Oasis Bike Shop Helps Kids Earn Bikes, Teaches Mechanics

January 21, 2015

oasis-bike-shop-collage-500Currently, the Oasis Bike Shop has seven young men from the inner city currently working through the Apprentice Mechanics Program where they are being trained in bicycle repair, safety and mechanics … all skills that may come in handy for either their personal health, or a possible career path someday.

In addition to learning the how-to mechanics of bike repair, local youth can also get involved in the Oasis Bike Shop Earn-a-Bike program by volunteering, learning, and helping out in the Bike Shop with the end result of earning and selecting their very own bike. While logging their 24 hours, they are learning how to run a small business, being taught how to fix, revive and recycle used bikes, and perhaps most importantly, they are being mentored by a caring adult who is interested in investing in not only their physical health, but also their emotional and spiritual well-being.

Group events are frequently planned to further bonding and to demonstrate what healthy living looks like. Thanks to the exciting growth in Memphis regarding the Greenline and the Hampline, there is a lot of buzz in the biking industry, and specifically in North Memphis.

Additionally, the Bike Shop is partnering with Memphis Leadership Foundation and Community Bikes to help empower the neighborhood biking community through education, safety and training. By working together, we hope to offer more services and to create a buzz about this healthy and fun activity and to make our shop a sustainable ministry that the North Memphis biking community is proud to call their own.

On Saturday, Jan. 24th at 7pm, the Mississippi Riverkings are sponsoring an Oasis Bike Shop night at the game and will be donating a portion of the proceeds to benefit our ministry. Please support our youth by attending the game!

Many thanks to the Bike Shop for recently repairing and donating eleven bikes to the Oasis Toy Store! What could be more fun and memorable than getting a bike for Christmas?

Currently we are open two days a week, but hope to expand our hours in the future. If you would like more information regarding this growing ministry check out the Oasis Bike Shop webpage, or if you would like to get involved, please contact us!

Shop Hours:

Tuesday 4:30-7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm

To Us Tax Season is an Exciting Way to Show We Care

January 12, 2015

Oasis-VITA-100x116At Oasis, we believe that relationships often begin by giving someone-in-need tanglible, practical help. Through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), our professional accountants and volunteers have saved North Memphis residents thousands of dollars … millions actually … which keeps money in families pockets to be used for necessary items like food and housing.

In recent years, tax filing had become dirty business in the inner city and several local businesses were charged for filing fraudulent claims and withholding money that was due people. But for eight years now, our trusted and trained volunteers have set up shop in the neighborhood for several weeks and faithfully filed honest returns – at no cost – with a main goal being to find each person all the earned income tax credits they are eligible for, as well as, save them all the filing fees other companies charge. This saves many low-income families hundreds of dollars every year and puts precious dollars back into their households and our community. The impact is not only individual, but positively impacts the entire family and local economy.

“We have many repeat customers who have come to us every year,” says former VITA Project Coordinator, Doug Edwards. ” I would estimate at least 50% of the people we serve have been coming back for at least 4 years. 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.

Over the past eight filing seasons, VITA volunteers have invested almost 2,475 hours of their own time, filed 1,460 returns, and saved people just shy of $2.5 MILLION dollars!!

We will be available to file taxes every Saturday from 9:30-1p at the Bickford Community Center from January 31 through April 11.

If you are interested in joining our volunteers (we’ll train you!), let us know! We’d love to add more members to our team!

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

It’s a Perfect Time to Attend Urban Plunge-Feb 19-22

January 10, 2015

memphis-neon-sign-web110x11

If you have never taken the Plunge, or need a refresher Plunge, join us this February!

We do a lot in a couple days, and the whole experience will stretch your mind, heart, and beliefs in a way you’d never imagine!

Pack your bags and spend 3 1/2 days with Eli, Terry and Urban/Oasis staff on our upcoming Plunge February 19-22, where you will hear the heart of our urban leaders and have your eyes opened to the many great things taking place in our city. You will leave changed and with a new outlook on the City of Memphis as you experience life in the inner city as well as cultural landmarks famous to Memphis’ civil rights history.

We leave Hope on Thursday evening and return to Hope Sunday afternoon. We have speakers come in, panel discussions about racism, visit approximately 10 of our ministry partners, tour the National Civil Rights Museum and Slave Haven, eat lunch on Friday in one of our many urban, soul food restaurants, eat Saturday dinner at Eli’s home, do an Oasis work project on Saturday from 8a-1p in North Memphis, and end the entire weekend by attending First Baptist Church on Broad Avenue.

urban-plunge-100x116Are you ready to Plunge???

Housekeeping details: We sleep at one of our ministry partners in a dorm-style fashion. We provide beds and you bring your own linens or a sleeping bag, toiletries, clothes, and a pillow. All your meals are provided along with beverages and snacks. The cost for members is $100 and $175 for non-members. Email Di for more information. Space is limited, so register today! For more information and to register call (901-507-1920) or email Di.

As of 2015 Kroger Asks You to Re-Enroll Your Desired Ministry

December 08, 2014

kroger-logo-110x116Shop at Kroger; Donate 5% to Oasis Without Writing a Check! Old concept; quicker process!

As of January 1, 2015, Kroger is requiring everyone to re-designate the non-profit you want to receive Kroger’s donation.

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 5% to our ministry each time you shop or buy gas without even sending us a check!

For example, if 2,500 people spend $100, Oasis would receive $5 from each purchase, or a total of $12,500!

We can do a lot of ministry with that!

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

  1. Go to www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Create an account & follow the prompts to enter your email, password, & address. You can even request a digital Kroger Plus Card.
  3. Designate Oasis of Hope as your Community Rewards recipient by typing our name in the Search box (or #80469)

If you already have a Kroger Plus Card, it’s even quicker:

  1. Go to www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Sign in to your account and view your reward details.
  3. Edit Community Rewards and designate Oasis of Hope as your Community Rewards recipient by typing our name in the Search box (or #80469)

That’s it!

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.

Big News! Hope Wants to Plant a Church in North Memphis!

December 06, 2014

bearwater-construction-julyWatch the video.

We at Oasis are very excited to announce a new outreach of our parent church, Hope Presbyterian, that has the potential to be used of the Lord to radically impact the lives of people in our community at a much deeper level. From our perspective, Oasis does a good job at touching lives, sharing the gospel and meeting practical/tangible needs of people in our area of North Memphis.

However, we are painfully aware of the need for deeper discipleship in the lives of our families that is best accomplished through a community church. Hope’s leadership has a passion to make a significant spiritual impact in the lives of the families we know, and many we haven’t met yet.  After 13 years of investment, the time seems right for the Lord to work in a new way in our neighborhood.  We are so thankful for Pastors Rufus, Craig and Eli for their support all these years and for their commitment to bringing real transformation to our neighborhood. Check out Pastor Eli’s sermon addressing this issue from 11/16/2014.

We’d love to surround this movement in prayer. Will you join us in praying for the following:

1. A full-time lead pastor and a bi-vocational assistant pastor or music leader
2. A strategic building in which to gather for worship and an outpost for service
3. 10-12 person church development planning team as well as other Hope Church volunteers
4. Continued favor from residents, businesses, schools, other pastors and stakeholders
5. That many will become Jesus-followers and that God’s name would be glorified/praised
6. Protection from evil and the evil one
7. Future indigenous neighborhood leaders

Please join us in support of this life-changing effort to engage the unchurched neighbors in our community to experience Jesus in a dramatically deeper way.  If you would like to support the church financially please designate “Urban Church Investment” in the memo, and you can either donate online, or write checks to Hope Church, and mail to 8500 Walnut Grove Rd, Cordova TN 38018.

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)

Bittersweet Changes to the Oasis Staff Roster

December 02, 2014

We are so excited to introduce to you two new members to the Oasis staff. However…they are not new to our ministry. Actually they have been involved with Oasis of Hope since the very beginning. First, Jasmine Martin was a young girl in elementary school when Oasis of 2014-11-oasis-staff-changesHope came into her neighborhood. She has been involved with us for more than a decade, first as a student, then as a volunteer, and finally as a coordinator. After graduating from the University of Memphis Jasmine has felt the Lord’s call to join the staff of Oasis of Hope in the role of our Middle School Developer. To have a passionate young lady who loves the Lord and her community like Jasmine does is a huge blessing to the ministry! Jasmine officially joined the team on November 17. Welcome Jasmine – we’re so glad you’re here!

Second is Kathleen McDonald. Like Jasmine, Kathleen has been with the ministry from the beginning, first as a volunteer, then as our first Youth/Education Coordinator, then back to being a volunteer again for a number of years. Now the Lord has led full circle to allow Kathleen to join us again as our Youth Ministry Manager. Her skills, experience, relationships in the neighborhood, and passion for God’s Word are what makes her an amazing gift to the ministry. We feel so blessed to have her back on staff and are looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in the lives of our young people in the coming year(s). Kathleen rejoined the team on November 10, welcome back All-Star!

All this good news doesn’t come without a cost, however. It is with HUGE sadness that we announce that Brenda Lampela, the current head of our youth department, is leaving for a new call. She and her husband Eric will be moving to Indianapolis at the end of the year. Brenda has beyond a doubt loved like Christ loves, served like Christ serves, and has been a HUGE reason for the growth in our youth ministry. Her organization, passion, and encouragement have often times been the glue that held the ministry together. Her deep friendship with staff, volunteers, students and parents will be missed maybe most of all. I can’t tell you how much her humble, joyful spirit has meant to me over the years. It is so hard to imagine ministry without this great soldier and dear friend! Brenda won’t be leaving until December 19th, so please take some time between now and then to tell her thanks for ALL she has done for the ministry here in North Memphis. Our lives are so much richer for having known her!

-Terry Hoff, Director

We Surely Practice Reading, But We Also Play a Little!

December 01, 2014

oasis-read-2-succeed-110x11Read-2-Succeed Field Trip with Great Outdoors University at St. Columba Retreat Center On Saturday, November 22

Our Read-2-Succeed students, parents, and volunteers had a day of fun and adventure with Great Outdoors University (part of the TN Wildlife Federation) at St. Columba Retreat Center!

This nature preserve is located on 145 acres of old-growth forest and rolling hills in Bartlett, TN. We spent the day exploring, taking nature hikes looking for animal tracks and traces of wildlife, and visiting the “Fairy Garden” where we built fairy houses and gnome homes.

We also roasted hot dogs and s’mores over a campfire for lunch. It was a wonderful day, and one that the students will remember forever!

View slideshow here.

The Concept Behind the Toy Store. Why We Do What We Do

December 01, 2014

oasis-toy-store2014-110x116It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

At least that’s how you remember Christmas time as 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 (toys or money) help us to provide deeply discounted, brand new, trendy toys at prices that can’t be found elsewhere. In addition, the Toy Store employs four local adults from the community, providing job training in customer service, sales, management, and cash register operation.

Mary Susan and Tom Capon have volunteered to run the Toy Store ministry since its inception, more than a decade ago! This ministry would not exist if it weren’t for their passion and commitment to making Christmas better for families that feel the financial crunch every month and especially during the holidays! According to the Capons, “The focus of the Toy Store is to provide quality name brand toys at very affordable prices. The store is designed for neighborhood families and those in significant financial need. Having a quality neighborhood outlet in their North Memphis community is essential to empowering parents to provide the best Christmas for their children themselves.”

This is such a fun and joyful outreach to get involved with! Simply bring your new toys to Hope Church anytime (look for the marked bins), now through December 7th. 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.

Store location: Inside the Oasis Appliance warehouse, 1294 N. Thomas Street, Memphis, TN 38107, T:  901.577.0013
Store hours: Dec. 1-12, open 10am-5pm; Dec. 13 open 10a-12p.

Gifts ideas for Boys & Girls:

Toddlers:
-learning toys
-mega blocks

Kids:
-action figures
-lego sets
-board games
-sports balls
-Disney ‘Frozen’ toys

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

If you would like more information about this ministry, please contact us!

 

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, now #GivingTuesday, Dec. 2

November 21, 2014

giving-tuesday-100x116

What is #GivingTuesday?

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

This Christmas Season as you purchase gifts for your loved ones, please consider giving a gift that will reach those in our city that may be struggling to make ends meet.

This Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to have a positive impact on one corner of Memphis in a tangible way.

Oasis of Hope offers a variety of programs from young to old that meet spiritual and practical needs in a neighborhood that has suffered neglect for decades.

Your gift this December could help us make a bigger difference in many lives this coming year. Giving could not be easier. You can donate online; or write a check to Oasis of Hope mail to 8500 Walnut Grove Rd, Cordova TN 38018.

Need Permission to Shop? Buy Toys for the Oasis Toy Store!

November 20, 2014

oasis-toy-drive-110x116The Oasis Toy Store truly is one of the most fun things we do to bless our North Memphis families! This outreach empowers under-resourced families to buy their own presents and offers dignity along with grace. What a great way to celebrate the season!

Additionally, we hire four local residents to help us run the store which teaches customer service, cash register skills, store management and more!

Help our North Memphis community parents provide for their children this Christmas – donate to our annual toy store! The toys are deeply discounted, allowing parents to purchase new, trendy gifts for their children. Drop-off any new, unwrapped toys from the wish list below Nov. 22 through Dec. 12 in the designated boxes located in the North, South and Main Lobbies at Hope Church.

Gifts for Boys & Girls:

Toddlers:
-learning toys
-mega blocks

Kids:
-action figures
-lego sets
-board games
-sports balls
-Disney ‘Frozen’ toys

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

If you’d like, we can shop for you! Make checks payable to Oasis of Hope (write ‘Toy Store’ in the memo) or donate online. The Toy Store is open Dec. 1-12 from 10a-5p and Dec. 13 10a-12p. For volunteer opportunities or more information, email us.

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