Local Leader, Ella, Helps Share A Dignified Thanksgiving

November 22, 2015

2015-ella-miller-web500Who’s coming for Thanksgiving dinner at your house? A typical Thanksgiving meal at Ella Miller’s house will involve feeding 50+ family members. With 11 children and 26 grandchildren, you better know how to cook and be able to cook on a budget. Ella Miller can do both, but even then food costs make it difficult. She understands that many of her North Memphis neighbors aren’t able to feed their families anything special on Thanksgiving.

For the last 10 years, Ms. Ella has helped Oasis of Hope make it easier for families to celebrate Thanksgiving around a healthy delicious meal. Each October, Oasis of Hope signs up families to purchase a Thanksgiving basket of food for $7. What’s on the menu? Turkey, stuffing, sweet peas, corn, yams, mash potatoes, cranberries, cake mix, & frosting! Yum!!! And all of that for $7!! Thanks to Hope Presbyterian Church members’ food donations, the costs are kept to a minimum.

This year, Ms. Ella was our neighborhood coordinator. Families in North Memphis contacted her and within two weeks she had 184 families sign-up!!! The food baskets will be distributed from the Oasis of Hope ministry house on November 23rd with Ms. Ella directing volunteers to help unload. Over the years, this annual distribution day thanksgiving-food-drive100xhas taken place during rain, snow and even very warm temperatures which makes passing out frozen turkeys a challenge! Whatever the weather, it’s an exciting day because hearts are grateful for the Lord’s provision of a celebratory meal.

If you would like to donate food items and support families like Ella’s, please bring donations to Hope Church. Look for the shopping carts or leave the food behind your car during the service.

– Turkey (frozen, 10-12 lbs)
– Canned green beans
– Canned peas
– Canned corn
– Canned yams
– Boxed instant potatoes
– Cranberry sauce
– Stuffing
– Cake mix
– Vanilla Frosting

If you would like to know more about this ministry, please contact kathleen@oasis-of-hope.com.

A Turkey for You A Turkey for Me; Donate Food Items

November 20, 2015

thanksgiving-baskets-100x11The Thanksgiving Holiday is soon upon us and many people are looking for ways they can make a difference by helping out a family in need.

Many families in our Oasis neighborhood struggle on daily basis to put food on the table, let alone a feast of Thanksgiving over the holiday. However, a complete Feast Box including the turkey and ALL the fixings for just $7 provides a great meal to celebrate what God has given us. It also provides the dignity of purchasing the meal for their family, along with the joy of getting an unbelievable deal. Empowerment and blessing are the goal and your participation helps us spread the joy of the season to as many families as possible.

What does this look like and how does this work?

1. Volunteers donate the following food items & bring them to Hope Church Nov. 7-22 (drop off donations in the marked carts at Hope Church or just leave them behind your car while you attend services):

– Turkey (frozen, 10-12 lbs)
– Canned green beans
– Canned peas
– Canned corn
– Canned yams
– Boxed instant potatoes
– Cranberry sauce
– Stuffing
– Cake mix
– Vanilla Frosting

2. North Memphis residents order their complete Thanksgiving baskets by turning in their order forms and $7 to one of our North Memphis ministry offices. Local residents within the community help to organize, collect, and distribute the baskets.

3.  Volunteers can help collect, sort, and package items on the following days. If you would like to volunteer for this, please call 901-201-4104 or email Megan. We will be collecting and, sorting, and boxing up meals on the below dates and could use your help!!

Saturday, November 7, 14 & 21 – 5:15 to 6:45 pm- collecting and sorting
Sunday, November 8 & 15 – 8:00 am-9:15 am / 9:15 am- 10:45 am / 10:45 am- 12:30 pm
Sunday, Stirring Services – November 8, 15 & 22- 5:15 pm- 6:45 pm- Collecting and sorting
Tuesday, November 17 - 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm- pre-packing boxes
Sunday, November, 22 – 8:00 am- 1:00 pm- collecting, sorting, packing, and distributing to ministries.

We could also use a couple of SUVs or trucks to help collect from the outside parking lot.

4. Volunteers and Oasis staff distribute complete baskets in North Memphis for pick up on Monday, November 23rd.



Don’t Be a Cotton-Headed Ninnymoggins; Get Involved!

November 18, 2015

elf1Buddy the Elf gets EXCITED about Christmas … and TOYS … and giving to others! And he’s already smiling because smiling’s his favorite!! Why you ask??

Because Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year of course! You remember what it was like when you were a kid: exploding with the excitement of opening your presents and playing with your new toys on Christmas morning! That excitement is multiplied across the entire family when parents have the positive self-esteem of purchasing their presents themselves instead of receiving hand-outs.

That’s where the Oasis Toy Store comes in – your donations (time, toys or money) help us to provide deeply discounted, brand new, trendy toys at prices that can’t be found elsewhere. The store is designed for neighborhood families and those in significant financial need. Having a quality neighborhood outlet in the North Memphis community is essential to empowering parents to provide the best Christmas for their children themselves.

In addition, the Toy Store employs four local adults from the community, providing job training in customer service, sales, management, and cash register operation.

Store location: Inside the Oasis Appliance warehouse, 1294 N. Thomas Street, Memphis, TN 38107, T:  901.577.0013

Store Open dates/hours: Dec. 1-12, Tues-Sat 10am-4pm.

But in order to pull off an operation like this, we need some elves to help with the following:

VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME: Volunteer to work in the Oasis Toy Store. The joy you, your family, or small group can get from helping parents provide name brand toys for their kids at unbeatable prices will make this Christmas one you’ll never forget! And we need LOTS of help. Just a few of our needs are: toy purchasing, store set up, pricing, stocking shelves, decorating, buying supplies, greeting, sales reports, tear-down, clean-up, etc. Much of the above will take place during the end of November and first couple of weeks of December. If you are REALLY excited about this, we are also looking for new coordinators this year!

DONATE TOYS: Simply bring your new toys to Hope Church anytime (look for the marked bins). If you would like us to do the shopping for you, you can either donate online; or write a check to Oasis of Hope, put “Toy Store” in the memo and mail to 8500 Walnut Grove Rd, Cordova TN 38018.

Gifts ideas for Boys & Girls (target range is from 3-12 year olds):

-learning toys
-mega blocks

-action figures
-lego sets
-board games
-footballs, basketballs, balls
-Disney ‘Frozen’ toys
-Star Wars
– Marvel action figures
-AAA & AA batteries

-MP3 players
-itunes gift cards
-board games
-AA batteries
-cologne & aftershave

Paying it forward and giving to others is what makes Christmas feel so meaningful and memorable. Learn from Buddy the Elf and get in the holiday spirit! This may be a new ministry that God will use in your life to make a difference, both in you and in our city. If you would like more information, please contact us!

Love People? Like #s? Get Certified to File Taxes-It’s Easy!

November 16, 2015

Oasis-VITA-100x116OASIS VITA TAX ASSISTANCE – If you enjoy working one on one with people, are comfortable using a computer, like numbers and have used tax software in the past (such as TaxCut or TurboTax), then we’d love to have you volunteer your gifts with the Oasis VITA (volunteer income tax assoc) site from late January through the beginning of April on Saturday’s 9:30-1pm at the Bickford Community Center. Training sites are available to help you get prepared for the season and to learn how to enter information in the program and the program prepares the return. This is an IRS sanctioned site so you will need to go through the simple on-line training and certification pre-work (not hard). The site is a low-income tax site so the returns we work with are very basic with our goal of making sure each customer gets the full credits they qualify for. This is a very important way to plug in to the North Memphis community for a small amount of time commitment. If you’d like to get involved, please contact Peggy at pfball@memphis.edu


Oasis and Hope Partner with Habitat for Humanity!

November 14, 2015

habitat-oasis-banner-web500Oasis of Hope and Hope Church partner with Habitat for Humanity in building 25 new homes for families in Uptown/North Memphis!

Through a strategic partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis, God is paving the way for many families to have new, quality, and affordable places to call home.

Today, November 2, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, announced that Oasis’ site, Bearwater Park, will be the focus of their 2016 build (read Habitat’s Facebook post here). This means that 25 new homes at our subdivision will be going up to complete the next building phase, bringing our total to 35 homes! We are beyond honored to partner together to make a significant difference in our North Memphis community!

There will be numerous volunteer opportunities to work on this project alongside the former president and other habitat-oasis-eli-rufus-tercelebrities in the new year (such as Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood who were also present today).

Please join us in praying for this outreach and that the myriad of details will come together to make this a reality, and that God will connect the families of His choosing to be able to call this new subdivision a warm neighborhood and home.

Get your hammers ready!

Hope Again: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…and Re-purpose

November 12, 2015

hope-again-second-hand-boutHope Again has been a monumental endeavor and we want to thank all of you who have lugged your donations to the store, who have worked tirelessly as a volunteer, and who have shared the vision and helped spread the word! However, after much consideration, our Executive Committee has decided we need to re-purpose and re-evaluate the store to make it as profitable for the less-advantaged as possible.

Three years ago we created Hope Again for three reasons:

  • To provide ‘gently used’ items to those who need them most
  • Be financially self-sustaining
  • Donate profits to give to local and global missions

Although we have done a good work and helped many people, after evaluation, regrettably we have not satisfactorily fulfilled these three reasons to a level we are comfortable with. The current location costs and business model is proving to be too expensive and unsustainable; a new business model remaining in Germantown-Cordova would necessitate over $100,000 in capital as well as operation costs, which is just not economically doable.

appliance-store-sign-web500Therefore, we have come to a decision to “re-purpose” this outreach ministry and relocate some (not all) of its functions to North Memphis. A Steering Team from Hope Church has investigated securing space in the Oasis of Hope Appliance Store, and have conducted a feasibility study and determined that “gently used” furnishings would be a value-added commodity in this neighborhood that would assist under-resourced families and would be financially self-sustaining.

What does this mean for you?

First of all – PRAY: please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom, and that we would be wise stewards of His resources. Also pray for the transitioning from East to North Memphis, and that people would remain passionate about continuing to support this missional cause.

Secondly – KEEP DONATING: please continue to bring your gently-used items to Hope Church (everything except for clothing); look for the ‘Oasis Appliance’ trailer (Entrance 3/upper parking lot/near Noah’s Ark), or for larger items, fill out the large item pick-up form.

Thirdly – KEEP VOLUNTEERING: consider volunteering your time at our North Memphis location, 1294 Thomas Street (contact Terry for more information).

Our plan will be for Hope Again to remain open through November 14. Be sure to stop by for the moving sale!

Thank you for all of your support and encouragement as we continue our goal of helping those less-advantaged by purging our closets.

The Executive Team, Hope Church

Fall is an Important Time to Support Oasis Financially

November 10, 2015

camper-reading-bible-web100This time of year is always challenging financially for the ministry. We are still a couple months out from our year-end donation drive and these are some of the most expensive months on the calendar:

  1. All of our fall outreaches are being launched, requiring materials, food, transportation, increased staffing, etc. The costs of which easily extend beyond an additional $15,000.
  1. You may not realize it, but our Toy Store ministry has to purchase 60% of the toys we sell and that outlay happens over September and October, adding $10,000 in expenditures.
  1. This year we have an amazing opportunity to send staff, volunteers and neighborhood friends to the amazing Christian Community Development Conference (CCDA) for education and encouragement. But many cannot afford the $209 registration fee so we are helping with scholarships which may total an additional $3,500.
  1. We are in the process of preparing Bearwater Park for phase II construction. Even though we have some grant funds for the actual home construction the prep work and engineering plans are in process to the tune of at least $7,000.
  1. Finally, we were blessed with a partial grant to fund the purchase of a ministry van! However, there was $2,400 still to be covered.

We know with the downturn in the market, it isn’t the best time to ask, but if you happen to have the capability of giving a gift to the ministry – the timing couldn’t be better for us. If you would like to address a specific ministry area, let us know. You can write checks out to Oasis of Hope and mail to 8500 Walnut Grove Rd, Cordova TN 38018 (or place in the offering bucket at Hope Church); or you can donate online.

Thank you again for your interest, prayers and support of Oasis of Hope!

Terry Hoff
Director, Oasis of Hope

Jasmine Went From Oasis Participant to Oasis Staffer!

November 08, 2015

God doe2015-jasmine-web500s amazing things when you submit yourself to His will!

At the inception of Oasis of Hope, I was in the 7th grade at Humes Middle School. My life would be forever changed by the existence of “The Green House” which was a safe haven for all the children of the neighborhood run by Oasis. We were able to go there to hang out and just be kids!

Eventually, we started having Bible studies and other events and the staff and volunteers willingly shared their lives with me and gave me a whole new perspective of the world! At some point in my Jr. High years a shift happened in my mind, and I started taking ownership of my community. From that point on I knew I would be a part of the good changes that would happen in my neighborhood!

In the Fall of 2009 I went away to Union University for college, but due to unfortunate circumstances I had to return to Memphis. I immediately got re-involved with the Oasis programs; everything from Bible Studies to Vacation Bible School, and in the Fall of 2010, I enrolled in classes at the University of Memphis and I received a scholarship from Oasis of Hope to pursue my higher education. I graduated from the U of M in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Supply Chain Management.

My desire was to continue to be involved with Oasis just as a volunteer and pursue a career in business, however, God had His own plans and my time to do my part for God’s Kingdom had come. Through the transition of several different staff members, God was calling me to accept a staff position with Oasis. It took me a moment to reflect over my life to see how God had equipped me for what He was calling me to. In November 2014, I said “yes” to God’s calling for me and obeyed His command. I am now the Middle School Youth Developer! I am willingly sharing my life with the youth in the same community I grew up in, so that God can use me to ignite a fire in their hearts for Jesus! It has been a surreal feeling to see all this come full circle, but it’s only because I chose to submit to God’s will.

Jasmin Martin, Oasis of Hope Middle School Youth Developer

Generations of Parents Want In to our Read2Succeed Program!

October 17, 2015

2014-read-to-succeed-100x11It’s not “Fried” words, but Fry Words that our elementary students are given an extra serving of at Read2Succeed (R2S)!  Last year, at R2S we paired 22 students (ages 2nd-5th grade) with 22 coaches. The student-coach team read together once a week for 9 months. They focused on reading fluency with Fry Words, comprehension & read Bible lessons. The results showed that 95% of our students gained 200 words or more from their baseline at the beginning of the school year! 70% of all students gained 400 words or more to levels above their grade level!

If it seems like Fry Words are a big deal, it’s because if a student doesn’t recognize these foundational words on sight they are unable to read at their full potential. According to The National Institute for Literacy, “Having a bank of sight words releases a reader’s attention needed for comprehension and for figuring out more difficult and less frequent words.”

At R2S, we have seen evidence of improved reading comprehension, with 57% of students achieving reading comprehension accuracy ranging from 81-100% at their grade level.

Oasis of Hope has been around for 14 years now … and during 13 of those years the Miller family from North Memphis has enlisted numerous family members to participate in R2S because they believe in it so much. Uncles (Jimmy & Kevin), aunts (Elizabeth), nieces/nephews (Jamie & Javonte), and now the next generation (Trey), have all signed up to participate in this one-on-one reading program that is helping kids read more efficiently. And we have the proof to prove that it’s working.

Of course, we aren’t so focused on reading that we don’t have time for a little fun. Building relationships is just as important! It’s so important that most of our students remain in R2S all four years and many of our coaches have been volunteering for 10-13 years. Together we pray, celebrate birthdays, visit Hope church, attend monthly field trips, annual swimming parties and this year, we’ll participate together in service projects. Growing in mind, body & soul WITH each other.

If you have time Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00pm and want to be an important part of a child’s educational, spiritual, and emotional development, prayerfully consider becoming a Read2Succeed coach.

If you’d like more information about Read2Succeed, please contact Kathleen. If you are interested in any of our other programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram (@oasisofhope).

Back to School Volunteer Opps – Ways to Get Involved!

October 15, 2015

student-taking-test-100x116Curious about us? You’ve been hearing about Oasis for 14 years now, but have you visited our offices and seen our ministry neighborhood? Come be our guest and join us for our Oasis Open House/Neighborhood Tour July 29 or August 26 at 6:00pm and let us show you around! We’d love to share with you the big picture of why we are located in and committed to North Memphis.

Curious if there is a volunteer opportunity that fits you? Whether you like to work with younger kids, older teens, tutoring, singing, biking, Bible Studies, senior citizens, work in retail, or more, we can plug you in, whether you are looking for a light touch entry or are ready to go deep!

Following is a list of numerous ways to get involved. Click here for more details like days/times/locations/contacts for the below opportunities.

In School Tutoring at Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary
Pathfinders Jr. High Mentoring
Pathfinders Jr. High Tutoring
Life Builders Sr. High Mentoring
Empowerment at Manassas High School
Manassas Football Volunteer Coaching
Lion’s Cage at KIPP Middle School
Warrior Princesses Girls Club
Oasis Bike Shop
Angel Street Choir

Email us, call us, come to our Open House and let us answer your questions. We’d love to have more volunteers so we can expand our reach!

We’ll equip you! We will have a prospective Volunteer Training on August 31 and September 3rd (attend both days) at the Bickford Community Center from 5:30-7pm. During training, you can expect to learn:

– How to build relationships that have consistent impact
– How to develop cross cultural relationships
– Effective mentoring practices
– How to maintain healthy relationship dynamics and boundaries with youth
– An understanding of Oasis of Hope’s vision and mission, and much more!

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 (@oasisofhope).

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