SBR Mending Souls Pivots to New Name: Creative Giving SaddleBrooke Ranch

Linda Shannon-Hills and Dian Gowen

We have changed our name from SBR Mending Souls to Creative Giving SaddleBrooke Ranch group to expand our reach to more charitable organizations.

In September 2021, Dian Gowen and Linda Shannon-Hills started a sewing, knitting, and crocheting charitable group as a satellite to the Tucson Mending Souls nonprofit. We found the items they needed for various charitable groups fit into the skills many residents at SaddleBrooke Ranch could provide. Not long after, the SBR Paper Crafters started donating cards each month to add to the items we were taking to Mending Souls.

During this time, we have made more than 3,000 items to give to those in need through the Mending Souls charitable group. We have grown to over 90 members in the SaddleBrooke Ranch group. Many volunteers don’t sew, knit, crochet, or make cards but they come to our monthly work sessions to stuff teddy bears, playtime blocks, heart pillows, and other items while volunteers sew on the machines. Some cut out patterns, and others hand sew items closed. We have fun together as a group, chatting and laughing while knowing we are giving our time and talents to others in need.

Over the last few months, we have discussed additional ways we can expand our giving reach with our creative items to those in need, so we assessed our situation and started our pivot to Creative Giving SaddleBrooke Ranch. The basic mission is the same but expanding our reach and even expanding the items we create for others in need.

We will continue to make items for Mending Souls in Tucson, as the need is great, and we are one of their larger donation groups in the Tucson area.

We are also making items for:

* SBR residents in need

* Family First in Oracle and Winkleman

* Kids’ Closet in Mammoth through SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (such as knitted and crocheted hats, school supplies bags, and more).

* Open to other groups in need.

There are more than 35 different items we have made to date and continue to expand with new ideas as needs are defined. Our members work together to make items during our work sessions as well as “kits” of pre-cut projects to take home to make, then bring back to donate.

The group does not have dues but to keep us going, many members of the group donate fabric and supplies while we also have donation sales of items we make to bring in funds for our work.

If you would like to be part of this creative group, giving to those in need, come join us on the first Wednesday morning of the month in the sewing room, located in the Creative Arts and Technology Center at SaddleBrooke Ranch. Come anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., stay for an hour or all day. There are so many ways you can participate. For more information, contact Linda Shannon-Hills at [email protected] or Dian Gowen at [email protected].

“For it is in giving that we receive.”—St. Francis of Assisi