Senior Village Is Much More Than Vaccinations
For the past five months, the name Senior Village has been synonymous with the Saturday vaccination clinic, but did you know that Senior Village offers 11 volunteer teams to support its 1,000 members and address their needs? Even during mask-wearing and social distancing, our volunteers have been performing services for members of all ages. The volunteers have all attended team orientation sessions and have been vetted for background security.
Looking at the online dispatch calendar where volunteers accept requested tasks, the Helping Hands team members have been busy lifting storage boxes, repairing a panel on a spa, changing a refrigerator filter, replacing ceiling light bulbs, moving patio furniture, fixing a sliding screen door, hooking up a printer, installing an entry lockbox for first responders, setting up a “smart” Alexa system—just about anything you can think of that does not require a licensed contractor.
One of the largest teams is Going My Way with 69 volunteer drivers who pick up members at their homes, take them to their destination, and then return to give them a ride home. These trips can be for medical appointments, physical therapy, groceries, hair and nail salons, banks, and law offices throughout the Tucson area. Going My Way drivers routinely travel over 30,000 miles a year to make sure you get where you need to go.
Other specialized teams that help members include the Support Team for those whose physical condition is more fragile and need monitoring and the Moving On Team for members who are considering transitioning from SaddleBrooke to a full-service retirement residence. The Friendly Contact and Fun With Friends teams look forward to getting together again with members for bocce, putters, game day, Men’s Social Hour, and most popular, no-host monthly birthday lunches with cake and gift bags. For those returning from rehab or a hospital stay, Home Again volunteers will deliver meals through our partnership with IMPACT.
Senior Village serves SaddleBrooke One and SaddleBrooke TWO with members and volunteers coming from both associations. Services are funded solely by donations and annual dues which are $60 for a single and $96 for a household. This nominal charge, less than a dollar per service, allows up to 72 requests a year per person.
There is something for everyone in Senior Village. Whether you are 55 or 85, Village teams are here to meet your needs. To join the Village or become a volunteer, call their number at 520-314-1042. Appreciated donations can be sent to: Senior Village at PO Box 8584, Tucson, AZ 85738. The Village is a 501(c)(3) non-profit service organization.
Washington D.C. Comes to SaddleBrooke
When word of the SaddleBrooke vaccination clinic reached the office of U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran, he decided to see for himself what was garnering such attention. On Feb. 20, Congressman O’Halleran and members of his staff followed the routing signs around Ridgeview Blvd. until they arrived at the checkpoint queue where they were directed to an area near the gym. There they met with Senior Village Executive Director Linda Hampton and Senior Village Board Chairman David Loendorf who briefed the Congressman on the background and functioning of the clinic.
The more that Congressman O’Halleran heard about the logistics involved in organizing the clinics where hundreds of cars and golf carts pass through various checkpoints, the more impressed he became. He was taken aback to learn that 65 vehicles pass through the checkpoint every fifteen minutes and exclaimed about the “expansive project” that could inoculate so many thousands of residents.
When the Congressman found out that this is all being accomplished by the work of 300 volunteers, he was impressed.
“It’s wonderful the way America works with volunteers,” he commented.
He could identify with our volunteer commitment because he said that he himself had served in that capacity before he was drafted into politics. Since 2017, he has represented Arizona’s 1st congressional district.
Congressman O’Halleran’s staff confirmed that other vaccination sites he visited were smaller and none on the scale of the SaddleBrooke clinic. During the course of his visit, he spent time chatting with medical personnel to learn more about their roles and met briefly with Brianne Spaeth, owner of Desert Life Pharmacy. Before he left, he walked through the recovery area, again impressed with the efficient start to finish process.
The fact that Congressman O’Halleran flew into Arizona from Chicago and then was leaving right away to return to Washington D.C. attests to the importance he gave to SaddleBrooke. It is heartening to know that ripples of our successful clinic have reached far beyond our community in what Congressman O’Halleran termed “an amazing operation.”