SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings

SBCO Honors Judy Falewicz as Volunteer of the Year

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Judy Falewicz has been a dedicated SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) volunteer for approximately nine years. She began by working as a dresser at Kids’ Closet, helping young shoppers choose their school clothing and shoes. At the same time, she started working as a cashier at the Golden Goose Thrift Store, a substantial source of funding for SBCO programs. Like many volunteers, Judy began her service with both organizations because a friend encouraged her to do so.

“My friend Karen Stott kept after me until she got me to agree to give both a try,” Judy said.

For the past four years, Judy has also served as bookkeeper for the SBCO office, helping to ensure that our funds are properly tracked.

“I became involved in volunteer work because I worked most of my adult life. I could not imagine playing games, shopping, and going to lunch all the time,” Judy explained.

Judy has always been a hard worker—raising children as a single mother with the usual struggles of that role.

“[I am] so grateful for all I have living in SaddleBrooke that I love giving back,” she said.

She finds all of her volunteer positions gratifying because they are diverse. Her most rewarding experiences are “seeing those happy faces at the Closet.”

“Judy is the quintessential Kids’ Closet volunteer. She’s always pleasant to everyone, especially the children. She makes them feel special while shopping at Kids Closet and you can tell she enjoys being there,” Melanie Stout, former Co-VP of Kids’ Closet, said.

Judy also felt a great sense of accomplishment the first year she completed recording all of SBCO’s Food Drive donation checks.

“Judy’s position as SBCO bookkeeper is extremely time consuming and time sensitive, especially during the food drive and fundraising campaigns. Her job entails recording all funds received, preparing bank deposits, and printing the receipts that are mailed out to all donors. Judy is a great asset because she’s conscientious, meticulous, reliable, and essential to maintaining accurate accounting records for SBCO,” SBCO Treasurer, Camille Esterman, said.

Perhaps the greatest benefit Judy derives from her volunteer work is knowing that she makes a contribution.

“I tell others to give it a try. It is very rewarding and a win-win for you and those you help,” she said.

She looks forward to the day when she can return to her volunteer work that has been postponed or curtailed due to COVID-19.

There are many ways to become a SBCO volunteer. Helping to dress children at Kids’ Closet, tutoring students in local schools, serving on the education committee, supporting the Walkathon and Home Tour fundraising events, wrapping holiday presents for Adopt-a-Family, or working in the SBCO office are all options. To learn more, please visit the SBCO website at www.community-outreach.org.

Holidays Made Brighter with Adopt Programs

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

For more than a decade the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Child programs have provided hand-picked and carefully wrapped Christmas gifts to local families and Apache children on the San Carlos reservation. In 2019, the program assisted 111 families in Oracle and San Manuel and 254 Apache children. SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents provide the money and volunteer services required to make this program such a rousing success.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the health of volunteers and those assisted by the program is of paramount importance. This year, the Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Child programs will be distributing gift cards in lieu of buying and wrapping presents. The gift cards will have a restriction that they cannot be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco products. Adopt-a-Child will also deliver 120 quilts made by SaddleBrooke residents to children on the San Carlos reservation. As always, residents of SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch are encouraged to donate to the program. If you, your group, or your Unit wish to adopt a family or families, contact Linda Russell at [email protected] If you prefer to adopt an Apache child or children, contact Maggie DeBlock at [email protected]

Kenneth Palmer is a grateful SBCO scholarship recipient now in his senior year at Grand Canyon University.

Kenneth Palmer is a grateful SBCO scholarship recipient now in his senior year at Grand Canyon University.

Creative Ways to Leave a Permanent Legacy

Ron Andrea

A wise man once said there are three stages of life: the learn stage, the earn stage, and the return stage.

Many seniors acquire a lifetime of assets through their investments, their IRAs, and the equity in their homes. Some choose to give all their assets to surviving relatives upon their death. Others however, want to return a portion of their good fortune to causes that make a significant difference in the lives of others.

The SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Scholarship Endowment Program accepts legacy gifts from trusts and estate plans from those who may not be comfortable gifting funds now because they fear they might need those funds later in life. However, they still want to consider leaving a lasting legacy that will help others. A gift through an estate plan affords that opportunity without risking funds that might yet be needed.

Another option for those over the age of 71 is to reduce their current income taxes by directing their financial institution to forward a portion of their mandated IRA distributions directly to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund. This can be a one-time or an annual donation.

The third option of course is to simply write a tax-deductible check to the fund.

Regardless of how you choose to donate, know that you are supporting an all-volunteer charity and that your donation is a forever gift. That’s because all donations are carefully invested and only the earnings are used to fund student scholarships. In this way, the amount you donate helps generations of worthy students long after you are gone.

One student who earned an SBCO scholarship is Kenneth Palmer. He was awarded a scholarship based on six criteria: financial need, grades, references, community service, a written essay, and a personal interview with a team of SBCO volunteers.

Kenneth graduated first in his class at Ray High School in Kearney with a 4.0 grade point average. He was president of his junior and senior classes, Band Club president, leader of the brass section, and played in the jazz/rock ensemble. He also was a member of Student Council, served as national Honor Club Vice President, played varsity basketball and ran varsity track and cross country. Kenneth was described by his teachers as a “natural leader” and by his coach as “easily the most coachable athlete I have ever encountered.”

In his spare time, Kenneth served the Kearney community by teaching Sunday school and volunteering with the local kid’s club, community food basket program, town clean-up, and town recycling programs!

Kenneth writes, “Over the past three years, I have been very blessed to be a recipient of the SaddleBrooke Scholarship. Not only has this generous scholarship provided me with an opportunity to learn in the college environment, but it has also opened an avenue in which I have been able to grow. Beyond the classroom, college has challenged me to look at the world and ask myself how I can best make a contribution. Even as I look forward to my senior year, I am very aware of all the roads that are now available to me because of this generous support.”

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of other students like Kenneth, please consider donating to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Program. (The minimum donation is $5,000.) Always consult your financial advisor about tax benefits of charitable contributions.

For more information about the program, visit the SBCO website at www.community-outreach.org or contact Ron Andrea at 520-904-4831. You can also email him at [email protected] Remember, a gift of education is a gift that lasts forever.

Make a Difference with a Donation to SBCO

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) provides children with opportunities to succeed by supporting numerous programs that provide food, clothing, and educational opportunities in nearby communities. In 2019, SBCO made generous donations of money and volunteer labor to many programs, including:

Kids’ Closet: 2,982 school wardrobes were provided to children from Head Start through 8th grade.

Teen Closet: 130 eligible high school students shopped for school clothing and supplies.

Education Programs: $150,000 in grants were awarded for tutoring, summer learning, and enrichment opportunities, plus 84 college and technical school scholarships.

Food: 25,000 pounds of food and $70,000 was collected for Tri-Community Food Bank. Holiday Food Baskets and Adopt-a-Family gifts were given to 111 families, plus Adopt-a-Child gifts for 234 Apache children.

Your financial contribution to SBCO can make the difference in many children’s lives. Since SBCO is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, 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 that provide assistance to the working poor.

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.

You can make a secure online donation on our website at www.community-outreach.org.

If you click on the white box on the site’s home page you can view a short video about SBCO’s work. You can donate using your credit card or your PayPal account (a PayPal account is not required to make a donation).

A donation can also be made by delivering or sending a check (made payable to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach) to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, Inc. 63675 E. SaddleBrooke Blvd., Suite L Tucson, AZ 85739.

On behalf of many local children, we thank you for your support.