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Kinship Partners: Time spent together is what makes partnerships work

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Kinship Partners honors Keith and Debbie Sunnarborg and Selena and Kyle Johnson as its Match of the Month.

One could say the Sunnarborgs are “seeing double” these days. Debbie and Keith, of Brainerd, are Kinship Partners mentors with brother and sister, Selena and Kyle, also of Brainerd.

Living in the country, Debbie has taught Selena to horseback ride and collect eggs in the chicken coop. Keith and Kyle also enjoy the outside fun Minnesota has to offer: fishing, hunting, building bird houses, flying kites and gathering sap for maple syrup.

But like Debbie and Selena, it’s not the activities that make the partnership, it’s the time spent together.

Both Debbie and Keith entered mentoring for what they could provide and have since learned mentoring is a two-way relationship. The Sunnarborgs will attest that mentoring can have a challenge or two, but, more important, they receive as much joy from the pair as they provide.

“We are all better off from these friendships,” Keith said.

Mentoring can help kids learn, feel safe and have fun, Debbie added.

Kyle and Selena’s mother would echo those words. She, too, is happy with the relationships and appreciates the Sunnaborgs “seeing double.”

For more information about Kinship Partners, call 218-829-4606 or 877-730-5437. Visit

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889