Hardworking SBCO Volunteers to Provide Thanksgiving Baskets to Local Area Families
The Thanksgiving holiday will be brighter for many families in Oracle, San Manuel, and Mammoth due to the efforts of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO). Just before Thanksgiving, SBCO volunteers in SaddleBrooke, chaired by Mona Sullivan and Mark Liefke, will assemble and deliver 62 holiday food baskets to Oracle residents: 37 to the Mountain View School and 25 to the Wellness Center. These baskets will be delivered on Nov. 21.
SaddleBrooke Ranch residents, led by Karen Lanning and Tim Bowen, will provide 30 baskets to the Mammoth-San Manuel Unified School District. These baskets will be delivered on Nov. 22.
Each holiday basket will be filled with traditional Thanksgiving food items, including a large turkey and all the trimmings. Special baskets will be created for those with larger families. The baskets are actually laundry baskets, making it easy to transport the food and provide the recipients with a useful household item.
The Thanksgiving Food Basket program has been in existence for many years and is one of the important ways SBCO helps to combat hunger among residents of nearby communities.
Give Others a Brighter Holiday: Support Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Child
Each year SaddleBrooke Community Outreach’s (SBCO) Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Child programs provides Christmas gifts for local families and Apache children on the San Carlos reservation. In recent years, the programs have grown to annually assist about 90 families and 257 Apache children. SaddleBrooke residents provide the money and volunteer services required to make these programs such a great success.
The SaddleBrooke Adopt-a-Family Program focuses on providing gifts to families whose children are enrolled in the San Manuel-Mammoth Unified School District and Head Start. If you, your group, or your unit wishes to adopt a family or families, please contact Linda Russell at [email protected]. Likewise, contact Maggie DeBlock at [email protected] if you prefer to adopt an Apache child or children as part of the Adopt-a-Child Program. In addition, volunteers are needed for loading and unloading the wrapped gifts.
Since SBCO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (tax ID 86-0843458), all Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Child contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. You can donate online at community-outreach.org or with a check made payable to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach or SBCO. Checks can be delivered to your unit’s program coordinator or to the SBCO office at Suite L in the SaddleBrooke Business Complex.
Donations are needed by Nov. 15.
Make a Difference with a Donation to SBCO
For 25 years, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) has been providing children in nearby communities with opportunities to succeed through programs that provide food, clothing, enrichment grants, and educational opportunities. Of the 14 schools served by SBCO, all are Title 1 Schools, meaning at least 40% of the students come from low-income families. In some Copper Corridor schools, the figure is as high as 90%. Academic achievement is well below state averages, putting students at a significant disadvantage for higher education and work opportunities.
Some of the programs we support with money and volunteer labor include:
Food: Financial support and donations of goods to SBCO’s annual Food Drive are given to Tri-Community Food Bank and programs such as Holiday Food Baskets, Adopt-a-Family, and Adopt-a-Child, all of which support families in our service area.
Clothing: Kids’ Closet provides new school clothing twice a year for children from Head Start through 8th grade, while Teen Closet offers eligible 9th through 12th grade students two annual shopping trips for school clothing at local stores.
Enrichment Grants: SBCO funds are awarded to innovative programs supported by schools and community organizations, including field trips, summer school, and sports programs.
Education: Two- and four-year college scholarships are awarded to deserving local students; $1,500 per year for two-year programs and $3,000 per year for four-year degrees. When funds are available, scholarships are also given to graduate students.
Your financial contribution to SBCO can make the difference in many children’s lives. Since SBCO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (tax ID 86-0843458), all contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Contributions are also eligible for the Arizona Tax Credit for Contributions to Charities (AZ Tax Credit Code 20214).
Your donation will be acknowledged. If you make a gift on behalf of a friend or family member, in memory of a special person, or in honor of an event or person, an acknowledgement also will be sent to the appropriate person or his/her family.
A donation form has been included in SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch newspapers. That form and a check can be sent or delivered to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, Inc., 63675 E. SaddleBrooke Blvd., Suite L, Tucson, AZ 85739.
Or you can make a secure online donation at our website community-outreach.org. Simply click on the “Donate” button and pay using your credit card or your PayPal account (a PayPal account is not required to make a donation).
SBCO Volunteer’s Service Spans More than 20 Years and Counting
Pat Ford and her husband Bill moved to SaddleBrooke in 2000. Having been a school principal for 20 years, her interest was immediately peaked when she saw children’s clothing being stored in the garages of SaddleBrooke model homes. On a weekly basis, Pat, Bill, and another volunteer would gather up the clothing, put it in their truck, and drive to Mammoth. There they would hang the clothing in one of the school’s unused classrooms so children could choose what they wanted. In that location, there was only one dressing room and only enough room for 12 volunteers. The space was so small that volunteers were practically crawling over one another. To save space, the volunteers would eat their lunches outside, regardless of the weather.
When Nan Nasser became president of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, Pat became vice president and then went on to serve as Kids’ Closet director for eight years. For the first six or seven of those years, the program was located in a larger space inside the abandoned junior high school in San Manuel. While the space was larger, the only restrooms were on the other side of the building, down a long, dark corridor—a frightening walk for the young children. Finally, the SBCO board decided to leave the deserted building and build a Kids’ Closet facility in Mammoth. Pat stayed on as director for another year to help establish Kids’ Closet in its current location. Then she took a temporary retirement. “I loved it!” she says. “I was away for two years, but now I am back. I do whatever is needed to help out.”
Providing children with new school clothing has been an ever-changing process. Pat noted, “It was so difficult during the pandemic. We had to get names and sizes from the school and bag up clothing, never sure if the clothing really fit or if the children really liked what they got. We have returned to our regular procedures this fall, so children get the pleasure of choosing their clothing. One thing that has not changed over the years is the need.”
“A couple of years ago, a 2nd grade boy came into the office so excited, with tears in his eyes. ‘I got my own toothbrush!’ he said. Previously, the whole family had been sharing one. More recently, a young girl burst into the office reporting, ‘I got my clothes! I got my clothes! Can I show you?’ She pulled panties out of the bag and said, ‘I have my own pantaletas!’”
If you would like to become an SBCO volunteer, please visit community-outreach.org/membership-form-2. Become a member (it’s free) and indicate your areas of interest. There are many options, from “once or twice a year” activities to longer-term commitments. As a volunteer, you can help provide local kids with the food, clothing, enrichment, and education opportunities they need to succeed. And you might gain as much—or more—from the experience than you give.