It Takes a Village

Linda Shannon-Hills

To coin a phrase, “it takes a village” rings true for the SaddleBrooke Ranch COVID-19 vaccination drives that took place during the first four months of 2021. Taking on this project to vaccinate over 1,700 people at SaddleBrooke Ranch was a huge project and could not have been achieved without the help of over 150 volunteers.

If you were vaccinated during one of the drives, you witnessed only half the volunteers, as many volunteers worked behind the scenes as well. There were volunteers setting up and tearing down, directing traffic, checking in for attendance, reviewing medical forms, pre-drawing the vaccines into syringes, assisting the registered active nurses with vaccinating, and assisting with parking, so our medical team could observe people after vaccination. Two hospitality carts providing volunteers with water and snacks. There was a troubleshooting team to answer questions, hand out forms, and make last minute calls. Before each drive started, volunteers worked on registrations, email appointment notifications, reminder phone calls, and ordering needed supplies. Team leads also worked on determining the needed volunteers for each drive.

Besides the actual drive volunteers, we must also acknowledge the volunteers who made sanitizer lanyards, handmade thank you cards, thank you gifts and the HOA staff for their assistance.

In the middle of December 2020, the Steering Committee for Neighbors Helping Neighbors was tapped to work with Brianne Spaeth at Desert Life Pharmacy to organize a COVID-19 vaccination drive at the Ranch. We would handle the logistical side, while Brianne would work with the Pinal County Health Department for vaccine and medical supplies. With no experience, the team of Wanda Bailey, Linda Harvey, Bonnie Richter, Kim Schweitzer, and Linda Shannon-Hills started brainstorming what it would take to put on this project. Volunteer help was top of that list, as the five of us could not do this on our own. Maria Astaire stepped up to do the data management of the volunteers, and the rest of us took on various roles on the task force. Wanda Bailey and Linda Shannon-Hills co-managed the team leads: Kim Schweitzer, troubleshooting and phone callers; Roger Bailey, arrival traffic; Bonnie Richter, non-medical check in; Rob Lonjers and Anne Brett, medical check in; Ardie Rossi, pilot carts, staging, and observation traffic; Barb Nicolich, medical pre-draw vaccine; Sandy Holden, vaccination with Brianne; Diane Seyl, observation medical; Linda Harvey, supplies; and Pete Watson for set up/take down.

Each drive we learned what we needed to change or add. Flexibility to changes, even at the last minute, made our drives so successful. With no funds to use, many of the task force members purchased items out of their own pockets. After the first drive, we received donations from the community, which allowed us to purchase additional supplies, such as traffic cones for safety, sanitizer for protection, clipboards, pens and markers, vests for the volunteers, snacks and lots of water, signs, as well as other needed supplies. The generosity of our community made this all happen. We are so grateful.

Above all, no words can express the thanks we all have for our awesome volunteers! Truly, this was a lifesaving labor of love for our community!

Note: Please see our ad listing all the volunteers. We apologize to anyone who may have been inadvertently left off the volunteer list or has a name misspelled.