How Does a Senior Village Volunteer Magically Appear at Your Door?

Suzanne Marlatt-Stewart

Senior Village of SaddleBrooke (SVSB) does not have a physical address. At this point in time, there is no central office. So, what happens when the Village receives dozens of phone calls each week requesting volunteer services? What is the procedure when a request is called in to the Village?

To begin, a member calls 520-314-1042 and leaves a message requesting a service. When the member hangs up, an email is automatically sent to the six Dispatch Team volunteers that includes a transcription of the message and a button that allows listening to the actual message. One of the dispatch volunteers will then click the ‘Will Handle’ button in the email indicating s/he will contact the member and post the request in the online Service Requests Calendar. Each day dispatch sends emails to respective team volunteers until a volunteer chooses to accept a task.

The Dispatch Team handles calls as quickly as possible, hopefully within a few hours. Shawne Cryderman, Dispatch Team leader, refers to the team as “small but mighty.” At present, the majority of calls are requesting a driver (Going My Way) or the need of a handyperson (Helping Hands). Members are advised to call at least five days ahead to book a Senior Village service.

Once a volunteer clicks the “Accept” button in the request email, the computer sends a second email to the volunteer providing all the details for the request. That volunteer is responsible for following through on the assignment with the Village member. When the request has been completed, the volunteer returns to the email and clicks the ‘Complete’ button entering the number of miles driven and time spent.

Years ago, this process would have entailed many phone calls between the Dispatch Team, volunteers, and members. A computerized request system now efficiently streamlines the procedure.

Senior Village volunteers are very committed to helping and generous with their time and talents. Members can be assured that SVSB will do its best to ensure their request will be handled. When asked why she chooses to volunteer, Shawne replied: “It’s engrained in me; I grew up in a family where my parents were always volunteering. I appreciate the opportunity to volunteer in my community—paying it forward. SaddleBrooke needs Senior Village and I am proud to be a part of this organization.”

Senior Village is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization available to SaddleBrooke residents. If you would like to find out more about the services offered, volunteer or become a member, call 520-314-1042 or check out our website We are dedicated to “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”