SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings – December 2014

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers Larry Clark, Bill Summers and Bud Stott

Volunteers Larry Clark, Bill Summers and Bud Stott

Nan Nasser

As the year winds down, many of us might be considering a resolution to try something new, like volunteering our time to help those less fortunate.

Why volunteer? It connects you to others, is good for your mind and body, has a happiness effect and can bring fun and fulfillment to your life. SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) has oodles of opportunities for you!

The primary objective of SBCO is to make a positive impact on the lives of needy school children in neighboring communities. Since its inception in 1996 SBCO has operated a clothing bank called Kids’ Closet that provides school outfits to children from Catalina through the mining corridor of Pinal County and across to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. This is a 100 mile stretch in Arizona that suffers from poverty. Education was added to SBCO and now includes tutoring, support of enrichment programs and college scholarships. To help with nutrition we host an annual food drive for Tri Community Food Bank located in Mammoth and provide financial support throughout the year. We also maintain an office in Suite L, SB Commercial Center, which is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The Closet offers all kinds of opportunities, from working directly with a child to find the appropriate clothing, to warehouse and stocking needs, receiving and inventory assignments and sorting books for children to take home. Carpools are arranged for the days the Closet is open and you can sign up for a specific day or for a monthly spot.

Education is always looking for tutors in math and reading in schools closer to SaddleBrooke. The committee reviews applications for enrichment programs and scholarships and monitors the college kids to make certain their grades are worthy of a renewal of the award. They visit the enrichment sites and offer a special party for new scholarship recipients to meet those who have previously benefited from the program.

The annual food drive, which will be March 14, is a SaddleBrooke event, takes just one morning, but also needs contacts in each unit to distribute flyers and pick up curbside donations. Thanksgiving food baskets are provided for selected families in Oracle and that entails sorting the food into baskets for delivery.

Suite L needs volunteers for three hour shifts to answer phones, take messages and greet interested people. There is training for that job.

Volunteering increases self-confidence, combats depression and helps you stay physically healthy. Join SBCO, make new friends, find a spot just for you and start the New Year off with an opportunity to brighten the lives of kids and their families.

Much more information and contacts are on our website,

“Small Miracles” make a difference

A young boy coloring is a Small Miracle.

A young boy coloring is a Small Miracle.

Dorothy Moore

I’m making dinner tonight and thinking, wondering how we can Make A Difference. I’ve reached the ripe old age of 70 and my husband Ron is now 76 years young. How can we Make A Difference in our world? Maybe one Small Miracle at a time?

Our income has changed now that we are older and retired. What can we do to Make A Difference?

In our household we are attempting to clean out our closets, to get rid of the items that clutter our lives.

Yes, if each of us cleaned our closets and took a carload to the Golden Goose Thrift Shop, it would be a Small Miracle to help needy children and families in neighboring communities.

We’re thinking about preparing our taxes for 2014. If each household donated $400.00 to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach to help the working poor, the donation would be eligible for AZ Tax Credit and also tax deductible on itemized Federal Income Tax returns. Another Small Miracle to help Make A Difference in many needy children’s lives.

The end of 2014 is approaching. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to SBCO.

Each Small Miracle can become a Big Miracle if we all work together to Make A Difference; help change a child’s life for the better.

Donations can be made at or by mail to SBCO 63675 E. SaddleBrooke Boulevard, Suite L, Tucson, Arizona 85739.

Program enrichment opportunities

Shown is a bookshelf with a few books on top. From left to right are Lori Havens, Gerry Russell (both residents who volunteer on this project) and Steve Groth, SBCO VP of Education.

Shown is a bookshelf with a few books on top. From left to right are Lori Havens, Gerry Russell (both residents who volunteer on this project) and Steve Groth, SBCO VP of Education.

Nan Nasser

For many years SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) has been supporting enrichment programs for students in our service area. Among those projects, we have funded the Bookshelf Reading program in Kearny, in partnership with the Kearny Rotary.

Youngsters in grades one through four take part in a reading program that begins in the first grade. Those students receive a newly constructed bookcase along with two new books when they complete the session. The Rotary helps provide the lumber, high school students make the bookcases, and SBCO provides funds for the purchase of new books.

Representatives of the program, Gerry Russell and Lori Havens, shared their stories at the November SBCO program meeting. The involved youngsters have all raised their reading levels by one grade! They keep the bookcases, and in the second, third and fourth grades they receive new books to add to their collections. The high school students have gone on to tutor/mentor some of these younger children; people in all age levels benefit from the Bookshelf Reading program.

SBCO provides a variety of services for students in 20 schools in eight districts, extending from Catalina through the Pinal County mining corridor and across to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. We operate Kids’ Closet, Teen Closet, provide college scholarships, tutor in math and reading in local schools. The Tri Community Food Bank receives the food collected in our spring food drive as well as financial support throughout the year. Other enrichment programs have been aimed at academic programs including College for Kids, have supported the Triangle Y Ranch in Oracle, and funded swimming lessons in San Manuel.

Wish to learn more about us? Visit Suite L in the commercial center in SaddleBrooke; or go to our website at

Thanksgiving Food Baskets

Left to right are Pat Schlote, Merna Oakley, Joan Roberts, Anne Everett, Rich Roberts, Chris and Dan Garand, Steve Groth and Marv Richter. Photo taken by Nan Nasser.

Left to right are Pat Schlote, Merna Oakley, Joan Roberts, Anne Everett, Rich Roberts, Chris and Dan Garand, Steve Groth and Marv Richter. Photo taken by Nan Nasser.

Nan Nasser

Members of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach sorted and filled 36 baskets with Thanksgiving food for families in Oracle. Everyone received a turkey with trimmings, 10 lbs of potatoes, canned vegetables, rolls, pie and Cool Whip! Sixteen baskets went to families of children at Mountain Vista Elementary School and 20 went to the Mountain Health & Wellness Center. Terry Rodriquez and Mary Dykes coordinated those 36 families to avoid duplication. One family of 13 people received a larger turkey, extra pies, and more cans of food.

SBCO wishes to recognize the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Oro Valley for their generous support of this project. Manager Brian Andrews and Meat Manager Rebekah Masuch have worked with Joan and Rich Roberts for several years, offering reduced prices and helping with deliveries in a timely fashion. All 36 turkeys came from this store at Oracle and Magee roads. The 360 pounds of potatoes came from Bashas’ in Catalina, thanks to a wonderful sale price.

The Roberts have managed this program for years, and were assisted by Merna Oakley, Pat Schlote, Dan and Chris Garand, Anne Everett, and SaddleBrooke Ranchers Steve Groth and Marv Richter.

Many people enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, thanks to the generosity and time donated by supermarkets and volunteers.