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Lakes Crisis Center to host Kinship fundraiser

Lakes Crisis and Resource Center is hosting the Birds and Blooms fundraiser to support the new Kinship program in Detroit Lakes. It is Tuesday, May 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at La Barista. Some of the items available include bird houses and flowers. SUBMITTED PHOTO

It’s a sad fact that not all children in Becker County have even one positive adult role model in their lives that they feel close to.

No real friend, no real support.

That’s why the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center and its volunteers are launching what they call their “Kinship Program,” a program designed to match at-risk children, who have possibly come through one of the shelter’s programs, with a volunteer from the community willing to open their arms.

“It’s a mentoring organization with the goal of improving these children’s lives by establishing quality relationships between them and caring volunteers,” said Suzie Felt, Kinship director.

The program is being run under the crisis center’s children’s services.

Youth that are referred to the program are between the ages of 5 and 16 and are referred through school counselors, social workers and family members.

Children are called mentees and adults are the mentors.

Volunteers can be individuals, couples or families who can commit to spending time with the child once a week, minimum of twice a month.

“It’s things you would do on a regular day or with your own family,” said Felt. “A puzzle, taking a walk, going fishing, going to a movie, washing your car, baking cookies... It’s to provide a healthy adult role model to a child and just be a friend to them.”

The program, which is in its infancy, is currently accepting applications for mentors and mentees, while organizers are busy fundraising for Kinship.

The first of which is called Birds and Blooms, a Kick Off for Kinship.

The event is being held Tuesday, May 6, from 4-7 p.m. in La Barista in Detroit Lakes.

“People can just come out, find out what Kinship is all about and have some yummy hors d’oeuvres,” said Felt, who says there will be several bird and gardening-themed items for sale to help raise money for the program.

There will be a suggested minimum price for the items.

“We have a bunch of bird houses and bird feeders for sale, art work and some books,” said Felt. “We have some planters, plant stands, flower bed rocks...”

Most of the items being sold are donated from people throughout the community, including the Detroit Lakes High School shop class, which is making a variety of bird houses.

“Some are decorated, and some are plain so that people can just bring them home and decorate them however they want,” said Felt.

Birds and Blooms goes from 4-7 p.m., but the open house-style event is one where people can come and go without having to stay the whole time. La Barista is closing its doors just for the event.

Tickets for the event, which includes the hors d’oeuvres, are $10 and can be purchased at the door or by calling 847-8572.

Felt says she and others working on getting the program up and running believe it’s one that the community needs to step up and provide.

“We’ve seen the need that there’s children out there that don’t have a healthy adult role model,” said Felt, “and there’s not another organization in the Detroit Lakes area that does it. We’re it.”