Suzanne Marlatt Stewart
Very rarely does a vision become a reality, but that’s just what happened in 2015 when two SaddleBrooke gentlemen had a dream. Gary Hammond and Dick Fleming got together and started discussing the needs of several residents who were facing serious challenges in their lives: illness, surgery, disability, no longer able to drive, or the death of a spouse.
Their major concerns were that most of us, at some point, would be dealing with one or more of these issues. They agreed that something needed to be done to help those in need continue living in our wonderful community as independently as possible; and so the dream was born.
In further discussions, Gary and Dick envisioned volunteers who would provide their services and talents to assist folks in need. What a great idea, a win-win for all! Senior Village filed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focusing all its services on members in our community, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”
SaddleBrooke responded enthusiastically. Membership grew rapidly to our current 838. Residents joined to find the assistance they needed or to contribute to the quality of life for many people. Volunteers signed up to provide transportation to doctors, physical therapy, grocery shopping, home fix-it projects, electronic consultation, and social activities like Game Day and birthday luncheons.
Wow, have we grown! In 2016, volunteers drove members 11,475 miles compared to 33,559 miles last year. In 2016, volunteers contributed 2,887 hours, and now they generously spend 7,325 annual hours performing over 1,000 services.
The reality of Senior Village has been overwhelmingly successful, and while its members and volunteers expand so does the cost of maintaining the administrative infrastructure. All funding comes from within our community. Senior Village does not rely on any outside sources of income, and all contributions are spent only in SaddleBrooke.
Thanks to donations from residents, units, and SaddleBrooke clubs, the village has been able to keep dues under $100 for 72 volunteer services a year per person; an incredible, helpful, money-saving bargain.
To continue meeting the needs of our community, donations are paramount to our on-going success. You may think that right now you do not need these services but think five to 10 years down the road. You may definitely have a need, and it may come unexpectedly sooner rather than later. Making a donation is an investment now to ensure Senior Village will be here for you in the future. Our annual report is available online at seniorvillage.org. Keep the vision alive!
On our fifth anniversary, Senior Village reaches inward to our community to ask for your support to our annual Give Where You Live campaign. Whatever you can contribute is greatly appreciated and will enable the village to be on solid financial footing for decades to come. Donations can be sent to PO Box 8584, Tucson, AZ 85738. For more information, phone 520-314-1042.