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The Sassy Saguaros target loneliness through friendship group

Nearly 1,000 women turn to Facebook to find real-life friendships
Some of The Sassy Saguaros on a hike
Posted at 11:35 AM, Apr 25, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — When Cambria Prigan moved to Tucson from California, she had some family here, but she wanted friends.

As a "stay-at-home dog mom," Prigan says she turned online to find friendship.

“I saw all these women on different Facebook groups introducing themselves and saying ‘hey call me if we have anything in common,’" she said. "But the truth is, everybody wants an invitation.”

So, she made a way for women of all ages and lifestyles to invite each other to events through a Facebook group, 'The Sassy Saguaros.' The women can create events on the app, inviting a group of 913 (and growing) ladies looking for friends to join them.

Jana Krebs and Susan Wolff met through an event by The Sassy Saguaros. They've been friends for almost a year now, but the two say it feels like it's been a lifetime.

Wolff even invited Krebs to spend Thanksgiving with her.

“Last year I was going to be by myself [for Thanksgiving], and she was so nice and invited me over to be with her family," Krebs said, gesturing to Wolff beside her. "I’ve met her whole family, she’s met my family, our daughters have met.”

Friendship is more than just something a person may want, research by a University of Arizona professor of practice says three or four close friendships are actually necessary to living a happier, more fulfilled life.

“We are wired for connections," Marcela Kepič said. She's working as a professor of practice at the University of Arizona where she focuses on trauma and human relationships.

"We cannot survive isolated. Thinking about the hierarchy of needs, yes there’s a need for air, water, food, sleep and shelter, but when all of that is met, there’s that need for connection— being connected to someone— and when we are connected, that’s where the meaning and fulfillment comes in.”

Prigan said she's been told her group has helped women with their mental health, and it has helped her too.

“I will tell you my life has been fuller because of the group," she said. "I’ve heard a lot of people say things like ‘you’ve really helped me with my mental health' or 'before I found this group, I had no friends'.”

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Alex Dowd is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9, where her work combines her two favorite hobbies: talking to new people and learning about the community around her. Her goal is to eventually meet every single person in Tucson. Share your story ideas with Alex via email, alex.dowd@kgun9.com, or connecting on Instagram or X.