MARSHFIELD – Rachelle Tuyls met Kiana when she was 12 years old, at a time when Kiana’s father was working full time and her mother had returned to school. Her parents were making investments in their family’s future, but Kiana needed a positive mentor in the present, especially during the after school hours before her parents returned home.
Kinship of Tomahawk connected Kiana with Marshfield Clinic Assistant Manager – Registered Nurse in Adult Primary Care Rachelle Tuyls through its mentoring program. Rachelle learned about the Kinship mentoring program through the Director of the program, Rachelle’s Aunt Patti Hilgendorf.
After five years of mentoring, she’s continuing to give back: Tuyls continues to mentor Kiana and has successfully nominated Kinship of Tomahawk to receive Security Health Plans’ monthly Employee-Driven Corporate Giving Award of $1,000.
Kinship Inc. is a national private nonprofit that promotes quality youth mentoring relationships to provide stability, support, friendship and community. Kinship of Tomahawk grew from a 1997 community roundtable that identified the need for a youth mentoring program and family resource center.
Adult mentors are interviewed, trained and matched with youth ages 5 to 18. The pair meet weekly to spend an hour together doing some activity both enjoy. Mentors share time, interests, dependability and friendship with youth.
“They’re meant to be a nonjudgmental, listening ear that’s not a parent,” said Tuyls. Kinship of Tomahawk hosts monthly events for mentor pairs to attend together, which offer experiences which some youth might not otherwise be able to access, Tuyls said.
Kinship of Tomahawk also hosts an after school program called the KinsKlub where youth can get help with homework, receive needed hygiene items and haircuts, learn life skills like gardening and participate in fun activities.
Make your match: Visit Kinship of Tomahawk’s Waiting for a Match website at www.kinshiptomahawk.org to connect with youth waiting for a mentor. You can also learn how to become a volunteer with the KinsKlub afterschool program, make a monetary donation or donate items on the Kinship of Tomahawk wish list.
Every month, Security Health Plan invests $1,000 as part of its Employee-Driven Corporate Giving campaign. Marshfield Clinic Health System employees are encouraged to nominate an organization that it is making a positive difference in the community.