Readers’ Views

Kinship appreciates grant

To the Editor:

On behalf of Kinship, I would like to thank everyone at the Martin County Youth Foundation for its decision to bless us with an incredibly generous grant of $3,000 for our Adopt-A-Match Program at the grant award presentation on May 8.

We’re grateful for the foundation’s support and assistance in developing new mentoring relationships between wonderful mentors and amazing children throughout Martin County. The need to recruit and match caring mentors is constant. We currently have 14 children on the waiting list (mostly boys) and new referrals are coming in regularly. We would love to find mentors for all of them. The funds from the Martin County Youth Foundation will be utilized to recruit, assess, interview and train new volunteers to become wonderful mentors.

The National Mentoring Network states that mentoring “guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day changes, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic and professional situations. Mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity.” Specifically, children who are at-risk but have mentors are 55 percent more likely to enroll in college and 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions. This information shows that the grant from the Martin County Youth Foundation is an investment in our youth, their bright futures, and the healthy future of the community as a whole.

In the last six months, Kinship has established 14 new mentoring relationships. Although we ask our mentors to commit to mentoring for at least one year, over half of our matches have been in place for two years or longer. Our longest match has been in place for over nine years. This shows that mentoring relationships regularly develop into long-lasting friendships.

We currently have 61 matches but want to grow the program and get all of the kids on the waiting list matched with caring adult mentors. This growth is not possible without the ongoing support of Martin County Youth Foundation and all of the generous donors to the Foundation. Thank you all for being a huge support to local kids and Kinship.

Anna Garbers, director

Fairmont Area Kinship