SNAP MISSION: To provide an array of “neighbors helping neighbors” volunteer services, educational programs and social events that assist and support residents who are aging-in-place in their own homes.
SNAP VISION: To enhance the quality of life for senior and/or disabled, injured, or ill residents residing in the SNAP service area so they may age-in-place for as long as possible.
Watch this Arizona Public Media video about SNAP: Arizona Public Media December 2014
History, Sunrise Neighborhood Assistance Program
Born out of need and desire, Sunrise Neighborhood Assistance Program (SNAP) was founded in 2007 by a small group of caring individuals (Tiny Read, Lu Salisbury and Jayne Henninger) to provide assistance to residents of the Sunrise Mountain Ridge neighborhood in the Fairfield-in-the-Foothills section of northeast Tucson. The expressed need for help with transportation, caregiver relief, minor home repairs, and occasional meals by elderly residents wanting to stay in their own homes despite the limitations of aging, fueled a desire to offer ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ volunteer services to help them age in place for as long as possible. The organization received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status effective October 2007. Early in its inception, SNAP became a Neighbors Care Alliance program under the auspices of the Pima Council on Aging.
Volunteers were recruited and trained and in early 2008 SNAP took on its first “clients.” Word spread quickly, and SNAP soon was asked to provide its services to residents in other neighborhoods in the Fairfield area. A volunteer phone patrol for receiving requests and scheduling service delivery was established and various fundraising activities were planned to help pay for the organization’s operational costs.
By 2010, socialization and education programs were offered to meet aging residents’ requests for social outlets and information about issues of aging. In 2012, a board of directors was formed and one of the organization’s founders, Tiny Read, became a part-time paid contractor performing the duties of the SNAP Coordinator. From 2011 to 2016, SNAP served as a pilot project for United Way’s ELDER Alliance of Tucson and Southern Arizona.
From 2013 to 2018, the number of client requests for services increased steadily with the primary request being for transportation. Along with the increased demand for services came the increased demand for volunteers and SNAP has worked continuously to recruit, train and support dedicated volunteers. The Board of Directors knows that without committed volunteers, there is no SNAP. Fundraising efforts, including grant applications, have been ongoing to help defray the costs of such expenditures as an additional part-time coordinator; a computerized scheduling system; computer hardware and financial management software; publication of a newsletter—snapshots–for disseminating information about SNAP and topics and resources of interest to persons aging in place; senior living facility tours; and creation of a website and Facebook page. In 2017, the SNAP board undertook an organizational restructuring project to examine and focus SNAP’s mission and to adjust the board’s structure and responsibilities to help meet the organization’s goals.
As it grew over the past 10+ years, SNAP aimed to meet the expressed needs of its client base by offering expanded services and programs to persons in more neighborhoods in its service area. Throughout its growth, SNAP has maintained a focus on assisting persons who desire to age in place–staying in their own homes for as long as possible with a sense of independence and well-being in a neighborhood setting amongst people they know and trust. With its mission clearly in mind, with a committed cadre of volunteers, and with ever-improving processes in place to deliver its services and implement its programs, SNAP now turns to developing an ongoing system of measuring its outcomes and its impact on the persons it serves. Measuring outcomes and impact will communicate to all its constituencies the organization’s value to the community and will help secure SNAP’s future success.