Oasis Appliance – which started more than 13 years ago when generous Hope Church members asked if they could donate their used appliances and furniture to families in need – has grown into a holistic outreach that helps bring revitalization to our community in a number of ways. It is now its own non-profit appliance and furniture store that is making a significant difference in the community.
So … how can passing on your discards make a ‘significant difference’ in North Memphis? There are 3 clear ways:
First, through the generous product donations of individuals and corporations, Oasis is able to offer quality used appliances for less than other stores. Second, Oasis takes the times to test, clean, repair and warranty their products (other thrift stores usually do not have the capacity to do this). This affordability and dependability helps low-income families receive a product they can trust, without going to places like Rent-A-Center and pay multiple times over for the value of a product. Our store is meeting a real and tangible need in the community as evidenced by the number of customers and returning customers who visit our location.
On average, we employ four part-time employees to work in the store. Most of our staff have been chronically underemployed or unemployed. Their job responsibilities range from appliance cleaning and repair, customer service, truck driving (pickups and deliveries), inventory control, customer service, sales and cash register operation. This practical experience is very transferable in the employment market and the vast majority of past employees are currently employed. We consider our training to be a stepping stone for employees to build up their resumes as they become better prepared to find full-time work in the future.
Oasis Appliance is located in an area of North Memphis that has suffered economic decline for decades. Most of the past businesses have boarded up, been demolished, or moved away. Providing positive economic activity in this community is essential to its health. Over the past 7 years, Oasis’ direct business activity has totaled $337,000. Through a conservative multiplier effect ($ spent in a community turnover multiple times before leaving) of 68%, Oasis Appliance has positively impacted the neighborhood by a minimum value of $566,000!
The above descriptions and numbers just touch the surface of what is happening through this ministry. Other benefits are that partnering ministries can buy affordable items their constituents need; many prayers have been spoken with customers going through hard times; the redemptive aspect of having a job when one has been so difficult to come by; a location also shared by The Bike Shop Ministry; the good use of a resource (recycling old furniture and appliances) that may have been discarded otherwise…all come together to make this a beautiful, redeeming place that God is using to change lives and transform a community. Where else can so much good be done through the simple act of donating appliances?
If you are interested in supporting this ministry, there are 3 ways to get involved:
1) Donate your used appliance.
Although we have expanded our product stream, there is still more demand than supply and we are always looking for more people and/or partnerships willing to donate to our non-profit (tax receipts provided)! We are especially in need of washers and dryers. If you or anyone you know might be interested in making a donation, you can fill out our online donation request form to schedule a pick up. We generally arrange pick-ups on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays. Simply provide us your address and phone number and we’ll gladly remove your unwanted item.
2) Shop in our store.
We are open Tuesday/Thursday from 10am-2pm and Saturdays from 10am-12pm. We are located in North Memphis at 1294 North Thomas Street (click for directions). Phone 901.577.0013.
3) Volunteer in our store.
There is always work to be done! We could use help selling in our showroom, picking up donations, or cleaning appliances. Email Deborah to volunteer or see the Oasis Appliance webpage for more details. Oasis Appliance is just one of the many ministries through Oasis of Hope.
If you would like more information regarding this ministry or to get involved, email Deborah. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and checking our website for pictures, videos and current information.