During SaddleBrooke Community Outreach’s 2021-22 fiscal year, our volunteers still had to work around Covid-19 variants. Yet SBCO succeeded in making a difference in the lives of children and teens in nearby communities through our programs to Feed, Clothe, Enrich and Educate.

FeedThe Annual Food Drive in March 2022 was a money-only collection due to COVID-19. Contributions from SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke residents resulted in $191,618 being donated to the Tri-Community Food Bank. Thanksgiving Food Baskets were delivered to 62 families in Oracle. Laundry baskets, which could be used after the holidays, were filled with traditional Thanksgiving items, such as turkeys, pies, vegetables and potatoes, dressing and other food items.

ClotheKids’ Closet was not open for in-person clothing selection and fitting to COVID-19. However, the schools provided a list of children and our volunteers bagged clothes for each name provided. Each child received the same amount of clothing and toiletries as they would in normal spring and fall sessions. Kids’ Closet clothed 2,587 children this year. Teen Closet held two shopping trips for eligible high school students. The first, held in July 2021, had a total of 64 students, 31 returning high school students and 33 entering freshmen. Each student had a $200 budget. The January 2022 shopping trip consisted of 42 in-person student shoppers. Seven students who were unable to attend were issued gift cards.

EnrichThe Educational Enrichment Grants program that provides special funding to schools and community organizations was minimally active in 2021 to 2022 due to the continued impact of COVID-19. SBCO, however, was able to fund these programs in the first half of the fiscal year:

Miami Unified Discovery Time

Oracle School Foundation Kinder Prep (funding for pre-school)

Ray Unified School District Learning Garden

Ray Unified School District Bookshelf Program

First Elementary Gifted & Talented Program

Oracle GATE Program.

From Saturday, January 1, 2022 to Thursday, June 30, 2022, enrichment grants were awarded to:

Miami San Manuel Summer Enrichment

San Manuel Girls Softball

Mountain Vista Scholastic Reading Program

Ray Learning Garden

San Manuel AP Testing Program.

EducateEach year SBCO awards college scholarships to deserving high school students in our service area. Recipients are chosen based upon their financial situation, high school grades, school and community activities, an essay about personal and professional goals, letters of recommendation, along with a personal interview with committee members. Students attending two-year colleges receive a $1,500 per year scholarship while those attending four-year institutions receive $3,000 per year. In the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year, scholarships were awarded to 83 students:

74 four-year students

Eight two-year students

Three graduate students: Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Teaching Certificate, Pharmacist Degree

SBCO established the Scholarship Endowment Fund Program to ensure funding for college scholarships far into the future. The Endowment Fund had a spendable amount of $12,047, used to award two one-time $6,000 graduate school scholarships: one to a student at UCLA’s School of Dentistry and another to a journalism major at NYU’s School of Creative Writing.

Special ProgramsThe Adopt-a-Family and the Adopt-a-Child programs delivered holiday joy to local children and their families thanks to $68,522 in generous donations from SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents. SaddleBrooke residents wrapped and delivered presents of clothing and toys to 58 families in San Manuel, as well as 179 children from Rice Intermediate School and Tribal Service. In addition, $5,000 in gift cards were purchased for distribution through the Ray School District in Hayden. SaddleBrooke Ranch adopted 57 families and 154 children from Oracle. The families received gift cards purchased from Walmart and Bashas’ Grocery Store. Another $738 worth of toys were given to the Tri-Community Food Bank in Mammoth for distribution to their clients.

A heartfelt “thank you” is owed to our volunteers, donors and business supporters for another successful year of providing opportunities for kids to succeed. As we say, It’s All about the Kids – and they are grateful too.

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