Batter Batter Batter Swing! It’s Time to Play Baseball!

April 20, 2016

oasis-summer-baseball-100x1Spring always makes us think of showers, flowers … and baseball! We are geared up and ready to play ball with your kids!

How Can Your Child Get Involved:

Practices: Mon-Fri, 4:00-5:45pm at the Bickford Community Center, now until school starts
Ages: 5-14
Enrollment Procedure: Just show up at the field and parents can sign a permission form
Fees: None
Games Played at: Will Carruthers Park, 3880 Neely Road, Field #1

Join Coach Barry (a leader from the neighborhood) as he heads up summer baseball for the 9th year in a row! We are also excited to have KIPP’s PE administrator, Coach Cleo co-coordinating again for his 3rd year. In addition, another local young man, Dante, has joined the coaching staff and is currently playing baseball at Lane College!

Offering a healthy alternative and providing kids a positive activity provides the following:
1: Keeps kids out of trouble when they have ample free time
2: Brings baseball back to the inner city
3: Provides a potential means for a college scholarship
4: Brings our community together

How Can You Help?

We need more coaches. If you love baseball and kids, we’d love to have you join our volunteer coaching staff! We are especially needing a pitching coach and a t-ball coach.

We need donations. We purchase team uniforms, cover all program fees, provide transportation to games, and offer snacks. If you would like to support this ministry, we’d truly appreciate your donations.

Game Schedule for 10 and under (watch website/social media for additional games to be posted):
April 23, 1:00pm
April 26, 7:30pm
April 30, 11:30am
May 3, 7:30pm
May 7, 11:30am
May 10, 6:00pm
May 14, 11:30am

If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Terry. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Tax Season is Over! Thank You To Our Tax Volunteers!

April 18, 2016

2015 VITA (1)April 15th, 2016 has officially passed and our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) team has wrapped up another successful season of serving our North Memphis families by providing honest, reliable, and free tax filing.

This year, our team filed 95 returns, producing a savings of $271,047!

Since 2016 marked our tenth year of offering this service, we have cumulatively filed 1,667 returns and saved our community $2,984,047, allowing that money to be invested back into families and into the neighborhood!

Director Peggy Fulmer Ball recalls a favorite memory from this year: “We had two stories of men who were returning clients and brought their college student sons with them this year. We were able to confirm they had tax credits coming if they could get the necessary forms from their schools. They each came back with the 2015 VITA (7)paperwork the next week and we were able to help them get the maximum refunds. It was so awesome to assist these families working to improve the lives of their children!”

We cannot thank our volunteers enough for their faithful commitment and willingness to spend weeks of Saturdays serving and loving on people. If you are interested in being involved on this team next year, training is provided and you do not need to be a certified accountant.

If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Peggy. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Rent Selma Then Attend the Justice Tour June 3-5

April 16, 2016

justice-tour-ella-miller-20Did you see the movie ‘Selma’ last year? If not, rent it, then sign up to go on the Justice Tour and watch history come to life as you experience a glimpse of the labored path to civil rights!

SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernays tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. View the trailer here.

Then after the movie, make plans to join us on the annual Justice Tour, June 3-5 where Pastor Eli and Hope Urban have been walking people over the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL for years to literally and metaphorically give us a glimpse of what African-Americans have gone through to bridge the gap to equal rights, beginning with their fight to be allowed to vote.

Can you imagine what it feels like to walk under the actual arch where Bloody Sunday occurred on March 7, 1965 … and hearing how African Americans peacefully marched to gain voting rights but were brutally attacked by police with billy clubs to break up the protest killing men, women and children, ultimately hospitalizing over 50 people … and then crossing that bridge yourself next to unified friends who are both black and white?

1st-baptist-church2-100x116This is just one of the many stops on the Justice Tour as we attempt to walk the same paths as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others did in the late 50s and 60s during turbulent times in our country as they fought for equal rights for all. It is a powerful history lesson listening to the stories of that day from many first-hand witnesses as we visit Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Memorial, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (which was bombed in September of 1963, resulting in the death of 4 young girls – as is seen in the movie), attend services at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and more.

Elle Miller (in the above picture), Oasis of Hope leader, volunteer, and North Memphis resident attended the Tour in recent years. “I really enjoyed everything. I learned a lot of history in such a little amount of time. Everyone should go on this trip! ” – Elle Miller

Eli and urban staff will escort you on this unforgettable journey. We leave Friday morning, from Hope at 6am on a charter bus, and return Sunday at approximately 6pm.

While on the bus we view some movies (Selma included!), have discussions, and get more historical background on the Civil Rights march to freedom from Eli. This is an informative tour about the struggle for equal rights, but also packed with fun as we fellowship and make friends with a lot of Hope members we never knew before! Your transportation, snacks, most meals, hotel accommodations (based on double occupancy), and tour fees are covered by the $225 fee; ($325 fee for non Hope members). You will need money to purchase a couple of lunches and possibly souvenirs.

If you are interested in joining us or would like more information about the trip, contact Megan. If you would like to register, click here. Space is limited to 35.

Who: Adults interested in a 3-day Journey of Civil Rights Heritage
When: June 3-5, 2016
Where: Selma, Montgomery & Birmingham
Click here to view Justice Tour Photos

If you would like more information regarding our ministry, email us. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Hail to the Chief! Oasis and Habitat Week: Aug 21-27

April 14, 2016

web176x176The 2016 Jimmy & Roslalynn Carter work project is coming to Bearwater Park this summer!

Every year Habitat for Humanity and President Carter chose ONE location around the world to make an impact in providing quality/affordable housing. This year it is in partnership with Oasis!

Mark your calendars for the week of August 21 – 27. There will be many volunteer opportunities to build and serve those doing the building. You may even bump elbows with a celebrity or two.

We so thankful that God connected us with Habitat and are beyond honored that our neighborhood has been chosen to receive this blessing. Connect with us on social media and our website to receive the latest updates on the progress.

Ms Outstanding Teen Devotes Her Platform to Inner City Kids

April 12, 2016

gabby-web500Every now and then, someone comes along who challenges my thinking and makes me intrinsically want to do better, do more, and be a better person. Today, I am challenged by an amazingly inspirational 15-year-old (did you hear me say FIFTEEN people??!!) actually speak louder than her perfectly stated pageant expectations. Take notice!

Gabriella Genereaux is the reigning 2016 Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen as of January, and despite seeing a lot of these titles myself, I have to say she TRULY is proving herself to be even *more than* outstanding!!

Winners of such a prestigious titles are expected to have a platform they believe in passionately, make a difference in their communities, and be ready to carry it out with a fierce plan. Gabby desires to “help inner city children in as many ways as possible.” Well … Oasis of Hope is more than blessed for her kind of dedications because she IS making a difference in North Memphis week after week!

More specifically, Gabby’s platform is “Love Never Fails, based off of 1 Corinthians 13 which tells us love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. My passion is working with inner city children, and no matter what I do with them whether it be playing on the playground, or simply just talking with them, the most effective thing of all is just showing them love.”

Gabby … thank you for LOVING our kids!!!!!

Currently, Gabby is mentoring Saniaa in Oasis of Hope’s Read-2-Succeed program, a weekly commitment where she invests in a relationship with Saniaa as well as promotes her increased educational capacity through reading together and improving her educational skills, and investing in her spiritual well-fare as well (after-all, she is working with an Oasis program).

And this is just the beginning. Gabby has lots of additional ideas!! As well as collecting over 2,000 donated books for the Oasis of Hope reading library, she also has plans to use those books for a ‘Little Free Library’ project where she and her dad plan to build poles to put up in North Memphis where families are encouraged to take a book/leave a book. Watch for details on this!

She also has a ‘Bike-a-thon” in the works, scheduled for Shelby Farms in partnership with the Oasis Bike Shop to raise money for inner city kids who desire to attend Bible camp this summer at KAA (Kids Across America). Stay tuned for details about this as well and be sure to support her efforts by being involved! This is compassion, and education, and spiritual development, and physical fitness combined!!!

So Gabby … we are your BIGGEST fans!!! Even if your future titles don’t go exactly as you planned, we see that you are a total SUPERSTAR in North Memphis!! Thank you dearly for your platform involving the investment in Oasis of Hope kids … we absolutely believe they are WORTH it!!!!

Pastor Coop Recaps the Easter Service In His Own Words…

April 10, 2016

web3-215x215 Check out Easter Extravaganza pics here.

What an awesome God we serve!

We had an amazing time on Easter Sunday; our Easter Extravaganza was a great success! We experienced rocking praise and worship, a radical word, and a remarkable egg hunt for the kids.

For me personally, the highlight of the day was not the turnout of 350 men, women, youth and children, but the highlight happened when I felt lead to break away from the service and check out the parking lot which was filled to capacity to my surprise. As I was outside, I noticed two young adult females walking away from the lot out the back gate. I immediately engaged them by asking, “Hey! Where are ya’ll going?”

One of the ladies replied as I introduced myself, “I don’t have on the right clothes. I didn’t know this was a church service. I need to go change because I don’t want people looking at me and talking about what I am wearing.”

web4-215x215At that moment it became apparent to me why I had been lead to slip outside. It was a moment that God would have no one else to seize, but the Pastor of this “New Kind of Church!” I comforted the young lady with these words, “We’re not that kind of church. You can wear whatever you have to wear. We won’t judge you. This will be the kind of church where all are welcome to come just as they are. No one will judge you here because it is God’s job to judge us all.”

My words assured her, and we went into the building to worship. That moment confirmed for me that God has us in the right place, at the right time, for the right reasons in North Memphis.

Many more stories happened on Sunday and more can be shared by others who also witnessed moving interactions. We’d love to hear other thoughts, highlights, and experiences.

Undoubtedly, I especially want to say, Thank you to all that made this day a success. Thank you to everyone for their prayers and support!

web2-215x215Remember these words, “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has entered into the hearts of men, what God has prepared….”

Stay tuned for updates on what is next for the church plant as we reach new milestones, with a goal of launching in the fall of 2016.

Blessings,

Pastor Coop
North Memphis Church Plant

Sign Up with Amazon Smile and Re-Enroll Your Kroger Card

April 08, 2016

kroger 275x303Kroger Requires You to Re-Enroll Your Desired Non-Profit Each January: Shop at Kroger and Donate 3-5% without writing a check!

Each January 1st, all Kroger Community Reward Participants are required to renew their organization of choice to receive Kroger reward payments. We are hoping you will choose Oasis of Hope!

It may seem like a small act, but it’s a huge help! Designating Oasis of Hope on your Kroger card allows you to donate to our ministry each time you shop for groceries or buy gas!

For example, if 2,500 people spent $100, Oasis could receive a total of $7,500!

We can do a lot of ministry with that!

It takes about 3 minutes and registering your Kroger Plus Card is easier than ever:

If you already have an existing Kroger account:

  1. Sign in to your Kroger account at www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Click ‘View Your Rewards Details,’ edit your Community Rewards, and search for ‘Oasis of Hope’ (or 80469). Click ‘enroll’

If you are registering your Kroger account for the first time:

  1. Creat an account at www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Follow the prompts to enter your email, password, & address.
  3. Click ‘View Your Rewards Details’ and designate Oasis of Hope as your Community Rewards recipient by typing ‘Oasis of Hope’ in the Search box (or #80469). Click ‘enroll’

That’s it!

amazon-smile-logo110x116AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Oasis of Hope! Same products, same service!

To designate your existing Amazon account:

  1. Go to www.smile.amazon.com (email/password); click ‘Sign In’
  2. Type “Oasis of Hope” in the search field (Cordova, TN) & select … then Start Shopping! From then on Amazon will remind you to sign in with using the ‘Smile’ site every time you log on.

If you believe in what we are doing in inner city Memphis, this is a valuable way to support us. If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

The Latest Update on the North Memphis Church Plant

April 08, 2016

In 2004 Hope Church followed through on their mission statement “to engage our unchurched neighbors of every age and ethnicity to experience Jesus” by committing to invest in families in an under-resourced area of North Memphis by developing Oasis of Hope and being a daily presence in an area where crime rates, economic decline and infant mortality are among the highest in the country … education, employment and annual income, among the lowest in the city.

In 2014, Hope committed to the natural next step of going even deeper by starting a new, vibrant, relevant, holistic, God-based community church that would leverage the work of Hope’s Urban and Oasis

Ministries to comprehensively serve the 38107 neighborhood residents to experience Jesus in an even greater way. Check out Pastor Eli’s sermon addressing this issue from 11/16/2014.

Since this announcement, much has been happening behind the scenes and Hope has hired Reverend Colley S. Cooper to serve as the North Memphis Church Planting Pastor. In May of 2015, Pastor Colley began the process of developing the church from the ground up, by strategically aligning himself with families, schools, businesses and other churches to build intentional relationships within 38107. Pastor Colley, a native of Memphis, has extensive experience working with disenfranchised persons and especially youth. He is a visionary desiring to motivate others to “do common things in an uncommon way.”

“We will be planting a new kind of church.”

Pastor Colley, his wife Sheri, and two sons, Kofi and Cohen, are fully committing to live out true life-on-life relationships with those they will serve by residing within the 38107 zip code or 1-3 miles outside of the targeted area.

Colley says, “I am moving my family into this neighborhood and will be planting ‘a new kind of church’ to reach those who do not currently go to anybody’s church…. We believe this will compliment (not compete) with the other good neighborhood churches and para-churches as TOGETHER we seek the peace and prosperity of 38107.”

What’s Happening Now?

  • Seeking out 15-20 leaders who will serve as the core launch team
  • Determining the church name/logo
  • Building relationships with community members who will potentially commit to attend the church

  • Starting weekly adult Bible studies to encourage relational and spiritual growth
  • Planning community events such as the Resurrection Easter Sunday Service and Oasis Easter Egg Hunt
  • Hiring a bi-vocational, part-time Assistant Pastor or Music Leader
  • Continuing the search to either purchase a building or to consider building on the land that was purchased in 2015
  • Launching the church in September 2016

Ways You Can Get Involved:

  • PRAY for God to lead in all areas of this endeavor, for Pastor Colley & his family, and for the above tasks to be done
  • DONATE financially to support the church plant
  • VOLUNTEER your time, skills, and passions if you’d like to be a part of the launch team
  • ATTEND the upcoming Bible Studies and community events
  • COMMIT to being a part of the church family as they launch in the Fall of 2016

Contact Info:
Office Phone: 901/881-5877
Email: colley@hopechurchmemphis.com

Don’t give glory to us, O Lord. Don’t give glory to us. Instead, give glory to your name because of your mercy and faithfulness. –Psalm 115:1 (GW)

If you believe in what we are doing in inner city Memphis, this is a valuable way to support us. If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

It’s Our 10th Year; We’ve Saved People Almost $3M!!

March 09, 2016

Oasis-VITA-100x116OASIS VITA TAX ASSISTANCE – To most of us, the phrase ‘Tax Season’ elicits feelings of dread, overwhelming piles of receipts and needed paperwork, and either forking out hard-earned cash to hire a professional or summoning the will to attempt filing on your own.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

At Oasis of Hope’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) center, our accountants are counting down until opening day begins and they will gladly dig into your numbers, help you find all the earned income credits you are due, present your needed information to the IRS, and send you on your way with no stress, a smile on your face, and tell you they are willing to do all of this at absolutely NO charge!

WHY? Because we care. Because we enjoy investing in more than just money, and want to invest in people too. We realize that by providing trusted and IRS trained volunteers, we are building relationships with North Memphis and offering them an honest, reliable way of filing returns at no cost with one of our main goals being to find each person all the earned income tax credits they are eligible for, as well as, saving them all the filing fees other companies charge. This saves many low-income families hundreds of dollars every year and puts these precious dollars back into their households and our community. The impact is not only individual, but positively effects the local economy as a whole.

“We have many repeat customers who come to us every year,” says former VITA Project Coordinator, Doug Edwards. ”One lady who stood out to me a couple of years ago had just lost her mother after also losing her father the previous year. In addition, she was dealing with her own health issues and had recently lost her job, so she was very much in a world of grief and needed someone to talk with and listen. I spent about an hour with her, not only reviewing her taxes but also talking about her situation and helping to boost her spirits. She called me after she got her refund and thanked me for the help and for being supportive and a good listener. Ours is not just a ministry of help, but a ministry of love. It is so much more than just doing their taxes. We get to know these folks on a personal level and they become our friends. They trust us, they appreciate the help, but they especially appreciate the personal attention we provide.”

This year serves as the beginning of our 10th tax season, and to-date our volunteers have filed 1,572 returns in the past nine years saving North Memphis residents $2,713,000 in tax credits and prep and filing fees!!

QUALIFICATIONS: Free tax help is provided to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance.

TO FILE: If you would like to file, simply stop by the Bickford Community Center (233 Henry Ave) any Saturday from 9:30am-1:00pm from January 31 through March 28. No appointment needed.

WHAT TO BRING:
Proof of identification
Documents showing real estate taxes paid last year
Social Security Cards (or individual Taxpayer ID Number, ITIN) for you, your spouse, and dependents
Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
Interest and dividend statements from banks (Form 1099)
A copy of last year’s Federal and State returns if possible
Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
Total paid for day care provider and the day care provider’s tax ID number
Information for other income
Information for deductions/credits

TO VOLUNTEER: If this kind of practical, hands-on ministry sounds exciting to you, we’d love to add you to our team! This is an IRS sanctioned site so you will need to go through a simple on-line training and certification pre-work (not hard). We will train and prepare you for electronic filing. For more information on volunteering, contact Peggy at pfball@memphis.edu or www.oasis-of-hope.com.

If you believe in what we are doing in inner city Memphis, this is a valuable way to support us. If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Merge Update-Hope Again, Oasis Appliance and Home

March 07, 2016

New logoThe merge of the Hope Again-Second Chance Boutique with Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings has been a huge blessing!

By merging the two stores, we are now able to directly benefit the community of North Memphis by providing quality, affordable appliances and home furnishings, as well as offer trustworthy warranty’s and build relationships with families! In addition, we provide job training and employment to local community members and are grateful to contribute these services to our under-resourced area of North Memphis!

The vastly expanded furniture and home décor inventory have allowed us to meet an entirely new set of customer needs. We did not transport the clothing line from Hope Again, but the other line of products have blessed the community and helped the sustainability of the store significantly.

How Can You Help? Donate / Shop / Volunteer – Many of the same needs continue … we need good quality, slightly used donated items, as well as volunteers to sort/price/sell etc., and customers to make it all work. If you want to check us out, we’re at 1294 Thomas Street, in our North Memphis ministry area. Our expanded hours are 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Saturday. The store has a little more of a warehouse feel, but the deals are even better! If you have large items and need a pick-up, let us know.

Right now is tax season and is our busiest time! Because of this, our shelves are selling out quickly, especially in regards to appliances! If you have anything you’d like to donate, you can leave items in the “Oasis Appliance” trailer in the Hope Church’s parking lot; or you can arrange for pick-up, or call the store at 901-577-0013.

Every donation helps provide jobs in our community.

If you believe in what we are doing in inner city Memphis, this is a valuable way to support us. If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

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