It’s Our 10th Year; We’ve Saved People Almost $3M!!

March 09, 2016

Oasis-VITA-100x116OASIS VITA TAX ASSISTANCE – 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.

“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 10th tax season, and to-date our volunteers have filed 1,572 returns in the past nine years saving North Memphis residents $2,713,000 in tax credits and prep 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 9:30am-1:00pm from January 31 through March 28. 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 Peggy at pfball@memphis.edu or www.oasis-of-hope.com.

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.

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Merge Update-Hope Again, Oasis Appliance and Home

March 07, 2016

New logoThe merge of the Hope Again-Second Chance Boutique with Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings has been a huge blessing!

By merging the two stores, we are now able to directly benefit the community of North Memphis by providing quality, affordable appliances and home furnishings, as well as offer trustworthy warranty’s and build relationships with families! In addition, we provide job training and employment to local community members and are grateful to contribute these services to our under-resourced area of North Memphis!

The vastly expanded furniture and home décor inventory have allowed us to meet an entirely new set of customer needs. We did not transport the clothing line from Hope Again, but the other line of products have blessed the community and helped the sustainability of the store significantly.

How Can You Help? Donate / Shop / Volunteer – Many of the same needs continue … we need good quality, slightly used donated items, as well as volunteers to sort/price/sell etc., and customers to make it all work. If you want to check us out, we’re at 1294 Thomas Street, in our North Memphis ministry area. Our expanded hours are 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Saturday. The store has a little more of a warehouse feel, but the deals are even better! If you have large items and need a pick-up, let us know.

Right now is tax season and is our busiest time! Because of this, our shelves are selling out quickly, especially in regards to appliances! If you have anything you’d like to donate, you can leave items in the “Oasis Appliance” trailer in the Hope Church’s parking lot; or you can arrange for pick-up, or call the store at 901-577-0013.

Every donation helps provide jobs in our community.

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 or Instagram.

Oasis and Hope Partner with Habitat for Humanity!

March 01, 2016

habitat-oasis-banner-web500Oasis of Hope and Hope Church partner with Habitat for Humanity in building 25 new homes for families in Uptown/North Memphis!

Through a strategic partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis, God is paving the way for many families to have new, quality, and affordable places to call home.

Today, November 2, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, announced that Oasis’ site, Bearwater Park, will be the focus of their 2016 build (read Habitat’s Facebook post here). This means that 25 new homes at our subdivision will be going up to complete the next building phase, bringing our total to 35 homes! We are beyond honored to partner together to make a significant difference in our North Memphis community!

There will be numerous volunteer opportunities to work on this project alongside the former president and other habitat-oasis-eli-rufus-tercelebrities in the new year (such as Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood who were also present today).

Please join us in praying for this outreach and that the myriad of details will come together to make this a reality, and that God will connect the families of His choosing to be able to call this new subdivision a warm neighborhood and home.

Get your hammers ready!

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.