What Does Summer Look Like With the New OEC?

May 21, 2018

read-to-succeed-pool-party-In the past we have connected our youth with external opportunities such as various summer Bible camps through For the Kingdom, Kids Across America, Hope Church’s The Great Escape, etc. We have also sought to introduce business mentors to our teens by providing professional guidance with resume building, job internships, and connecting them with business mentors and local companies who were willing to hire interns, in addition to challenging them by growing spiritually and by serving and giving back to the city they grew up in.

Now that we have the OEC (Oasis Enrichment Center … thanks to the City of Memphis donating use of the back end of the Bickford Community Center), we have the thrilling opportunity for the first time in 17 years to work with our youth on a daily basis weaving in these skills plus so much more! We couldn’t be more excited!

So, here’s a glimpse of what the Summer of 2018 will look like:

We are more than thrilled to offer our first Summer Leadership Institute June 11, 2018-August 2, Monday-Thursday from 9am-4pm!

UYI-camp-ambassadors-2012-web 100x116We have hand-selected 12 boys and 12 girls from each milestone age group (High school, Jr. High, and Elementary) – that’s 72 students total – to spend the summer growing in leadership to be our front runners this upcoming school year and to assist us in spearheading our goal of empowering this promising community.

Through the Summer Leadership Institute, we will equip our apprentices with the tools and support needed to advance in academics, leadership and teamwork, and life skills, through Christian mentorship, tutoring, life skills and leadership training, team building exercises, and peer to peer networking.

With a growing staff of excited youth employees with hearts ready to serve, we cannot contain our enthusiasm to invest in these awesome kids, in North Memphis, and in the City of Memphis as a whole!

If you are interested in supporting this summer youth ministry, there are three ways to help out:
- Pray for us! Pray not only for our growing youth program, but our ministry as a whole!
- Volunteer with us! Contact Ellyn if you love kids and would like to be a mentor!
- Donate snacks! Summer means kids don’t receive meals through their schools so any donated snacks are greatly appreciated!
- Donate financially! If you’d like to make a one-time donation or a recurring financial gift, we’d sure appreciate your donation!

Stay up-to-date on what our youth are up to this summer by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Spring Means It’s Time for Baseball! Batter Up!

May 07, 2018

manassas-baseball-100x116Our youth (and their parents!) desire fun and active things to do to stay healthy and to provide a positive environment that will keep kids busy from spring into the summer, like baseball!

We partner with A Game Sports to provide a program teaching fundamentals, team spirit and fun competition. Over the last few years we have had winning seasons by our Little League World Series teams as they put into practice what they’re learning. This year we plan to have 3 teams (Coach Pitch 8 & under, 10 & under, 12 & under/minors).

How To Get Involved:

Send Your Kids: Practices will be held most evenings at the Bickford Community Center baseball field. Schedules will be handed out at practice. If you have (or know) a young person who would love to experience this, give Coach Barry a call (or text) at 901-502-9135.

Volunteer: If you like baseball and have some time, we’d love your help coaching these awesome kids!

Donate: If you’d like to help make this American summer tradition possible for our kids (and free to them) – the costs for this outreach including coaching, league fees, equipment and transportation is roughly $4,000.

To volunteer or for more information about this ministry, contact Coach Barry. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

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

May 05, 2018

kroger 275x303Kroger Requires You to Re-Enroll Your Desired Non-Profit Each Year: 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 at Kroger, 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.

Shop online via Smile.Amazon.com rather than Amazon.com. Smile.Amazon.com has the same products, prices, and service as Amazon.com, and Oasis of Hope will receive a donation from Amazon equal to .5% of your purchases placed through Smile.Amazon.com.

Invite family and friends from across the country to support Oasis of Hope by designating Oasis of Hope, Inc. on their Amazon account and shop through Smile.Amazon.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 Instagram and Twitter.

Working Together To Provide A Food Pantry Partnership!

May 01, 2018

2017-4-food-pantry-web800We are excited about a new ministry partnership happening in North Memphis!

Often times ministry programs develop when one of our connected volunteers sees a need and is moved to help fill a void.

This is how Oasis Appliance began, and our Warrior Princesses program for middle school girls, and now … a food pantry aimed at assisting 60 North Memphis families whose children attend Memphis Scholars Caldwell Guthrie (MSCG) elementary school.

This came about after a volunteer reading tutor who works with students several days a month personally witnessed numerous students suffering from a lack of nutrition. Her heart was moved, she shared this need, and several partnerships began working together to do something about it! MSCG, Mid-South Food Bank, Hope City Church, and Oasis of Hope combined forces and have just begun to serve 60 families who will receive groceries and toiletries through this initiative. The food component of this mission has become an added value to MSCG’s new outreach center which also includes a clothes closet and washer and dryer.

2017-4-food-pantry-(13)-webSixty families have been carefully identified and are personally invited to receive the bi-monthly box of groceries and toiletries. This means that 30 families will be served every other month for the next 12 months (including the summer). Grocery boxes may consist of items such as canned fruit & vegetables, beans, cereal, juice and milk.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

In an effort to keep the boxes of food consistent, we are in need of financial donations to support this ongoing mission! Family boxes of groceries and toiletries cost approximately $25/each due to buying in bulk and utilizing assistance from organizations like the Mid-South Food Bank.

Donations can be made online or checks can be sent to Oasis of Hope, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, TN 38018. Please list ‘Food Pantry’ in the memo.

WHEN IS THE FOOD DISTRIBUTED?

This outreach is available every 2nd Saturday of the month from 11am-12pm, by appointment only.

We are grateful for the tender heart of the volunteer who looked way beyond her important mission of reading with students, and not only spoke up, but has now put into motion a practical, helpful program that will make a BIG impact in the lives of 60 families! That is what ministry looks like!

If you would like more information regarding this ministry, contact Crystal at (901) 527-0074 or Crystal@oasis-of-hope.com. For more information about our other ministries, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website for detailed information.

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146 Families Save By Filing Their Taxes At Our VITA Site

April 02, 2018

IMG_3165We had an another amazing year through our free tax assistance program Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)! Initially, we were concerned that we may have to close the site because our wonderful coordinator from last year had to leave to help take care of her aging parents but God had other plans! Ms. Ellen Williams, who originally grew up in North Memphis, spent much of her career with the IRS and wanted to give back in a meaningful way to her community and the Lord, so stepped in and oversaw the program. What a blessing!

On top of that, we had a very productive year with our faithful volunteers. This year they helped 146 families file returns and get refunds totaling $258,752. This added to the previous 11 years brings a total of 1,963 returns totaling $3,531,903 in refunds for the 2017 tax year. Then if consider the average cost of a $200 filing fee per return over that time (that we didn’t charge since our services are free), this gives an additional savings of $392,600.

So, approximately $3,924,503 has been put back into North Memphis family’s pockets through this practical 12-year ministry!

Praise the Lord for His faithfulness over the years and for providing such a blessing through our volunteers and through Ms. Ellen…we couldn’t do it without them!

Free Tax Filing! Our Goal is to Save North Memphis Money!

March 05, 2018

2015 VITA (3)LET US FILE YOUR TAXES FOR FREE!

It’s our 12th year and so far we’ve saved North Memphis over $3.6 million!

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.

vita-free-tax-filing-100x11“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 12th tax season, and to-date our volunteers have filed 1,817 returns saving North Memphis residents $3,636,551 in tax credits 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 10:00am-1:00pm in February and March. 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 Terry.

If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

NEW Counseling Services Now Available to N Memphis Adults!

February 20, 2018

neko-sharkey-215x215ADULTS NEED A BRIDGE TOO! (AGES 18 Above) Oasis of Hope is well resourced with staff and community partners who are equipped to nurture and serve as catalysts and springboards for adults within the community as well. These services are free and include but are not limited to:

Counseling (Individual, Family, and Couples -Married and Pre-Married)

Job Placement Assistance

Housing Assistance

Food Assistance Programs

GED assistance and tutoring

Higher Education and Career Planning

Personal and Household Budgeting

Home Ownership Readiness

Business Plans and Entrepreneurship Training

Addiction Service

Tax Filing

Adult services are offered weekly on an appointment only basis. Additionally, there will be subject specific sessions offered on a quarterly basis communicated to you in advance so you can schedule around it. Childcare will be offered during quarterly group sessions.

If you work in one of these fields and would like to volunteer your skillset, we’d love to add you to our team! Volunteers, please sign up here.

To receive OR offer assistance regarding these services, please email Pastor Neko Sharkey at neko.sharkey@oasis-of-hope.com or call 901.713.1836.

Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

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Oasis Executive Director Connected to Rev. Billy Graham

February 01, 2018

billy graham 2018View media clip of Terry Hoff recalling his experience with the Rev. Billy Graham as someone who worked for him and now continues to serve in ministry locally here in Memphis.

Did you know that our Executive Director used to be a crop farmer in MN 30 years ago? Read on about his incredible story that directly connects him to the Rev. Billy Graham …

After getting married in 1993, graduating college, and being asked by his dying father to give farming a chance, one desperate day as Terry spent hours on the tractor, he begged God for a more meaningful purpose … to which God challenged him to give up his newly acquired family farm, and move into a friend’s tiny basement apartment three hours away with his new wife to take a chance that Billy Graham might hire him because a Crusade was coming to Minneapolis.

And he was hired and served initially as the Volunteer Coordinator, then the Director of Love In Action as well as the Prison Ministry Manager, and then the Stadium Arrangements Coordinator. And that temporary job turned into ten years of being a part of Billy Graham’s traveling team of approximately eight people, including his wife, Karey, who was hired as the Assistant to the Director. They served in the cities of Minneapolis, Ottawa, Louisville, Indianapolis, Nashville, Cincinnati, Dallas, San Diego, and Los Angeles (as well as assisted in Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, St. Louis, San Antonio and San Jose). Along the way after becoming unexpectedly pregnant, they realized they should look for a job that resided in one city and provided stability for their children, so made the hard decision to leave a job both spouses loved and moved to Memphis instead of their next Billy Graham Crusade assignment, Manhattan, New York!

Thus, they moved to Midtown, Memphis to oversee Oasis of Hope, an inner city ministry in North Memphis that provides a holistic approach to supporting a neglected neighborhood.

So today has been emotional. It feels like we lost our spiritual Grandpa. We are thrilled for him, but sad for us as we say goodbye to our Nation’s Pastor. Rev. Graham … it was such an honor to work for you. Glad you have finally made it home.

-Karey

Donate To Oasis of Hope By Volunteering in the Kitchen!

February 01, 2018

web800We are so grateful to Hope’s Kitchen Ministry for awarding us a $50,000 grant to be used to renovate Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings after we suffered a devastating fire in August 2016. We are also thankful to Belz Enterprises, our landlords, who are also gifting us a very generous $60,000 as well!

We have been busy transforming our charred showroom, to one that is better than it was before!

If you would like to support this ministry, you can donate to our mission by working in the Hope Kitchen! Volunteer hours equal money towards our grant! The next opportunity to give in this way will be April 16-21, 2018. Please see the following schedule and sign up for a time slot that works for you: DOD Sign Up.

If you are interested in seeing what’s on the menu and purchasing some meals to simplify your life, we highly recommend it! The meals are always delicious and so convenient, especially as we approach the busy holidays! See details on what is offered here.

Please make sure you sign in and out on the time-sheet to make sure Oasis gets credit for your hours! And we cannot thank you enough for your generous support!!!

Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

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Volunteers Needed For Our NEW After-School Program!

January 03, 2018

1fav elementary r2s (2)Now that we have received the blessing from the City of Memphis to move into the back-end of the Bickford Community Center, we have expanded our youth programming to open our doors Mondays-Thursdays after-school from 2-6pm! That’s a lot of time to fill for neighborhood students in grades 2-12! We will still operate all of our familiar youth programs, plus are adding in several new ones!

Due to this, we will need a lot more volunteers to assist us! Following is a list of the volunteer job descriptions we are seeking:


Elementary Programs (1st-5th grades)
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Read2Succeed Reading Coach: Tutor a student in reading; Mon or Wed, 4:30-6pm
-Read2Succeed Character Education Coach: Implement character education lessons; Mon or Wed, 4:30-6pm
-After-School Counselor: Assist the elementary staff on a general basis; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Warrior Princess Mentor: Females needed to serve as personal mentors; Sat (1st & 3rd), 10am-12pm
-Lion’s Cage Mentor: Males needed to serve as personal mentors; Sat (1st & 3rd), 10am-12pm

Middle School Programs (6th-8th grades)1fav mentoring (4)
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After-School Counselor: Assist the staff in tutoring, planning, and general needs; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Pathfinders Mentor: Mentor 2-3 students & teach life skill lessons; Sat (1st & 3rd), 10am-12pm

High School Programs (9th-12th grades)
-
After-School Counselor: Assist the staff in tutoring, career planning, and general needs; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-LifeBuilders Mentor: Student mentoring and preparation for life beyond high school; Thurs, 6-7:30pm

General After-School
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Recreation & Sports Coach: Organize sports & recreational games in the gym; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Food & Snacks Team: Help pick up and organize, and pass out food and man the concession stand; Mon-Thurs, 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Floater: Help process the intake, transitions, security, and exit of students; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Van Driver: Pick up students from various area schools and drop off in provided vans; Days/Times TBA

Wednesday Night Club
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Small Group Facilitator: Teach Bible lessons and life discussions with small groups; Wed, 6-8pm
-Floater: Help process the intake, transitions, security, and exit of students; Wed, 6-8pm

If you are not able to volunteer your time, we also need prayer and financial support. Donate online to give a one-time gift, or even better, enroll in a monthly donation to support this expanding youth ministry

If you are interested in any of the above volunteer possibilities, we’d love to plug you in and have you join our team! For more information, please feel free to contact us!

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