“I think of OASIS as the Great Facilitator, says Ken Charvoz of Tucson. “It brings together people who have a passion and expertise with adults who are interested in what they have to share.”
One of more than 700 volunteers who share their knowledge and experience as instructors, Ken himself has facilitated a great many improvements at OASIS and other nonprofits in southern Arizona. One example – finding an inexpensive software program to streamline class scheduling for Tucson OASIS.
A former police detective and artist, Ken has taught OASIS Connections technology classes and coordinate those classes at the Pima County Library. “We are helping people build skills to find jobs. Losing a job is such a traumatic thing, and the employment redirect project is really meaningful.
Another innovation is an electronic form he created for instructors to submit their classes electronically. “This really eliminates a bunch of mailing and indecipherable writing. It all comes through my email, so I can keep an eye on what's happening and try to intercept problems.
I love it because its a challenge. I learn things and it puts me in touch with lots of new people. OASIS is unique. Of course we provide a lot of opportunities to learn, but the under-appreciated part is how much we do for people who have something to give – a passion they want to share. They can do that as a presenter for a class. We put people together.
Ken has started a newsblog at soaznonprofits.org dedicated to southern Arizona organizations that work to make the community a better place to live in. "Non-profits promote art and culture, coordinate volunteers to tutor children, feed and house the needy, make our streets safer and our communities prettier. I help out wherever I can. It's not a big deal.”