Our Mission:

Transforming our Community
Through the Power of Mentoring



Kinship Partners is a member of the Kinship Affiliate Network. The first Kinship program was begun in 1954 as the Christian ministry of four theological students at Luther Seminary in the Twin Cities. These students befriended some boys in a tough Minneapolis neighborhood who were in need of 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, to reach out to the less fortunate, and make a difference in their lives.

Kinship Partners is a nonprofit youth mentoring organization providing positive role models to youth in Crow Wing County, southern Cass County and the Staples/Motley area since 1986.  

Mission & Goals:

We estimate that 75% of the youth we serve live in poverty with 65% or more living in single-parent homes. In addition, 26% of the youth we serve are of a diverse ethnicity, which is extremely high when compared to Crow Wing County’s nearly 98% Caucasian population.

Our established organizational goals are to:

  • Recruit mentors to be matched with children on our waiting list.
  • Build self-esteem in every child involved in Kinship Partners to help them reach their full potential as youth and as they grown into adults.
  • Foster long-lasting relationships between caring adults and children and teens.
  • Create stronger, more effective communities through partnerships with other youth serving organizations.
  • Encourage the healthy development of children by creating a support system that welcomes children to be a part of the Kinship Partners family through one-on-one mentoring, school-based mentoring, social activities and service-learning opportunities.
  • Be responsible stewards of donor and community dollars.


Organizational Structure

A 9-member volunteer board of directors oversees Kinship Partners, Inc., including representatives from our other satellite offices (Pine River/Backus, Crosby, and Staples).   We have a staff of eight individuals, including an Executive Director, five Program Coordinators, a Bookkeeper, and an Executive Assistant. We now have four offices, one located in and serving the Brainerd/Baxter/Nisswa area, one located in Pequot Lakes serving the Pequot Lakes, Pine River-Backus areas, one in Crosby serving the Cuyuna Lakes area and one in Staples supporting the Staples-Motley area.  Kinship Partners has over 300 committed volunteers who contribute over 30,000 hours annually to accomplish our mission.

Through one-on-one mentoring, and now our school-based mentoring programs, Kinship Partners moves communities forward by embracing this time-tested model that empowers volunteers within our communities to make a real difference in the lives of a child, and an entire generation.