Senior Village at SaddleBrooke

Colorful holiday baskets, prepared by Senior Village volunteers, await delivery thanks to donations to the Village Gift Fund.

Colorful holiday baskets, prepared by Senior Village volunteers, await delivery thanks to donations to the Village Gift Fund.

You can be a secret Santa

Stephanie Thomas

Surprises, surprises! Oh goodie! No matter how young or how old we are, an unexpected gift warms the heart, shows that someone cares, and brings smiles to faces. That’s exactly the reason that Units 5 and 11 approached Senior Village and offered to contribute to the Village’s Gift Fund. The donation from these Unit residents will make this holiday season even merrier for the unsuspecting recipients.

Senior Village volunteers delivered their first gift baskets to randomly selected members in 2018. The responses were so appreciative and touching that the Village plans to continue with the gifts as part of their Neighbors Helping Neighbors non-profit mission.

Patrice Baker, organizer of the Unit 5 donor drive, explained why her Unit chose to recognize Senior Village, “We’ve always been huge supporters of a holiday charity. Last Christmas, Joan Stewart brought the idea to my attention at our wrapping party. We help so many people outside of SaddleBrooke, and there are people in our own community who are forgotten. We are hoping this gives the idea to other Units to step up and do the same thing.”

More than half of Senior Village’s 780 members are over the age of eighty, and sixty members are in their nineties. Wow, the longevity of SaddleBrooke! A surprising number of these seniors do not have family who live close by. Many are alone and unable to travel due to physical disabilities or financial constraints. Often, the holidays can be an emotional time characterized by depression and social isolation. These gift baskets are intended to brighten the season and let SaddleBrooke residents know that they are remembered by their neighbors.

Filling and decorating the baskets is a joy for Village volunteer Mona Sullivan and her bakers and wrappers. “We wanted to come up with things everyone could use, something to have around the house to make the holidays more cheerful.” Each gift will hold a potpourri of homemade baked goods, hand-crafted items donated by the Knit Wits club, a personalized greeting card made by Paper Crafters and a festive, colorful bow to top off the basket. We won’t spoil the surprise by telling you everything now!

Senior Village is supported solely by dues and donations from SaddleBrooke residents and clubs with no outside funding. All dollars remain here in SaddleBrooke for the benefit of our community to provide transportation, home fix-its, social activities and more. The Village is a 501(c)(3) organization for tax-deductible donations. To join Senior Village ($48 single or $60 household annually) or become a volunteer, call 520-314-1042. Donations can be sent to Senior Village, PO Box 8584, Tucson, AZ 85738. Spread the joy; give where you live!