Jim Webster, left, is a longtime volunteer with Grand Area Mentoring. [Photo courtesy of Daniel McNeil]

Grand Area Mentoring has won nonprofit partner status with WabiSabi.

In support of school-based mentoring, Grand Area Mentoring will receive financial awards twice a year, starting in 2016. Award amounts will be based upon the votes Grand Area Mentoring earns when customers shop or donate at WabiSabi, and upon WabiSabi’s profits over the same period.

“This is such an important partnership,” Grand Area Mentoring Program Director Daniel McNeil said. “Consistent funding from a grassroots organization like WabiSabi will help us serve the growing need for mentoring in Moab. By shopping at Wabi and voting for Grand Area Mentoring, any Moab citizen can help some of our community’s most vulnerable youth.”

Grand Area Mentoring will use these contributions to recruit, screen and train new volunteer mentors; select and prepare at-risk students for mentoring; support mentors and students while they build relationships that thrive for years; supply equipment and materials for mentoring projects and activities; and offer advanced mentor training. Mentored students consistently earn better grades, attend school more often, and exhibit improved social skills. Surveys of teachers, mentors, and students show that mentored youth are also happier.

Grand Area Mentoring has provided school-based mentoring at all school sites in Moab since 2005. In 2014-2015, it sponsored 80 matches, and it’s on track to break that record in 2016.

Adult mentors meet with students in one-on-one settings to encourage growth and bolster self-confidence. Their weekly sessions sometimes include board games, basketball and computers. Other matches pursue crafts, reading and talking about life. Mentors and students seek activities that are mutually enjoyable and enriching.

WabiSabi processes over 350 tons of donations per year and keeps almost all of it out of the landfill through sales, donations, art supplies and recycling. Proceeds from sales of donated materials are distributed to local nonprofit organizations and support WabiSabi programs. In 2014, WabiSabi gave $20,000 to nonprofit partners, donated $24,000 in material goods to community organizations and people in need, awarded $5,500 in grants to community enriching projects, served 1,600 winter meals, and ran 22 events, workshops and programs in Moab.

Funding will be used to help recruit new volunteers