This post was originally a submission for our Be the Change Award. Written by Rita Younger.
Rick and Lise Anderson from Kids n Kinship
Ten years ago, Rick and Lise decided, “We were not done parenting although our two boys were adults.” They completed the screening process and have been consistent, influential, and valued mentors. Rick and Lise enjoy movies, plays, games, and outdoor sports with their mentee.
“Rick and Lise Anderson are incredible people. They have been such positive adult role models for my sons, introducing them to new experiences and modeling integrity, compassion and a sense of responsibility.” Mentee’s parent
Currently, Rick and Lise Anderson mentor a 13 year old. Until mid 2015 they mentored his 16 year old brother as well. They have been mentors for 10 years, meeting once a week for fun and enriching activities. Additionally they hold an annual bike sale for the community and all proceeds go to Kids ‘n Kinship. Rick has represented West Bend, a Midwest property & casualty insurance company for 32 years and they recognized Rick and Lise’s volunteerism with a $10,000 award to Kids ‘n Kinship. Together and individually, Rick, Lise, and their mentee volunteer for other organizations too.
In addition to outstanding mentoring, in 2009 Rick and Lise started an annual community bike sale, providing refurbished bikes at reasonable rates. When Rick was 10 years old, he learned bike repair from a friend’s dad who had a shop in Austin, Minnesota. The shop owner took Rick under his wing. Rick worked there during middle school and high school and in the summers during college. Now Rick uses his bike repair skills by collecting donated bikes and refurbishing them into full working order. Rick and Lise enlist the aid of additional volunteers, including their mentee, and sell the bikes at an annual Community Bike sale at their home. They have donated $68,000 to Kids ‘n Kinship over the last seven years.
Rick and Lise are consistent, caring, and non-judgmental. They show patience and understanding and really listen to their mentees’ interests and then encourage participation in those areas of interests. They have guided one of their mentees from age seven through high school and while the match has ended their formal mentorship, they remain friends. Now they are starting their fourth year of mentoring his younger brother. Rick and Lise were uniquely able to havea personalized response to their mentees’ desire to bike. They adapted a bicycle for their first mentee since he had one leg. There have been changes in the kids’ lives and in the mentors’ but they have stuck together valuing and teaching loyalty and reliability as well as providing outstanding mentoring.