SaddleBrooke Community Outreach – making a difference year after year

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Fiscal year 2017-18 was very productive for SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO). Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors, we were able to make a significant difference in the lives of many children and their families. Nan Nasser, SBCO Historian, has tabulated our achievements “by the numbers.”

* Kid’s Closet provided clothing, backpacks and books to 3,121 children from Catalina in Pima County through the Pinal County Copper Corridor, up to Superior, across to Miami and down to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Gila County. To date, SBCO has provided 36,383 youngsters with 48,030 wardrobes.

* Teen Closet gave 82 wardrobes to eligible eighth grade and high school students in our service area. Since 2007 we have given 661 sets of school-appropriate clothing to area teens.

* SBCO volunteers provided tutoring services to students at Coronado K-8 School in Catalina and other schools within driving distance of SaddleBrooke, including area high schools. Students from the University of Arizona also are paid to assist with high school math tutoring.

* Our Educational Enrichment programs support academic, sports, travel and cultural programs and, this year, vision screening. Approximately 4,000 students took part in programs that SBCO supported with financial grants. The vision program was available to 5,000 students, to help ensure they can see well in the classroom.

* College scholarships were provided to 62 students. Depending on the student’s educational plan, scholarships are provided for two or four years, as long as the student maintains a full course load and the required GPA. To date, SBCO has provided 276 students with financial support for higher education.

* SBCO manages the receipt and distribution of monetary donations for The Adopt A Family program. This allows donors to contribute to a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. SaddleBrooke residents “adopt” families, purchase and wrap gifts and load them into vans and cars for delivery. The program includes families in the Tri Community area of Mammoth, San Manuel and Oracle, as well as youngsters on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. To date, we have provided gifts to 1,250 families and 2,907 individual youngsters.

* This year the Community Food Drive collected 22,000 pounds of nonperishable items for the Tri Community Food Bank, along with cash donations of $51,500. The total estimated food we have collected since 1999 is 233,266 pounds.

* In addition to the food drive, SBCO also supplies Thanksgiving Food Baskets to families in Oracle identified by school personnel. Each family receives a turkey with all the trimmings and pies. Large families are given sufficient amounts of food for everyone. All food is delivered in large plastic laundry baskets that the recipients can continue to use. This year we provided 50 families with the full meal, bringing our 22-year count to 428 baskets of food.

SBCO is grateful to the residents of SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch who have so generously contributed their time, talents and funds to ensure that life is much better for people in nearby communities.