How non-profit Senior Village at SaddleBrooke serves its growing community

Peter Plesa Interviews / May 20, 2019

How non-profit Senior Village at SaddleBrooke serves its growing community

SaddleBrooke in Arizona is a place that is highly valued for its quality of life. Many residents decide to live there for the variety of activities offered in a healthy, safe, and friendly environment. For some, however, physical limitations may make it difficult to maintain a more active lifestyle. That’s where non-profit organization Senior Village comes in. We talked recently with David Loendorf, its Chairperson, about the program and how Handsontable helps make their lives easier.

– What is the Senior Village at SaddleBrooke program about?
Our mission is to provide simple non-medical services to residents of SaddleBrooke to help them live independently and to serve as a resource when they decide to transition from our community. These services include driving to doctors’ appointments, grocery stores, and on errands; helping with small jobs in the home such as changing light bulbs, air and water filters, or fixing door knobs or door bells; and social activities for members with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or dementia.

– How did it start?
A group of residents that believed in the mission came together and formed a non-profit. We developed policies and procedures, and a web application that allowed us to connect a member wanting a service with a volunteer willing to provide that service.

– What was your goal?
The goal was simple – neighbors helping neighbors. That is what keeps the organization alive and growing steadily. We started with our first member on February 28, 2016 with 10 or so volunteers and today we have 592 members and 170 volunteers. In 2018 we provided 1,443 services, drove 24,406 miles, and gave 6,285 hours of free volunteer time.

SVSB web app screenshot - basic stats

Senior Village at SaddleBrooke web app – basic stats

– How did you discover Handsontable?
I was looking for a replacement for the grid view solution we were using that allowed easy sorting of columns and easy rendering of the background color of rows. I also needed the ability to easily include buttons.

– What made you choose Handsontable for your app?
It was free (good for a non-profit), easy to create tables with, was a supported package, was available on NuGet, and appeared to have a good following.

– How does your app work? What does it do?
The app is fairly basic, yet complex. Development has been driven by a need to provide an administrative platform for supporting the members, volunteers, and services of Senior Village. The basic aspect of the app is to connect a member requesting a service with a volunteer willing to provide that service. A member makes a call to the Village phone and leaves a voice message. That voice message is translated to text and then emailed to the appropriate set of volunteers. If it is for a service, a volunteer on the dispatch team will decide to handle it and click a “Will Handle” button in the email. They will then call the member to get all the details and create a request in the request calendar. Once the request is in the calendar they select it, and a list of volunteers that match the request is displayed. They then select 4 or so and send them emails. The app looks at the requirements and attributes of the member (if they require a wheelchair, or have pets, or smoke, etc.) and the capabilities of the volunteers (if they are trained for this request, available for that day and time, ok with smoke, can take a wheelchair, have allergies to animals, etc.) and only shows those volunteers in the list that are appropriate for selection. One of the volunteers will click the “Accept” button in their email and the request is then marked as scheduled. After the volunteer completes the request they return to the email and click the “Complete” button and enter the time and miles required for the request.

SVSB web app screenshot - helping hands requests
Senior Village at SaddleBrooke web app – helping hands requests

What makes everything run so smoothly is after the initial call from the member and the call back for details, there is no other call required, no phone tag, just an email that can either be accepted or deleted if not interested.

– How do you benefit from using Handsontable?
Ease of adding a table, ease of sorting on any column, row coloring, row buttons. It is very nice that in the member table, one can click on the “Call” button and have a call placed to the member. No need to remember the phone number or possibly mistype it into your phone. Similar for other buttons and the support they provide. We have a birthday luncheon each month and that team uses the member table to sort on birthdate to determine those born in the current month.

– What are the future plans for the Senior Village at SaddleBrooke program?
The app will continue to be developed. It would be nice if it could be used by other Villages throughout the world. So marketing of the app would be a good thing. Finding the time to do so, not so easy. 🙂

David Loendorf
David Loendorf

The benefits of this organization go beyond the services it provides, affecting members and volunteers alike. As their testimonial section shows, in the Senior Village at SaddleBrooke program, those who give also receive. Handsontable is proud to be a part, in whatever way, of such a worthy cause.