Oasis 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.