Finding new purpose through Give 5

St. Louis Oasis’ first Give 5 class has graduated! Of the 13 participants who visited 15 nonprofit organizations, 21 placements were made.

Give 5 volunteers
Give 5 Volunteers
Give 5 Volunteers

The Oasis group graduated on Friday, December 2. See their news coverage by KMOV by clicking the button below!

Give 5, presented by United Healthcare, is a no-cost civic-matchmaking program that connects retirees with meaningful volunteer opportunities that best fit their skill sets and passions. Participants learn about the most challenging problems facing our community and uncover ways they can help make a difference in addressing them.

Oasis partners with Give 5 to match retired (or almost retired) older adults with area nonprofits in a volunteer capacity. Each class meets from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for five Mondays to visit several local nonprofits in our region. At the completion of the program, participants choose one or more of the nonprofits to volunteer their time and talents for at least one year.


Because the future health and vitality of our community depends on it. With an army of skilled baby boomers already retired, and another wave of boomers retiring over the next few decades, the communities that figure out effective volunteer matchmaking will be the ones that thrive and offer the best quality of life.


The program is held at various locations around St. Louis and consists of five sessions over five weeks Mondays from 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Participants will be introduced to and tour approximately 13 different non-profit agencies and celebrate their selections with a graduation event. Program days last between 6 to 7 hours, with lunch and snacks included.

• Day one includes an orientation.
• Each day, participants board a bus to visit various nonprofit locations. Each class session is interactive, fun, and social.
• Visits to nonprofits allow participants to “see behind the curtain” to better understand the types of volunteer opportunities available.
• After the last regular program day, participants are encouraged to commit to a volunteer opportunity.
• A short “graduation” celebration wraps up the program.

Interested in participating in future classes for the Give 5 civic matchmaking program presented by United Healthcare?

To participate, please complete the form below. If you are having difficulty completing the online form, you can print this form and e-mail it to St. Louis Oasis at We will follow up with you soon!

Give 5

Areas of interest for volunteering - select all that apply:

Do you know someone who might also be interested in the Give 5 program? If so, please let us know and we’ll reach out to them!


Give 5 is an in-person training event. Participants will be shuttled throughout the community to tour and learn about participating nonprofit agencies. Due to the nature of the format, and for the safety of all, Give 5 program participants are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and to wear a mask while in contact with others.

When former Mayor Jim O’Neal retired after decades running a trucking and logistics business, he looked forward to some down time and maybe a few weeks of travel in the RV that he and his wife Debbie bought a few years ago. What he was not expecting, however, was the disorienting feeling that so many retirees get after a lifetime keeping busy with a fulfilling career and civic engagement.

“It was definitely challenging for me,” O’Neal said. The busy former Mayor was accustomed to a packed schedule and lots of interaction with people and ideas. He said the Give 5 program helped him plug back in.

“If a former mayor can feel isolated, anyone can,” says Give 5 founder Greg Burris. Give 5 was launched in late 2017 as a civic engagement initiative.

Burris, a former city manager, recognized a series of macrotrends that he felt could be addressed with one, single program that helped connect retiring or retired baby boomers with meaningful volunteer opportunities in the community. Roughly 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day in the United States, for a 19-year span. That wave of talent has skills, experience and for the first time in their lives, time.

The program’s goal is to not only fulfill the needs of local nonprofit organizations, but to combat the social isolation and loss of purpose associated with retirement.

“No one tells us how to retire. We discuss our financial futures when getting ready for retirement, but no one tells you how it’s going to feel when you turn in your key,” Burris said.

Oasis has partnered with UnitedHealthcare to bring the Give 5 Civic Matchmaking Program to Clayton at no cost to participants.

It’s a way for retirees and seniors to apply their talents and passions directly to a community’s primary areas of need. “We call it civic matchmaking,” Burris said. “The program provides the journey to find the best individual fit between program participant and nonprofit volunteer opportunity.”

5 Macrotrends that Give 5 Addresses Simultaneously:

  1. Wave of Talent on the Move – 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day for 19 years, but most are not seeking a “traditional” retirement
  2. Largest Boomer Health Risk – social isolation is a large and growing health issue
  3. Growing Need to Strengthen Community Fabric – the power of a shared experience and meeting people outside of your bubble
  4. Increased Importance of Volunteerism – nonprofits need additional skills and talents in this hyper-competitive labor market
  5. Largest Transfer of Wealth in History – it’s underway . . . where will those legacy gifts be directed?

Blog Author: Cora Scott