“Undefeated” Wins Oscar for Best Documentary! Opened March 2nd

May 11, 2012

Read Forbes’ article “Why ‘Undefeated’ Should Make You Cry.” So, what is Oasis’ connection with she Manassas Football Team and the documentary Undefeated?  For years we have assisted Manassas High School in providing volunteer coaches, pre-game meals, fans in the stands, and conducted a pre-season training camp for the players where we not only hone their athletic skills, but their spiritual game as well!  Oasis’ staff was highly involved in assisting the movie directors as they shot hours and hours of film of the team. Undefeated takes place in our ministry neighborhood and chronicles the Manassas Tigers’ 2009 football season, on and off-the-field, as they strive to win the first playoff game in the high school’s 110-year history. A perennial whipping boy, in recent decades Manassas had gone so far as to sell their home games to the highest bidder, but that all changed in the spring of 2004 when Bill Courtney, a former high school football coach turned lumber salesman, volunteered to lend a hand. When he arrived, the team consisted of 17 players, some timeworn equipment and a patch of grass masquerading as a practice field. Focusing more on winning young men than football games, the football program nevertheless began resurrecting itself and, in 2009, features the most talented team Manassas has ever fielded; a team that seems poised to end the playoff jinx that has plagued the school since time immemorial. A coming-of-age documentary film, Undefeated provides audiences an intimate view of an underprivileged group of teens and their inspirational coach, as they attempt to make history. This film features Montrail ‘Money’ Brown, O.C. Brown, Bill Courtney and Chavis Daniels and opens in Memphis Friday, March 2nd at Malco Paradiso at Poplar and Mendenhall – showtimes at 1:10, 4:20, 7:30, and 10:05pm.  Read what USA Today says about the film.  Read what the LA Times says about the film.  If you watched the Oscars you might have noticed the controversial lack of thanks from the producers to the players, the coaches and North Memphis for their roles in making the movie.  Read on if you’d like to hear the producers reasons as to why they didn’t do this.

Pathfinders: New Name for our Middle School Bible Study

May 11, 2012

kids studying Bible lessonOur middle school Bible study group has a new name!  they are now called the Pathfinders, because they’re working on a TasyFaith Bible Study series called “Life’s a Trip” – all about getting God’s direction for following the right path for their lives.  If you have a soft spot for teenagers and would like to join us, we would love more volunteers to din theksted in the kids’ lives!  For more information, contact Brenda.

Toys Are Flying Off The Shelves at the Oasis Toy Store!

May 11, 2012

donated toys The first weeks of the Oasis Toy Store saw almost twice the amount of families we have had in the past! This might be due to the economy, but there are more families in need of this opportunity for very afforadable toys than we’ve seen in previous years.  If you would like to help parents in need provide Christmas presents for their families, then donate to our annual Toy Store! This outreach empowers under-resourced families to buy their own presents and offers dignity along with grace. Thank you to those who donated toys or money!  At this time, we are still accepting financial donations.  If you are moved by this ministry, you can send a check and we’ll do the shopping for you! Make checks payable to Oasis of Hope (write “Toy Store” in the memo) or donate online. For volunteer opportunities contact Tom Capon.

Would You Take Our Urban Survey?

May 11, 2012

boxWe’re conducting a BRIEF survey to provide us with feedback on what would help you become more involved with Oasis of Hope, or what would enhance your volunteer involvement with us.  Would you take a minute and fill out this short survey to help us? We want to be continually growing as a ministry and helping you, our volunteers, to make a difference in the lives of others!  Thank you for your time!

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Caldwell Adopt-A-Class Red Ribbon Party & Sock Hop

May 11, 2012

caldwell elementary kidsIt couldn’t have been a gloomier day outside, but it sure wasn’t gloomy inside Caldwell Elementary School recently; In fact, it was just the opposite!  That was the day of the first Caldwell Adopt-A-Class Party of the school year, and the theme was ‘Socking it to Drugs’ for Red Ribbon Week-Don’t Fall For Drugs.  All of the volunteer classroom sponsors provided fun, themed snacks and activities for the students followed by a Sock Hop in the gym.  The kids had a GREAT time and the teachers enjoyed the break!

575 Inner City Families had a Thanksgiving Meal Thanks To You!

May 11, 2012

assembling thanksgiving food basketsThank you to everyone who donated food or volunteered your time to assemble and distribute 575 Thanksgiving baskets that were handed out over the Thanksgiving holiday!  It requires quite a team to gather, organize, box and deliver this much food before each turkey thaws out!  People who received their ‘meal in a box’ were so appreciative and grateful.  We couldn’t  pull off such feats without all of your help so thank you again!

Home-schoolers Adopt Inner City Grandparents

May 11, 2012

senior citizen helping student

senior citizen helping little boyClick here to view photogallery. Did you know that Oasis of Hope offers a program for senior citizens that operates Monday-Friday 8:30am-1:00pm out of the Bickford Community Center every week?  It’s just one of the many ministries that are reaching out to individuals and families in this North Memphis neighborhood.  Over the past five years the Hope Home-schoolers have teamed up with these senior’s and have formed a very special relationship.

Jennifer Tramble, Oasis of Hope’s Senior Coordinator, reports in on what’s happening with the Senior’s Program offered in the Oasis of Hope neighborhood:

Over the past five years, intergenerational activities between Bickford Seniors and Hope Home-schoolers have been a progressive venture. Hope Home-schoolers participate in various activities with the seniors normally the third Friday of each month from September to May. The activities at the Center foster support and promote dialogue among generations such as, youth serving older adults, and youth and adults working together. A major highlight that sparks excitement among the group young and old is bingo!

senior citizen'sThis year Hope Home-schoolers initiated a new project that will involve even more hands-on experience and cultural development.  During each senior’s birth month the home-schoolers work closely with them to identify members on their family tree and their family history.  They are gathering information about the seniors’ past and present, giving them insight of their origin. This experience will award the youths with a wealth of knowledge of each senior individually.

What an incredible bonding that is happening here between the generations and cultures.  We are so honored to be able to cultivate such a rich experience and look forward to many more years of sponsoring such meetings.

Inner City ‘Common Cents’ Class Teaches Financial Management

May 11, 2012

finance seminarNine North Memphis residents recently participated in a 4-week financial course taught by Oasis of Hope volunteers.  Four of those in attendance currently rent Hope Houses built by the ministry.  The class taught the basics of money management and provided the foundation for them to plan financially for their futures.  This class was a pilot in hopes of offering many more financial education series for those interested.  Many thanks to Doug Edwards and the VITA volunteers (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) volunteers, as well as the Rise Foundation for making this possible.

People don’t plan to fail financially; they just fail to plan…

seminarIn the midst of the worst downturn in the economy since the 1930’s, what a better way to reach out to your fellow citizens then helping them understand the basics of personal financial accountability. Oasis of Hope sponsored our first Financial Education Series in conjunction with the Rise Foundation, called “Common Cents” at the April Woods apartment complex in North Memphis for the past four Thursday evenings. Six eager citizens of the Caldwell area took time out of their busy lifes to try and learn more about how they could manage their financial situations better.

The courses featured curriculum on how to develop spending plans, how to learn about and improve your credit scores, how banking and credit cards work, and then offering ongoing mentoring and accountability help through Oasis Volunteers. This is the first of what we hope will be many more financial education seminars that Oasis of Hope will hold in the Caldwell area. It is our goal that as we reach out to help our neighbors in need they “learn how to fish” so they can financially move ahead with their lives and build some financial independence.

The class was relatively small in size with 9 people attending, but some were faithful in attending all 4 sessions and reported that the class gave them important tools to make their financial dreams a reality.  If you would like to get involved in our personal finance ministry, contact Terrice Thomas or 901-527-0074.

VITA Saves Residents Thousands

May 11, 2012


VITA saves neighbors thousandsThanks to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, this has been a great tax season with 105 returns being filed (for free!) and saving people in the Oasis neighborhood $229,500 in credits and refunds! When you consider that most people will spend at least $100 to have someone else do their return we have additionally saved the people of Caldwell over $10,000.

To prove this point read the following incredible story written by our head tax volunteer:  We had a lady come in who wanted us to amend her return. She had it initially done at one of those quicky tax places and they didn’t do it right. They charged her $460 to do the return, $30 to e-file it and then asked for $45 to amend it. PLUS they filed the return so that they would get the refund so the money she received from them was treated as a short term loan at 85% interest until they received the money from the IRS! This was a simple return for a lady whose income was just over $6,000/year and it probably took them 20 minutes to do it. This is what goes on out there so the work we do is valuable and helps save people money, as well as making sure we get them all the credits they deserve.

Since Oasis of Hope began offering free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) four years ago to the residents in the Oasis neighborhood, the following incredible statistics have been tallied over this period:  $918,000 was saved in credits or refunds for our clients, $60,5000 was saved additionally by filing returns for free, 605 returns were worked on, and 1,100 hours of work were donated by our volunteers!  Thank you to all involved!

Thank you volunteers for making such a HUGE difference!

Come and Inspire Kids On Career Day at Humes Middle School

May 07, 2012

teach with studentsCAREER DAY at Humes Middle School is this Thursday, May 10, from 8:15 – 10:30 am. Come share a little about your career and inspire a child! Contact Brenda for more info or call 901-496-5516.

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