The  mission of Bridges Kinship Mentoring is simple, “to help children and adolescent to achieve their greatest selves by connecting them with positive role models who can befriend, inspire, encourage and guide them.”

Lunch Buddies is one of their programs, and an easy way to get involved!   Volunteer Mary Jones talks about the program, “Our daughter, and only child, went away to college leaving a big hole in my world. Shortly thereafter, a friend told me about Bridges “Lunch Buddies” program and urged me to join. Over the last three years, I have had the pleasure of meeting three different second graders. Each new school year starts out with a little hesitancy and shyness, on both of our parts, yet the year ends with a real bond formed between me and my little buddy.”

Read on about this program and consider volunteering your time…

It’s Lunch Buddies season! Bridges Kinship Mentoring is looking for more people to be LUNCH BUDDIES this year at Murphy Elementary in Grand Rapids and Bigfork Elementary in Bigfork.

If you like kids and would like a fun break in your workday, consider being a lunch buddy through Bridges Kinship Mentoring. Second grade students at both Murphy Elementary and Bigfork Elementary are anxiously awaiting the start of the 2014-2015 Lunch Buddy Program. Each student gets to have their own adult Lunch Buddy who will come to the school every other week to read together, do some math or other educational games and then have lunch. It’s about an hour of special time for the two of them to become friends, enhance educational skills and simply have fun together. The kids love the one-on-one attention they receive as well as making a new friend. And the adult buddies enjoy it as much – if not more – than the kids!

The time commitment is only twice a month from approximately 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on either Tuesday or Thursday at Murphy Elementary in Grand Rapids In Bigfork, the time is 10:35 – 11:20 a.m. every other Tuesday. The Lunch Buddies program begins in October and runs through mid-May. Substitute Lunch Buddies are also needed to fill in when a regular Lunch Buddy is gone on vacation or has a schedule conflict.

Lunch Buddies is just one of the programs run by Bridges Kinship Mentoring. It’s a great opportunity for people in the business community as well as area retirees and “stay-at-home” parents, to get involved with our schools and the students. For more information, call Bridges Kinship Mentoring at 326-4700 or email