“Every time we sit down in an Oasis class, there is somebody interesting sitting next to us,” says Tom Stafford.
It’s part of the reason that he and his wife, Ann, feel compelled to give regularly to Albuquerque Oasis. But over the years, their giving has become more focused because of an Oasis program they’re watching from afar for now: Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring.
“We get a lot from taking Oasis classes, but because we travel so much, we’re limited in the kind and amount of volunteering we do. We don’t actually have the schedule to commit to being tutors ourselves yet, but we feel our giving is a good way to ensure that the young people living in our community continue to get the support they need through this amazing program.”
Tom and Ann are active participants for most of the year at the Albuquerque Oasis, where Ann also volunteers once a week, but they find themselves gravitating during the months of January and April to classes offered at San Diego Oasis. The couple lived in San Diego for about ten years before moving to Albuquerque to be closer to their children and grandchildren, and still go back for long visits.
At both Oasis locations, the Staffords attend a lot of classes together, but feel just as free to go solo if it looks like a topic is going to satisfy an individual interest. Tom likes to learn more about science and history, and Ann find herself drawn to the arts, health and wellness and current events.
“The fact that we can both find so much that we are drawn to shows the breadth of the programming that’s available,” says Tom, who shares Oasis with others when the opportunity presents itself, which is pretty often.
“I find it’s interesting to relate just about any conversation to an experience or something I’ve learned about with Oasis. It’s a pretty easy segue,” he adds.
In addition to pursuing lifelong learning classes, Ann volunteers once a week at Albuquerque Oasis front desk, Tom volunteers with some other organizations in the community and they travel.