Weather Forecast


Todd-Wadena Kinship reinstated under merger

The Kinship of Todd-Wadena Counties Board of Directors unanimously voted to re-establish its youth mentoring program under the Kinship Partners program of Crow Wing and southern Cass counties. The organizations have begun the steps to bring programming, volunteers, mentors, and mentees together.

"Our community's future rests on the hopes and dreams of our children and youth," said David Downing, executive director of Kinship Partners. "Every child deserves a responsible and concerned adult who will provide guidance and support, help set and accomplish goals, and act as a positive role model, and that does not stop through county lines."

Kinship Partners is based in Brainerd and has offices in Brainerd, Pequot Lakes, and Crosby. The goal is to re-establish a Kinship Partners of Staples-Motley office in the near future. To accomplish this goal Judy Bialka and Nick Schultz of the Kinship of Todd-Wadena Board have joined the Kinship Partners Board of Directors while other members of the Todd-Wadena Board will remain on the Kinship Partners advisory council for the Staples-Motley area.

"We see this as a great opportunity," said Schultz. "By integrating with Kinship Partners, we can have a stronger impact in our community and a better outcome in mentoring than by trying to continue to do this on our own. Staples and Motley are rural communities and it is important that we not only sustain this mentoring program, but see it thrive and grow."

In the interim, Gail Honek of the Staples-Motley advisory council will serve as a volunteer to monitor and maintain the mentoring partnerships in the Staples-Motley area. "I am thrilled with the opportunities that both our Mentors and Mentees will have in this partnership," said Honek. "We've also had two new matches in the past two weeks." If you are a mentor, volunteer or a parent or guardian of a child from the former Kinship of Todd-Wadena Counties program and have any questions please contact her at (218) 296-6565 or

For more information about Kinship Partners call (218) 829-4606, or toll free at (877) 730-5437 or visit the website at