This.Is.Happening! After-School Program Begins at OEC!

January 23, 2018

greenhouse-the-cut-oec-collOasis of Hope began in 2001 by purchasing a small home in North Memphis across from an elementary school to serve as our inaugural ministry hub. We knocked out a few walls, spread some paint around, added some couches and a desk, and named it ‘The Green House.’ We were thrilled to start somewhere, kids started hanging out, and we began developing reading programs, Bible studies, training sessions, after-school programs and more.

A few years later, we purchased a second home down the street and did our best to reconfigure it as well to expand our spacing needs as our staffing and youth program grew. We named this building ‘The Cut’ because it sits at a crossroads in the neighborhood where people often ‘cut through.’ Again we painted, rearranged, and soon we were transforming our staff offices by day into youth programming rooms after school. It didn’t take long for us to begin praying for a more adequate space that was much larger where we could all operate together as a team, and dream about inviting more kids to participate in our programs, but until then, we were maxed and unable to invite additional neighborhood youth to join us despite bursting at the seams.

Then, a couple years ago we were unexpectedly approached by the City of Memphis about a possible partnership to merge our programs and perhaps be granted permission to operate out of the unused back-third of the Bickford Community Center. We were thrilled about this possibility! We had already been operating the daily Oasis Seniors’ Program (a thriving program for senior citizens) out of the Community Center and had shared the space on numerous occasions for special events thanks to the City’s graciousness.

A plan began to evolve. Prayers began to ask for big dreams. Time went by, and the red tape was finally removed allowing this new, amazing, huge space, to become the new home of the Oasis Enrichment Center (the OEC)! Since we were given the green light, we have once again been painting, building, reconstructing, and outfitting our exciting youth space, and we are launching a new After-School Program and opening the doors officially on Wednesday, January 24th!

To see this finally happen is beyond words!

Thank you to those who have joined us in praying for this, supported this dream financially, or have volunteered with our programs and squeezed into our tiny spaces over these past 17 years! We could NOT have done this without your faithful support!

We are now thrilled to transfer our youth staff and programs over to the OEC, with access to a gym, staff offices, and plenty of room for elementary through high school kids to be kids! Our plan is to adjust to the new groove of this blessing, open our doors for an After-School Program Monday-Thursday to youth in grades 2-12 from 2:00-6:00pm for homework help, computer use, free play, youth groups, Bible studies, mentoring and more immediately with hopes to grow and expand as we spread the word throughout the community and our local inner city schools that we now have room for more!

As we invest in our local youth several hours each day after school, we will be focusing on four core areas of student health:

1-Academic Health through tutoring, college prep, intentional career path exposure, and academic progress motivations;
2-Social Health through positive peer interaction, fun fellowship, and diversity training;
3-Physical Health through sports recreation and nutritional education; and
4-Emotional Health through intentional mentorship, counseling, and exposure to universal love.

We will also continue to provide and enlarge our familiar youth programs such as Read2Succeed, Warrior Princesses/Lion’s Cage, Pathfinders, Empowerment, Club, and LifeBuilders.

As we transition and expand, we are going to need a LOT more volunteers …

WILL YOU JOIN OUR TEAM?

We are looking for help during the following:

-Read2Succed, Mondays & Wednesdays from 4:30-6pm, needs 2 volunteers
-Club (for middle & high school students), Wednesdays from 6-8pm, needs 6 volunteers
-Pathfinders (for middle schoolers), 1st & 3rd Saturdays from 10a-12p, needs 2-4 volunteers
-LifeBuilders (for high schoolers), Thursdays from 6:00-7pm, needs 2-4 volunteers
-Lion’s Cage (for elementary boys), 1st & 3rd Saturdays from 10a-12p, needs 4 volunteers
-Free Play, Mondays-Thursdays from 2-6p, needs 4 gym volunteers and 4 OEC volunteers (can vol for 2 hr segments)
-Empowerment Sessions, Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays from 5-6p, needs volunteer speakers
-Concession Stand Sales, Mondays-Thursdays from 2-4p, needs 2-4 volunteers

For adults, we are also offering a new counseling service (financial, marital, emotional, buying a home, addiction assistance, job placement, food help, and more) in addition to our long-standing programs such as providing affordable housing, affordable used home furnishings at Oasis Appliance, free tax prep service (VITA), a free daily senior citizen program, and so much more! If you are neighborhood resident, we’d love to assist you! If you are a professional and would like to volunteer your expertise, we would love to have you partner with us!

We also want to encourage everyone in North Memphis to attend our partnering Hope City Church with Pastor Colley Cooper on Sundays at noon! We meet at Memphis Scholars Caldwell Guthrie School and are growing together as a community that is experiencing ‘A New Way To Do Church!’

If you are excited about loving on North Memphis too but aren’t able to commit your time, we are always in need of financial donations too! We are a small ministry with a very big heart and appreciate every donated dollar so much! You can donate online, or mail donations to Oasis of Hope, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN, 38018.

God has his hands on North Memphis! Come and see what the excitement is about and invest in a youth’s life!

For more information or to get involved with this ministry, please contact us for details.

Volunteers Needed For Our NEW After-School Program!

January 20, 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)
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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
-
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!

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

January 03, 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.

Exciting News For Oasis Appliance and Home!

January 02, 2018

oasis-appliance-100x1161) Praise God for His Provision: Oasis Appliance has been awarded a capacity building grant through Community LIFT! Due to this, we will have partial funding to hire a part-time assistant manager at the store this summer! This will help us provide better service to our customers and donors, as well as, free up our leadership team to seek more corporate partners and donations for the store. We are thankful to the Lord for his faithfulness to this nine-year-old ministry that continues to beat the odds and provide a needed service (affordable appliances and furniture) as well as jobs to our community!

2) Oasis Appliance Moving Home: As many of you know, Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings suffered a fire last fall and has been operating out of a space in the Frayser Northgate Shopping Center. Well…God has graciously granted our prayers to move back into our neighborhood! Belz Enterprizes has generously given to this opportunity in the form of a long-term, extremely affordable, lease … AND substantial funding toward the renovation of the space! Dinner on Demand, Hope Church’s kitchen ministry, has also partnered in a HUGE way to provide $50,000 towards this needed renovation from fire to storefront! Additionally, Hope contractors and volunteers have stepped up to help save costs in the renovation by offering discounted or free services as we walk through the process of rebuilding. We feel God’s grace in this and want to give Him all the credit. Pray for us as we go through the challenging process of renovating a store that has suffered significant fire/smoke damage.

OA-fire-8-28-2016-web215x21—> In the meantime, if you’re a Hope Church attender, you can easily deliver any items both big and small to the “Oasis Appliance” trailer in the parking lot outside Entrance 3, or contact us for pickup, or call 901-577-0013.

We are temporarily operating in the Frayser Northgate Shopping Center, 3154 Thomas Street (behind AutoZone), Tuesday-Saturday 10a-4pm. Come check us out! Everyone is welcome to shop and every sale helps provide job training & employment for an under-resourced community.

SHOP! Everyone is welcome to shop and proceeds benefit this ministry

DONATE! Please continue to send us your donated appliances, furniture, and decor

VOLUNTEER: We’d love to plug you in; maybe this is a place you can give back to our city in 2017?

SPREAD THE WORD! Help us alert North Memphis, Frayser and beyond to our new, temporary location. Nothing is as valuable as a personal recommendation! Please tell your friends, family and neighbors through word-of-mouth or on social media (Follow us on Facebook).

PRAY! Please also be praying for direction as we continue to seek a permanent space in North Memphis to fulfill this practical need within our ministry neighborhood.

Thank you for your support!

For more information, or to schedule a pick-up, visit www.oasis-of-hope.com. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following Oasis on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

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NEW Counseling Services Now Available to N Memphis Adults!

January 01, 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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Working Together To Provide A Food Pantry Partnership!

December 31, 2017

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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Consider a Year-End Gift For a Great Cause – Grow the OEC!

November 30, 2017

OEC-collage-11-2017We can’t thank God enough for the incredible recent growth we’ve seen (increased staff, huge Bearwater Park build, newly renovated Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings, etc.).

Now we are on the verge of another opportunity that can take the ministry to a new level.

We have struggled with limited space since our inception, but what is a challenge for us is not too big for God! The City of Memphis has appreciated our partnership with them over the years at the Bickford Community Center and has awarded us the opportunity to operate out of their former Head Start space in the back half of the building. This new Oasis Enrichment Center (OEC) will allow us to expand our current youth programs and launch new empowerment initiatives including, a daily after-school program focusing on education, entrepreneurship and technical skills, Bible studies, computer lab, and a safe space for youth to hang out and call their own.

However, this wonderful space has been vacant for many years and needs significant updating (painting, computer/AV equipment, furniture, etc.). Additionally, the expanded outreach will require another van to transport our youth. To the left are some pictures of the current space to help you picture the need and opportunity.

We have had a wonderful first response from some of our committed donors who have made challenge/matching gifts totaling $110,000!

Due to this, your gift will be doubled until we match that amount. Giving us a total of $220,000!

The attached fact sheet gives a little more financial information on the OEC Challenge.

Please consider partnering with us to make the most of this opportunity! You can make a one-time donation and/or prayerfully consider being a monthly contributor to the ministry, as the needs continue throughout the year.

For questions contact Terry Hoff or for more information, visit www.oasis-of-hope.com. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

God’s blessings to you and your family as we celebrate Christ’s birth,

Eli Morris
Board Chair

Terry Hoff
Executive Director

 

Our Active Senior Citizens Expand Their Exercise Program

November 01, 2017

web800-seniors-on-trikesWe are thrilled at Oasis of Hope to be a part of the City of Memphis’ pilot program in providing tricycles to our senior citizens to promote healthy lifestyles!

We are grateful to receive three trikes for now and possibly three more trikes in the near future, and to have our seniors get in on a safety course conducted by Greenline employees! Six of our seniors learned how to properly wear their helmets, as well as numerous other safety tips!

So far, we have had one biking outing, with many more to follow as weather allows! We are thankful to be a part of this cutting edge program and to continue to provide opportunities for our seniors to lead an active and healthy lifestyle!

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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Donate To Oasis of Hope By Volunteering in the Kitchen!

October 21, 2017

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 Nov. 17, Nov. 27-30, and Dec. 2. 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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#GivingTuesday – Help Us Expand Our Reach to Youth!

October 18, 2017

OEC-collage-11-2017We can’t thank God enough for the incredible recent growth we’ve seen (increased staff, huge Bearwater Park build, newly renovated Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings, etc.)!

We are on the verge of another opportunity that can take the ministry to a new level by allowing us to broaden our reach.

We have struggled with limited space since our inception, but what is a challenge for us is not too big for God!

The City of Memphis has appreciated our partnership with them over the years at the Bickford Community Center and has awarded us the opportunity to operate out of their former Head Start space in the back half of the building!

This new Oasis Enrichment Center (OEC) will allow us to expand our current youth programs and launch new empowerment initiatives including, a daily after-school program focusing on education, entrepreneurship and technical skills, Bible studies, computer lab, and a safe space for youth to hang out and call their own.

However, this wonderful space has been vacant for many years and needs significant updating (painting, computer/AV equipment, furniture, etc.). Additionally, the expanded outreach will require another van to transport our youth. The pictures to the left show the current space as is, and then our goal envisioning what we’d like it to be!

We have had a wonderful first response from some of our committed donors who have made challenge/matching gifts totaling $110,000!

Now your gift will be doubled until we match that amount, giving us a total of $220,000! View the OEC fact sheet which gives a little more financial information on the OEC Challenge.

Please consider partnering with us to make the most of this opportunity! You can make a one-time donation and/or prayerfully consider being a monthly, recurring contributor to the ministry, to assist with the needs that continue throughout the year. Please click here to give online (one-time or monthly).

If you would like more information about our ministry, please contact our Executive Director directly, Terry Hoff at terry@oasis-of-hope.com. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Thank you for your partnership in our investment in North Memphis! We believe in 38107!

Sincerely,

Terry Hoff
Oasis of Hope, Executive Director

Eli Morris
Oasis of Hope, Board Chair

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