Houseman of Riverside Sinclair/Houseman Oil donated two, $50 gift cards to Kinship of Emmet County for use by mentors to make their weekly appointments with their mentees in the program.

Diane Nicol, Kinship of Emmet County executive director, said that while Emmet County Kinship gives gas cards to mentors for the Summer Smiles program, it has also become apparent that some mentors are putting on miles – a lot of miles – to make their weekly appointments with their mentees. “I realized what some of these people are putting in for miles,” Nicol said.

And that’s when Bob Houseman decided to step in and do something about it.

“It’s an issue of partnering all the way around,” said Mary Sloan, Compass Pointe prevention supervisor. “If they can’t be a mentor they can support the process.”

“It will help me out a lot,” admitted Jesse Sheppard, who is mentor for Corbyn Wright. Jesse put on a lot of miles a couple weeks ago when he took Corbyn to the zoon in Minneapolis on a visit to his parents’ home.

“That was on his own dime,” Nicol said of Jesse.

Another thing that has helped was when the Emmet County Community Foundation approved the use of previously allocated grant funds for gas cards for mentors.

Another big help was when Bank Plus of Estherville agreed to put up the money for a Web-site for Emmet County Kinship – something Nicol hopes will draw in more male mentors for nine young boys waiting a match right now. The Web-site address is: www.kinshipofemmetcounty.org/mentor.html.

Sloan said Compass Pointe had written a grant to fund Kinship of Emmet County’s startup for the first five years.

“It’s been our goal to make it self-supported, community-supported, Sloan said, adding that “Estherville is pitching in from all directions” to help the program.

Sloan believes strongly in the underlying mission of Kinship – to match caring, adult mentors with youth who can benefit with an adult companion.

“It’s not to entertain them. It’s to build a relationship,” Sloan said.

Nicol agreed.

“It’s not to entertain them. It’s to build a relationship,” Nicol said.

Nicol pointed to the Regional Wellness Center’s providing a $1 day pass for both mentors and mentees as one more example of a great business partnership for Kinship of Emmet County.

“Jesse and Corbin have both been there several times,” Nicol said.