History of Kinship


The first Kinship program began in 1954 as the Christian ministry of four students at Luther Seminary in the Twin Cities. These students befriended some boys in a tough Minneapolis neighborhood who needed a positive influence. They weren’t trying to evangelize, or act as psychologists or counselors to these boys. They simply wanted to be their friend and make a difference in their lives.

In 2022, there are currently 19 affiliates throughout Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Kinship Mentoring of Columbia County joined the other affiliates in 2020. 

Kinship Mentoring of Columbia County Mission

  Transforming our Communities Through the Power of Mentoring. 



The goal of our program is to present positive influences and opportunities to extend a child’s strength, talent, and abilities for growth.

Kinship Mentoring offers two programs: 

The Community Based Mentoring: Children ages 5-14 living or attending school in Columbia County are matched with a caring adult. They are matched according to location, similar interests, and personalities. The time commitment is approximately 2-4 hours per month with a one-year commitment. 

The School Based Mentoring- Lunch Buddies: Students in grades 2-5 are matched with a caring adult. The time commitment for Lunch Buddies is 1 hour per month during the child’s lunch period. 

Interested Adults must be at least 18 years of age, interviewed, undergo extensive background checks, and comprehensive screening before being matched. 

Our Program Coordinator stays in contact with the Mentor and Mentee to provide ongoing  support and training throughout the relationship.


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