Joan & Tom are two of YOTO’s amazing volunteers who regularly frequent the YOTO offices – Joan providing friendly customer service at the front desk, and Tom helping to restock shelves in the Mini-Mall. This fall, they’ll also be participating in YOTO’s New Caring Couriers program (more on that here).

Learn a little more about Joan and Tom by reading their Volunteer Spotlight below!

Name: Tom Gardner (T)
Originally From: North Dakota (but has lived in Tucson for 10+ years)

Name: Joan Gardner (J)
Originally From: Aurora, Illinois (but has lived in Tucson for 10+ years)

What was your first job?

T: I sold phone equipment for a telecommunications company.
J: I worked at the Ben Franklin Five and Dime as a teenager in the pet department.

Where have you worked or volunteered?

T: Children’s Village (a foster care program of TMM Family Services), and I also serve on 2 HOA boards.
J: I taught for over 25 years in Colorado – both Special Education and regular K-12. I also volunteered in Tucson in a foster care group home.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

T: Living in a small town, where the whole town was our playground!
J: Spending time with my father outdoors and with music.

Please share one of your favorite quotes.

T: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” –David Farragut
J: “Being honest may not get you many friends, but it’ll always get you the right ones.” –John Lennon

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

T: A hawk. It’s fairly high up on the food chain, and who wouldn’t like to fly around all day?!
J: An elephant – smart, family-oriented, loves the sun and wallowing in the mud and water!

When you’re not volunteering your time at YOTO, what do you like to do?

T: I always look forward to my time at YOTO! I enjoy working in the Mini-Mall and seeing the students come in to pick up their supplies.
J: I enjoy swimming, painting, reading, golfing, and walking.

Why do you enjoy working at YOTO?

T: The staff seem to genuinely appreciate and volunteers and their efforts. It is gratifying to actually see and meet some of the kids that are benefitting from my efforts.
J: Education CAN make a difference. People here are genuine and positive!

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