Wendy Davenport is dedicated to helping seniors enjoy their golden years. Through her work with Oasis, an educational enrichment program for seniors, Wendy combines her passion for teaching and working with seniors in one setting.
A volunteer with Oasis since 2005, Wendy has transformed the lives of many seniors in Central New York, helping them avoid the social isolation that often comes with aging.
Wendy and her late husband both began volunteering with Oasis in 2005. When her husband became ill and passed away in 2010, it was his dying wish that Wendy continue to volunteer. Wendy has done just that. Three weeks later, she was back to work at Oasis. During this trying time, Wendy says, “It was therapeutic for me to keep teaching my classes at Oasis while my husband went through treatments. I also found that it was therapeutic for others too in similar situations.”
Oasis is a non-profit educational organization for older adults that is active in 40 U.S. cities, including Syracuse, and reaches more than 50,000 individuals each year. The organization seeks to promote healthy aging through lifelong learning, active lifestyles and volunteer engagement. Members who come to Oasis are looking for a sense of purpose in life and often find companionship and feel a part of a community.
Wendy’s background as a retired high school teacher and a college professor has proven to be a good match for her work at Oasis.
Since 2007, she’s instructed over 58 classes at Oasis that include literature classes and training members and volunteers to coordinate classes and use the audio-visual equipment.
She is one of the 11 Oasis’ Leadership Team members who coordinate over 150 Oasis volunteers. She also volunteers at the front desk and helps edit the catalogs. In 2008, Wendy began facilitating the monthly Book Group to engage members and promote lively literature discussions. Today, she continues to offer these classes. “She’s the most generous person in the world. She puts others before herself and wants to make learning fun for all, no matter the age,” says Wendy’s daughter.
Wendy is also an active volunteer in the community. In addition to her work at Oasis, Wendy takes her certified therapy dog, Fiona, with her to nursing homes and senior centers to brighten the day of residents. She acts as a volunteer leader and liaison for the CNY Reads program to help connect the community through literature. Additionally, she speaks to senior groups in the community about Oasis and the services available to them.
Through her work with Oasis, Wendy Davenport truly helps seniors find their passion and their purpose as they transition to new chapters in their lives. Wendy says, “At Oasis, there have been so many people that I have touched and they have all touched my life too.”