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NON-PROFIT HAPPENINGS - October 2007

WabiSabi –
Supporting The Community With Recycled Style And Grace



WabiSabi operates two thrift stores in Moab where one can find a very large variety of items.

Founded to support local nonprofits, WabiSabi has evolved into a community hub. WabiSabi a nonprofit thrift store based in Moab, Utah, provides educational outreach and financial contributions that enable community organizations and individuals to improve and sustain the environment, support youth development, increase quality of life for all species, and enrich our community through expanded art opportunities and increased cultural awareness. WabiSabi has won awards and recognition for its work, including The 2005 Achievement Award in Pollution Prevention — Community Involvement Programs Category by The Utah Pollution Prevention Association, the “2005 Non-profit Volunteer Program of the Year” by the Utah Office of the Lieutenant Governor and “The Best Reason to Visit Moab” in City Weekly’s Best of Utah 2007.

WabiSabi’s name comes from a Japanese term that speaks of the beauty of imperfection. It reminds us that new is not necessarily nicer. Cracks, chips and worn spots are signs of life that reveal a rich history — a history touched by life. With this in mind, WabiSabi was chosen as a fitting name for an organization with two thrift stores that sell used merchandise. The WabiSabi Thriftique, located at 350 South 400 East, is not your typical thrift store. It features only the best in used quality clothing, collectibles, books, sportswear and camping equipment. The WabiSabi Warehouse, located at 145 West 200 South, has a large retail selection of reduced price clothing, furniture, house-wares, children’s items and building materials.


At WabiSabi’s Annual Mardi Gras Fashion Show locals design and model unique fashion lines using recycled materials.

These thrift shops offer the community a way to recycle materials that could potentially be deposited in the landfill. WabiSabi provides a positive answer to the question of where and how to discard old or unwanted material items. WabiSabi would like to see 100% of the materials donated to their stores either sold, given away to other community organizations that are in need of the item(s), or recycled so WabiSabi continues to create new ways to keep materials out of the landfill. This includes free workshops that promote and teach alternative uses for discarded items. Past Workshops have included making braided rugs from rags, recycled Holiday gifts and composting.

Due to the high volume of quality donations, WabiSabi is able to donate excess goods to other communities and organizations in need. Each month WabiSabi delivers a truck and trailer full of clothing, household items and other materials to a distribution site as part of WabiSabi’s Community to Community Outreach Program. The deliveries serve hundreds of families in the South Eastern Utah and in The Navajo Nation. Distribution sites haveincluded White Mesa Chapter House, The Kayenta Shelter, Bluff Chapter House, Red Mesa Chapter House, and Shiprock, NM.

In addition to promoting recycling, individuals who donate to WabiSabi are supporting community nonprofits. WabiSabi distributes financial awards to local nonprofits from the funds generated at the two stores. When individuals donate items or make a purchase they are asked to vote for one of WabiSabi’s nonprofit partners. All of the nonprofit partners receive financial awards twice a year but the number of votes for that nonprofit partner determines the amount. The more votes a nonprofit gets the bigger financial award it will get. Nonprofit partners are selected each year and WabiSabi. The nonprofit organizations selected focus on The Environment, Youth Development, Women’s Issues, Community Enrichment, Arts, and Cultural Awareness.
WabiSabi’s Nonprofit Partners for 2007 are The Amigos Club, BEACON Afterschool Adventure Program, The Bike Barn, Canyonlands Community Recycling Center, Grand County Hospice, Humane Society, KZMU Community Radio, Living Rivers, The Moab Valley Multicultural Center, The Native American Club, Seekhaven, and The Youth Garden Project.

WabiSabi supports many other nonprofits as well. Each store has a nonprofit information center with brochures, handouts, and flyers from local nonprofits and nonprofit organizations can receive free vouchers for material goods. The WabiSabi Nonprofit Network was recently formed to provide additional support for local nonprofits. The mission of The WabiSabi Nonprofit Network is to encourage cooperative efforts among organizations, provide nonprofits with a greater voice in the community, strengthen the quality of nonprofit leadership and management, and promote greater understanding of the role and impact of nonprofit organizations in communities.

Nonprofit organizations are also eligible to receive funding through WabiSabi’s Make A Difference in Moab Fund. The Make A Difference in Moab Fund awards grants to projects by nonprofits or individuals that demonstrate a desire to improve our environment, enhance our quality of living and/or increase our sustainability as a community. The fund is open to all that believe that they can make a positive difference in Moab. This fund has been used to start several nonprofit organizations including The Bike Barn, The Moab Valley Multicultural Center, and Community Rebuilds. It has also provided funding for a Cancer Survivor Calendar that is raising money for Cancer research, Outdoor Movie Night at the Youth Garden Project and English Language Learner Classes.

All of these programs would not be possible if it was not for the incredible support WabiSabi receives from the community. WabiSabi relies on over 100 volunteers that serve each year, helping to run the thrift stores, sort donations, and plan special events and fundraisers. Volunteers of any skill level are always welcome.
For more information about WabiSabi visit their Website www.wabisabi.org or stop by one their stores.

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