A non-profit in the area that puts kids first is hosting a fundraiser this weekend and wants you to be a part of it.
Companions for Children in Minot is a mentoring program with the goal of helping kids reach their full potential.
KX News talked to a woman who has been on both sides of the program to learn exactly what you’re supporting when giving to Companions for Children.
“Every time I drive by this, I get to remember what day that was. It was a sunny day, it was beautiful,” Rachel Roberts said. She was a Companions for Children mentee about 15 years ago, when she and other mentees got to paint the penguin wall at the Roosevelt Park Zoo.
She said her mentor was someone that cared about her and could help her navigate life from a perspective other than a parent.
“I can look back on these little memories in this harder season of my life and they’re just these snippets of joy,” said Roberts. “We would do so many things and I got to spend time with somebody who would listen to me and cared about what I had to say.”
Years later, the roles reversed and Rachel became a mentor, “I had little miss Paisley as my mentee and she is a little firecracker and I love her so much.”
The organization’s assistant director said while mentees are greatly impacted by the program, so are the mentors.
“They [the mentors] are surprised how much these kids can touch their hearts,” Jalisa Tinnes said. “It’s just like any relationship, you meet someone and you don’t really know what to expect but the kids really have that lasting impression and friendship.”
For people like Rachel, she knew the impact she could have and was excited to be someone that Paisley could turn to.
“I think it’s an incredible opportunity to steward your time, your money, your energy into,” she said.
Right now, Companions for Children has three programs: two school-based and one community-based.
There are currently 100 matches. However, each match costs money.
That’s why the non-profit is hosting Caesar Fest — a chance for the public to vote for the city’s best Caesar, and a chance to give to the organization.
Each ticket purchased not only covers the cost of the event but also gives a much-needed donation to help kids get the most out of the program – like Rachel and Paisley.
“Some of these kids have a different home life,” Tinnes said. “Not saying it’s right or wrong, they [the mentors] just have different experiences than someone else in their family life may have. So they’re exposing them to new things, which is really awesome.”
All donations help support things like staffing, the screening process for potential matches, background checks, trainings and activities.
Caesar Fest is Saturday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hillside Events area at the Grand Hotel.
Ticket sales end Tuesday, Sept. 14. Click here to get your ticket before it’s too late.