128 Rural chapters to benefit from major gift

TeamMates Mentoring co-founder Tom Osborne and TeamMates CEO DeMoine Adams gratefully accepted a most generous donation from the Jim and Sharri Baldonado Family, The Home Agency, and BHA Real Estate on Monday, August 8, 2022, in Lexington, Nebraska. The three-year commitment to TeamMates Mentoring was given to support 128 rural and non-Lincoln and non-Omaha metro Nebraska TeamMates Chapters, which includes more than 5,000 TeamMates mentees, grades 3-12. The donation will cover a major portion of each Chapter’s operating expenses such as participation fees (vary per school), annual match support ($450), and background checks ($30, required for every mentor at each chapter).

Jim and Sharri Baldonado said, “Our family is focused on youth and their health and well-being, and we are proud to support TeamMates Mentoring, particularly in smaller Nebraska communities. Our hope is that our gift will allow more Nebraska TeamMates Chapters to match more students with a caring adult mentor without having to worry about expenses. Statistics prove that about 85 percent of our TeamMates mentees have hope for the future, and we believe that is crucial to their success.”

TeamMates currently supports about 10,000 matches per year in a five-state region. Approximately 140 of the 190 chapters are in Nebraska. The $450 average cost per year for a TeamMates Mentoring match is one-fourth of the national average. Because safety is TeamMates No. 1 priority, every mentor for each chapter is required to complete and pass a background check before mentoring. The average number of matches in the non-metro Nebraska communities is about 40 per chapter and covering the background checks for some of the smaller communities can be difficult.  

TeamMates CEO DeMoine Adams said, “This most generous gift from the Baldonado family and their corporate businesses, is so important to our youth and will be awarded to 128 TeamMates Chapters in Nebraska, outside of Lincoln and Omaha metro. Our hope is that every student in Nebraska who requests a mentor can be matched. At TeamMates, our mission is to positively impact the world by inspiring students to reach their full potential through mentoring, and this gift will provide all our smaller Chapters the ability to thrive as they provide one-on-one, school-based mentoring to their students.”

Coach Tom Osborne thanked the Baldonado family and said, “When Nancy and I started TeamMates 30 years ago in Nebraska, we began with just 22 mentors and 22 mentees. We have now grown and support more than 130 chapters in Nebraska alone. Our students, school administrators, and staff have survived a very tough couple of years. It can be difficult for our smaller chapters to fundraise and recruit mentors for their TeamMates Chapters, and we are so grateful for the support of the Baldonado family as this support will make a tremendous impact in the lives of thousands of students across Nebraska.”

Numerous TeamMates Mentors, Program Coordinators, and Board members from local chapters were also in attendance.

For additional information, please call or email Chris Anderson at 402-540-0276, or canderson@teammates.org.