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Kinship of Emmet County fighting for kids

By Staff | May 4, 2011

Funding cuts at both the federal and state levels have severely impacted a lot of programs. However, people in Emmet County are taking things into their own hands.

Tuesday night was a good example.

David Downing, Kinship national executive director, met with members of the Kinship of Emmet County Board of Directors to discuss funding alternatives in lieu of the loss of grant funding. A five-year grant that has funded the local Kinship chapter will be up this June 30.

Downing helped the group brainstorm ways to recruit mentors and to develop sustaining funds to keep Kinship going for the longterm. A lot of the focus seemed to be on public awareness.

And that’s a good point.

What the public in not just Emmet County but everywhere needs to be aware of is the process and benefits of mentoring.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, one-third of new marriages among younger people will end in divorce within 10 years and 43 percent within 15 years.

That statistic alone shows a need for mentoring throughout America. It’s very difficult for one parent to do a job that was designed for two.

A 2007 Minnesota study showed that a youth mentoring program returned benefits of $2.72 for every dollar of resources invested. Compare that to the fact that it costs less to send someone to an ivy league college than to prison, and you get some idea of the cost benefits of mentoring.

Kinship of Emmet County Board Members pledged they would do whatever is necessary to make the program work.

But they can’t do it alone.

Kinship needs male mentors – NOW. It only takes a commitment for one hour a week for a year. And believe this – it will make a huge impact in the life of a child.

Just think back to someone who made a difference in your life – a mentor who may have been a teacher, uncle, aunt or boss. Did that person teach you any life lessons that you carry with you today? If so, don’t you feel you could do the same for a child?

You don’t have to be rich, Mr. Universe or a super athlete to be a hero to a child. You just have to be you and to care – care for one hour a week.

To learn more about Emmet County Kinship and how you can make a difference in a child’s life, call 362-2828. Or go online to www.kinshipofemmetcounty.org.

Or if you want to leave a lasting legacy, something that will change a child’s life, consider Kinship of Emmet County as part of your giving plans.