Meet our new Director!!!

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Meet Abby Wallin, our New Kinship Director

Please welcome Abby Wallin as new Kinship Executive Director effective July 1.

Abby has lived in Perham since 2008 with her husband Mike and 6 year old twins, who will attend 1st grade at Heart of Lakes Elementary this fall. Abby is transitioning into the Kinship role from her current role as project manager with Compass Consultants.

Abby has been active with Kinship as a board member and activities volunteer so she understands the program and is excited to be stepping into the director role.

15th Annual Perham Triathlon, June 30

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Come Swim, Bike and Run for a GREAT CAUSE!!!

The 15th Annual Perham Triathlon, benefiting Kinship of the Perham Area, will take place on Saturday, June 30 at Paul Miller Park in Perham.

  • 1/3 Mile Swim
  • 12-Mile Bike
  • 4-MIle Run

Individuals ($50) or Teams ($100) are welcome to participate!

You can register by clicking HERE on


Busy months ahead for Kinship

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Kinship of the Perham Area has A LOT going on to kick-off 2018!  Let’s see if you can keep up, and join us for some fun!

Information and Registration for ALL EVENTS can be found online at


Kinship will host Lego Club for kids in grades 1-4 after school in HOTL Portable #2. 

  • Jan. 12   3:15-5 pm
  • Jan. 19   3:15-5 pm
  • Jan. 26   3:15-5 pm

Please register by clicking HERE.



Kinship will host Sewing Club to all interested kids after school in HOTL Portable #2 the following dates:

  • Jan. 25   3:15-5 pm
  • Feb. 22   3:15-5 pm
  • March 22   3:15-5 pm

Please register by clicking HERE.


Need something fun to do on Jan. 18?  Join Kinship for games and pizza at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham.  If you want to do some crafts, we will have that too! 


It’s not a Minnesota Winter without Ice FIshing!  Kinship will be hosting a Feed The Fish Event on Hoffman Lake from 2-4 pm on Saturday, Jan. 27.  For more information, contct Jill at 218-346-7102 or e-mail


Kinship’s Annual Freezin’ For A Reason is stepping it up a notch in 2018, expanding to 2 weekends and moving their plunge to Otter Tail Lake as part of the 1st Annual Otter Tail On Ice festival.

On Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 3-4, 2018, Kinship is setting up on the ice of Otter Tail Lake for 2-days of fun.

  • Annual Kinship Plunge Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 pm
  • 9-Hole Ice Golf, Saturday Feb. 3 from 11 am-4 pm
  • The 19th Hole with Drink Specials and Minnow Shots
  • Bean Bags and Bloody Mary’s, Sunday, Feb. 4 from 11 am- 3 pm


‘The Otter Zone’ will have plenty to eat and LIVE Music, featuring Aaron Simmons, 32 Below and The Johnny Holm Band.

Find out more at


Kinship looks to art to inspire Minds

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By Emma Uhrich

Helen Keller once said “The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with their heart.” This quote rings true for Kinship Program Coordinator Cookie Nelson.

Along with other Kinship volunteers, Nelson led a group activity with local children at the Fergus Falls YMCA. It is clear after only a few minutes talking with Nelson that she has a passion for helping kids in the community thrive through art and by creating lasting relationships with positive role models.

“My goal is to give children a chance who don’t always have a chance to experience art,” Nelson said.

Nelson organized the arts and crafts group to teach kids about respecting the environment, each other and one’s self. The children learned important lessons of nature through planting sunflower seeds. In addition, they were taught how the wind affects the environment and colored pinwheels to demonstrate. They also participated in a small drawing class featuring sketches of cats and dogs.

The class ranged in numbers with the highest being around 20. The age range included four- to 12-year-olds and catered to kids with a variety of different situations and needs.

Alongside Nelson were two young volunteers from the community. Drew Balken is a local artist who has won a few prestigious awards including the Best in Show Award from the Blondeau Fine Arts Festival. Balken has known Nelson for years and remembers spending time together doing similar projects. Anna Austad is a competitive taekwondo member and assisted the group in making pinwheels and planting seeds. Along with younger volunteers, parents and adult helpers contributed as well. “The volunteers are the ones who make this happen. I would not have been able to do this myself,” Nelson said.

Kinship is a nonprofit organization that aids youths with a variety of struggles in finding a positive person that they can look up to. According to Nelson, their main objective is to gain mentees along with mentors to join Kinship for the upcoming school year. Mentors in the program are committed to spending an hour a week with their Kinship child and engaging in simple, inexpensive activities like fishing, sewing, baking cookies, washing a car, going to a movie or working on a puzzle.

Service projects are added as an activity to allow the children to see the value in serving others and the community. Through these projects participants can interact with different kinds of people, grow in their confidence and recognize the importance of respect.

If you are interested in the Kinship program or have any questions, call 218-998-9005.

Original Article can be viewed here