Become an SBCO Volunteer and Help Local Students Succeed
SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) was founded in 1997 to meet the needs of children living in the 11 current and former mining communities in the “Copper Corridor,” stretching 100 miles north of Catalina, Ariz. SBCO’s mission of providing children with opportunities to succeed is realized through programs that focus on food, clothing, and education. As an award-winning 503(c)(3) nonprofit, SBCO has been making a significant difference in the lives of local children and their families for the past 25 years.
SBCO is an all-volunteer organization, so we rely on an army of 300+ volunteers to implement our programs. Consider lending your time and talents in the following areas:
Kid’s Closet—help children from Head Start through 8th grade select new school clothing
Teen Closet—assist eligible students on a school clothing shopping trip at local stores
Education Enrichment Committee—review and select funding grant requests from schools and community organizations
Scholarship Endowment—help spread the word seeking donations to fund college scholarship for generations to come
Food—secure community financial support and donations of goods for the food drive and Thanksgiving and holiday food baskets
Special Events—help organize and staff the annual Home Tour and the Walk for Kids
Adopt-a-Family/Adopt-a Child—help shop for, wrap and deliver gifts to tri-community families (Adopt-a-Family) and children living on the Apache reservation (Adopt-a-Child)
Office staffing—provide administrative services for the SBCO office in Suite L of the SaddleBrooke Business Plaza.
Donating your time and talent clearly helps those who receive assistance from SBCO. But did you know that you also benefit from being a volunteer? Various studies have found that volunteering:
* Is good for your mind and body—volunteering can make you feel healthier, improve your mood, increase your sense of purpose, keep you mentally stimulated, and reduce your stress level.
* Helps you connect to others—volunteering helps connect you to others, including those you assist. These connections make you part of a larger community and keep you engaged in making it a better place to live.
* Brings fulfillment to your life—volunteering is also an enjoyable and easy way to explore your interests and passions. When you are involved in meaningful and interesting activities, volunteering can provide a relaxing, stimulating change from your day-to-day routine.
SBCO always needs volunteers for both long- and short-term commitments. To become involved, visit community-outreach.org/volunteers to complete an interest form. We’d love to have you join our team!
Residents Turn Out for Annual Walk for Kids
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Walk for Kids was held at 8 a.m. on Oct. 29. This annual event, formerly known as The Walkathon, had a tremendous turnout with more than 350 participants this year. To make it as easy as possible for everyone to participate, online and in-person registration were available. Every registered walker was given a special 25th anniversary commemorative T-shirt.
With cool weather that rapidly became quite a pleasant fall morning, the festivities began with a warm-up session in the SaddleBrooke HOA One parking lot near the bocce ball courts. The walkers had a choice of a long walk of 3.25 miles around Ridge View Blvd. or a shorter 1.25 mile walk up to the commerce center and back to the start. Tables were set up along the routes to provide water to the human and canine walkers. The SBCO was especially pleased to welcome 61 students from the Copper Corridor schools of Mammoth/San Manuel and Mountain Vista. We always welcome the energy and enthusiasm of these students. Of course, participating residents had no chance to keep up with these wonderful kids of all ages.
At around 9:15 a.m. following the walk, everyone was welcomed into the SaddleBrooke HOA One Clubhouse, sampling goodies from the Snack Shack to replenish those lost calories. We were joined this year by the Tucson Roadrunners hockey team mascot, who welcomed everyone and took pictures with the participants. This was an especially big hit with our younger walkers. SBCO program leaders provided information to the community about all the services provided to students in Copper Corridor towns. These include educational enrichment grants, scholarships, meals, and clothing through Kids’ Closet and Teen Closet. Additionally, representatives from everyone’s favorite, the Golden Goose Thrift Shop, where you can find almost anything you might need and things you didn’t know you needed, provided information and recruited much needed volunteers. Premier business supporters of SBCO from the nearby community were also on hand to display their products and services used here in SaddleBrooke.
Given the smiles from all the walkers it was apparent this long-awaited community tradition was a resounding success. SBCO is looking forward to seeing everyone next year and plans to have an even greater turnout. Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2023 date.
SBCO Awards Graduate School Scholarships
In April 2022, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) awarded two graduate school scholarships funded by the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund. These are the first scholarships granted using the interest earned on the Endowment Fund account. Both of the scholarships are for graduate school students who also received SBCO scholarships for their undergraduate degrees.
Allison Martinez graduated from Superior High School with a 4.0 grade point average. Due, in part, to her academic achievements and extensive community service, she was awarded first place at the Arizona State Leadership Conference three years in a row and won a Gold Medal at the National Student Leadership Conference. She became certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED, and worked part-time as a lifeguard while she was going to school. After attending Central Arizona Community College, Allison enrolled at Grand Canyon University. She said, “It’s been an honor to be a recipient of the SBCO Scholarship. It is worth far more than its monetary value. It has allowed me to be a student in the rigorous, yet highly rewarding pre-medicine program at Grand Canyon University. The scholarship has taken some of the financial burden off my shoulders.” Allison was accepted by five dental schools and decided to attend the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry and applied for another SBCO scholarship. She stated, “This scholarship would provide immense support in lessening my financial stress, and thus allow me to better prepare for my future as an oral health care provider. I plan on continuing to serve my community as a dental clinician, just as the community has supported me along my journey. I am also thankful for the tremendous support and encouragement I have received during these past few years from the SBCO scholarship committee and my liaison, Ms. Susan Schweitzer. May you all be blessed beyond measure, for your efforts have certainly made a positive impact on myself and several other individuals.” Allison was granted a $6,000 scholarship for her dental school studies at UCLA.
Katerina Frye has a passion for writing. She is a published author and completed her undergraduate degree as an English and Psychology major at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to graduating from high school with a 4.0 grade point average, she was active in community youth services, volunteered at the Golden Goose Thrift Shop, and received the National High School Presidential Service Award. With respect to her college major, Katerina said, “Writing does not stitch an aorta closed or produce the latest gadget and it rarely yields tangible benefits, but writing unravels the human spirit and speaks to all its horrors and wonders. Pursuing a path as a writer is a noble pursuit. I will not save lives, but maybe, just maybe, I can help them.” She is now attending graduate school at New York University’s School of Creative Writing as a journalism major. As for her SBCO scholarships, Katerina added, “I am so thankful for SBCO’s commitment to helping students. Their generous scholarship has allowed me to attend the schools of my dreams, where I can pursue my passion for learning. My career goal is to work for an esteemed news outlet or magazine company. The future is exciting, and I am ready for it.” Katerina was awarded a $6,000 scholarship to support her journalism studies at NYU.
If you would like to help other deserving students reach their educational and professional goals, consider contributing to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund. All contributions to the Endowment Fund must be made payable to the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (CFSA) and designated for the “SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund.” CFSA’s Tax ID is 94-2681765. The minimum contribution to the fund is $5,000.
Tax-deductible donations can be made any of four ways:
* A personal check sent directly to CFSA, made payable to Community Foundation of Southern Arizona with “SBCO Endowment” in the memo line.
* A distribution from your IRA to CFSA for the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund.
* Including CFSA as the manager of the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund as a beneficiary in your trust or estate plan.
* In-kind contributions (e.g., stock, securities, real estate, autos).
Send donations to: The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund, 5049 E Broadway, Suite 201, Tucson, AZ 85711.
For more information, send an email to [email protected] or call the SBCO office at 520-825-3302.
SBCO—Another Year of Making a Difference
During SaddleBrooke Community Outreach’s (SBCO) 2021-22 fiscal year, our volunteers still had to work around COVID-19 variants. Yet SBCO succeeded in making a difference in the lives of children and teens in nearby communities through our programs to feed, clothe, enrich, and educate.
The Annual Food Drive in March 2022 was a money-only collection due to COVID-19. Contributions from SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke residents resulted in $191,618 being donated to the Tri-Community Food Bank. Thanksgiving food baskets were delivered to 62 families in Oracle. Laundry baskets, which could be used after the holidays, were filled with traditional Thanksgiving items, such as turkeys, pies, vegetables and potatoes, dressing, and other food items.
Kids’ Closet was not open for in-person clothing selection and fitting due to COVID-19. However, the schools provided a list of children and our volunteers bagged clothes for each name provided. Each child received the same amount of clothing and toiletries as they would in normal spring and fall sessions. Kids’ Closet clothed 2,587 children this year. Teen Closet held two shopping trips for eligible high school students. The first, held in July 2021, had a total of 64 students, 31 returning high school students and 33 entering freshmen. Each student had a $200 budget. The January 2022 shopping trip consisted of 42 in-person student shoppers. Seven students who were unable to attend were issued gift cards.
The Educational Enrichment Grants program that provides special funding to schools and community organizations was minimally active in 2021-22 due to the continued impact of COVID-19. SBCO, however, was able to fund these programs in the first half of the fiscal year:
* Miami Unified Discovery Time
* Oracle School Foundation Kinder Prep (funding for pre-school)
* Ray Unified School District Learning Garden
* Ray Unified School District Bookshelf Program
* First Elementary Gifted & Talented Program
* Oracle GATE Program
From Jan. 1 to June 30, 2022, enrichment grants were awarded to:
* Miami San Manuel Summer Enrichment
* San Manuel Girls Softball
* Mountain Vista Scholastic Reading Program
* Ray Learning Garden
* San Manuel AP Testing Program
Each year, SBCO awards college scholarships to deserving high school students in our service area. Recipients are chosen based on their financial situations, high school grades, school and community activities, an essay about personal and professional goals, letters of recommendation, along with a personal interview with committee members. Students attending two-year colleges receive a $1,500 per year scholarship while those attending four-year institutions receive $3,000 per year. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, scholarships were awarded to 83 students:
* 74 four-year students
* Eight two-year students
* Three graduate students: Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Teaching Certificate, Pharmacist Degree.
SBCO established the Scholarship Endowment Fund Program to ensure funding for college scholarships far into the future. The Endowment Fund had a spendable amount of $12,047 used to award two one-time $6,000 graduate school scholarships: one to a student at UCLA’s School of Dentistry and another to a journalism major at NYU’s School of Creative Writing.
The Adopt-a-Family and the Adopt-a-Child programs delivered holiday joy to local children and their families thanks to $68,522 in generous donations from SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents. SaddleBrooke residents wrapped and delivered presents of clothing and toys to 58 families in San Manuel, as well as 179 children from Rice Intermediate School and Tribal Service. In addition, $5,000 in gift cards were purchased for distribution through the Ray School District in Hayden. SaddleBrooke Ranch adopted 57 families and 154 children from Oracle. The families received gift cards purchased from Walmart and Bashas’ grocery store. Another $738 worth of toys were given to the Tri-Community Food Bank in Mammoth for distribution to their clients.
A heartfelt thank you is owed to our volunteers, donors, and business supporters for another successful year of providing opportunities for kids to succeed. As we say, it’s sll about the kids—and they are grateful, too.