Not long ago one of our regular class participants, Liz Lippa came to Oasis after a rough weekend. Her son had a major heart attack and her cousin passed away. She was feeling low. “I just wanted to climb into bed and pull the covers over my head,” she said, but then she realized that what she really needed to do was to get out and talk. She got out of bed and headed to her St. Louis Oasis Women’s Roundtable group.
Twice a month she attends the discussion group for women, where she has developed a close circle of friends. (Oasis also features a Men’s Roundtable that meets twice each month.) Oasis volunteer Pat Magee leads the group, bringing in guest speakers and facilitating discussions that range from world issues to personal experiences. The group is more than a class, they are friends and a support network. Together they have faced loss of loved ones, battles with cancer and all of the challenges that arise through friendship and mirth. At Clayton Oasis on Monday afternoons, you’ll be sure to hear uproarious laughter coming from their classroom.
“Oasis is my community,” she said. You see, Liz moved to St. Louis in 2003 after she retired in order to be nearer to her children who live in Springfield, Illinois. She didn’t know anyone in the area, so she was very grateful when someone told her about Oasis. When she was trying to figure out what she would do in her new home, and how she would build a life, she received a catalog, which gave her direction. She began taking classes and making friends and in time, she found that she built a community for herself in her new town.
Liz has been active with Oasis now for nearly a decade, taking art, history and memory classes, among others. She says that she’s been able to explore new things and discover new passions through the classes offered, and when times are tough, she has her Oasis friends to rely on.
In 2013, we were able to offer 25,000 classes and programs with an enrollment of 142,000 members like Liz. We provided these programs in 48 cities and 26 states. To find a location near you, click here.