Give us a little history of your organization.
Best Friends Mentoring Program was founded in 1995 by a group of concerned counselors and community leaders who noticed that school-age youth who were unsupervised during non-school hours were spending time in negative activities that had the potential for getting them in trouble. They wanted to find a solution that would prevent problems and help youth graduate from high school, stay out of trouble, and become productive and contributing members of the community. The group decided that a mentoring program like Big Brothers/Big Sisters would work well for Dickinson and Stark County and formed a nonprofit organization, so they could receive donations and grants to build and fund the program.

How are you different from other organizations like yours?
Best Friends Mentoring Program serves the eight counties of southwest North Dakota and is a local nonprofit organization. We have two programs: a school-based program and a community-based program. We follow mentoring best practices and have a small, highly trained staff. All funds raised here, stay here to provide mentoring services for at-risk youth.

How can people contact you?
There are lots of ways to contact us. Call us at 701-483-8615 or email  kris@bestfriendsnd.org. You can also follow us on Facebook (search Best Friends Mentoring Program) and our website, bestfriendsnd.org.

How can people donate or get involved?
We are always in need of mentors who can give an hour of their time each week for at least a year to a child who needs a friend, positive role model, and mentor. Right now we have more than 20 children waiting for their special friend. Volunteer applications are on our website, or call for more information. We have a donate button on our website if supporters wish to donate by credit card; cash and checks are also accepted and can be dropped off at our office at 135 W. Villard St., Dickinson, or mailed to PO Box 542, Dickinson, ND 58602-0542. Folks can also support mentoring in our community by attending or donating to our upcoming special events, which include:

  • Photos with Santa, weekends from Santa’s arrival at 11 a.m. November 17 through December 23; check our website for exact dates and times and details. Volunteers are needed throughout the holiday season to assist Santa during shifts that last two or four hours.
  • Purchase Best Friends Mentoring Program sports apparel from our online store, logomagicinc.com/bestfriendsmentoring.
  • Watch for information on Giving Hearts Day, February 14, an online 24-hour giving opportunity for more than 300 charities, including Best Friends Mentoring Program.

We have a qualified endowment fund for those who may be looking to make a positive impact and gain a year-end tax deduction. Contact us, or your attorney or tax preparer, for details.

Or give us a call if you have just an hour or two to help out in the office.

What are your needs right now if someone would like to help?
We have a particular need for male mentors who could meet during their lunch hours with their mentee at the child’s school or after school, evenings, or weekends. As we approach the end of the year, we are in need of donations to help us recruit and match the children on our waiting list. We also need bottled water, sodas, or juice; cookies, granola bars, or other snacks for activities and for mentor training sessions; and postage stamps, copy paper, post-it notes, etc.