Oasis Family Dinner is this Wednesday, April 15th

March 29, 2015

you're-invited-110x116Who: Families of youth participating in any Oasis of Hope program, mentors and Oasis & Bickford staff
What: Dinner for your whole family on us (it’s free)!
When: NEW DATE is Wednesday, April 15th from 6-7:30pm
Where: Bickford Community Center
Why: To enjoy community fellowship, to honor our participants, and to showcase Oasis programs that can encourage community growth

Families of the youth currently involved in our programs are invited to attend the 3rd Annual Oasis Family Dinner! We would love to treat the whole family to a delicious meal and an entertaining program to celebrate how special you are to us! Mark your calendars and plan to enjoy the sounds of the Angel Street choir, hear a rousing word from staffer Martell, and listen to personal testimonials from students & families who have been involved themselves.

We are looking forward to a fun night of fellowship and mingling, and to inform families of additional upcoming programs/volunteer opportunities we have to invest in more families in North Memphis!

We know that by working together, we will all have a much more profound impact on our community!

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

Our Easter Egg Hunt Volunteers are *The BEST*!!

March 29, 2015

Thank you SO VERY MUCH to ALL of our volunteers who braved the record-breaking cold day and STILL showed up for the kids on Saturday!!

Be sure to check out the awesome pictures taken by Melissa Fagan: 2015 Easter Egg Hunt Slideshow

Thanks for making the day such a success!!

How an Old Appliance Can Help Transform a Community

March 17, 2015

2015-1-staff-176x176Oasis 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:

Quality/Affordable Product

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.

Employment/Job Training

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.

Economic Impact

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!

Summary

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.

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

March 05, 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 March 28.

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.

Celebrate Easter with Hope

March 01, 2015

hope-santuary-100x116Make Hope feel like home! Serve with us this Easter.

One of the most popular compliments Hope receives from our guests is that we have “so many welcoming, smiling faces.” As we prepare to open our doors to thousands of first-time visitors this Easter season, we need your help! Consider joining us in serving at one of our services. From info hosts to greeters and Scrubs, there are many low-pressure opportunities available! Visit HopeChurchMemphis.com/Easter to sign up. You never know what impact you could have on someone else’s experience at Hope!

Easter Worship Opportunities:

Maundy Thursday

Don’t miss one of the most talked about services of the year! The Stirring’s Maundy Thursday Communion Service is Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Eli will continue his message from Christmas as we walk from the Cradle to the Cross. Experience worship through music, art, message and communion. The Stirring will NOT meet on Sunday, April 5.

Celebrate Easter with Hope

We are excited to invite you, your family and friends to celebrate Easter with Hope. We have a powerful hour of worship and teaching planned as we celebrate that Jesus has risen and He is here.

Easter Worship Opportunities:
Saturday, April 4 • 5:30 and 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 5 • 8:00, 10:00* am and 12:00 pm
*Most crowded service

Children’s activities for infants-5th grade are available at all services. Special Kids & Adults activities are only available Saturday at 5:30 pm and Sunday at 10:00 am.

New for 2015! Join us for a continental breakfast beginning at 7:15am followed by the *am Easter service.