Consider Kinship | Rich Potvin

Making friends with a child may not seem significant to many people but to those children and their families it can mean the world.

Did you know that Polk County has a mentoring program that is making a difference in the lives of over 100 children throughout the county? Children that need a friend, an advocate, a listening ear, or just someone to spend time living life together for an hour a week.

My wife and I joined Kinship of Polk County as mentors about five years ago and have had a great time spending time with our Kinship match.  He has become a part of our family by just living life with us when we have our times together.

When he is at our home we try to make him feel at home. He knows where the box of Legos is kept, where the board games are kept – he loves games – and has even come to appreciate spinach (thanks to our daughter making it part of a competition) in our times together. Over the last number of years we have learned that it does not require extraordinary efforts to be a mentor.

It is actually the reverse. Very seldom have we planned a special event for the times we spend together.  Usually it is just part of our ordinary life routine. A meal, a walk in the woods to take photographs together or an evening spent around a campfire; nothing out of the ordinary but at the same time we have made a friend who even in middle school is always excited to see us and will come give us a hug even in front of his friends.

Life is not always easy for the children in the Kinship program.  As a result there can be challenges when you spend time together, but having an additional adult in their life to stand in their corner with them can mean the world to a child and help them through difficult times.

My hope is that you would consider contacting the Kinship office for more information about the program and how you can participate. You can find more information at, or by calling the office at 715-405-3900.

Rich Potvin