Meet Our Two New R2S Interns Sharice and LaDerika

February 26, 2017

R2S-interns2-web800 “Readers become Leaders”, is one of our mottos at Read2Succeed (R2S)! Sharice Johnson and LaDerika were selected back in November to be our first student interns to help with Read2Succeed. Sharice is in 7th grade and LaDerika is in 8th grade at KIPP Academy. Currently both attend Oasis of Hope Pathfinders & Middle School Club. They started as Read2Succeed students in 2nd grade and attended through 5th grade. Besides involvement with Oasis of Hope they were selected because of their eagerness to learn & willingness to help others.

The student internship positions were created, to not only help R2S coordinators, but to also encourage Sharice & LaDerika to become disciples of Christ. Learning more about God & applying their leadership skills to help others in their community is an Oasis mission. Both girls roles are that of assistant to the Youth Coordinator & R2S-interns-web800Volunteer Coordinator. Frequently, tutors will be absent and interns fill in for them. Sharice and LaDerika have been trained how to teach sight words & follow “Team Read” tutoring steps. They also help students memorize scripture and read Bible stories together. The importance of arriving on time, following a “duties” check list, problem solving & organizational skills promote job skills. The younger R2S students get to see older students in a leadership role as well.

When asked what they like best about being a R2S Student Intern, LaDerika stated, “It helps improve my reading skills.” Sharice says she “likes to help organize & set up.”

They are a huge asset to the success of our program & are a blessing to me”, states coordinator, Kathleen McDonald.

Since both interns are younger than 16-years-old we are not allowed to pay them for their positions, however, we can honor their help by awarding them with Family Dollar gift cards (their favorite). If you would like to support the work of our interns, gift cards accepted!

To volunteer or for more information about this ministry, contact Kathleen. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Goal: Save N Memphis Every Penny! Free Tax Filing Begins

February 24, 2017

Oasis-VITA-100x116LET US FILE YOUR TAXES FOR FREE!

It’s our 11th year and so far we’ve saved North Memphis nearly $3 million!

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.

vita-free-tax-filing-100x11“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 11th tax season, and to-date our volunteers have filed 1,667 returns saving North Memphis residents $2,984,047 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 every Saturday in February and March. 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.

If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Lions Cage: A New Program For Middle School Guys

February 18, 2017

2016-tylon-walkerFor many years we have offered an excellent program for middle school ladies called Warrior Princesses to address important issues facing this season of life. This program has been exceedingly popular with both girls and volunteers, so much so that we knew we needed an equivalent program for the guys. So, we are thrilled to announce Lions Cage Boys Club for our middle school boys!

This is a mentoring program geared toward urban boys living in a disadvantaged environment in grades 4-6 where they can learn skills that are relevant to their actual life experiences. We seek to help develop character and dignity in each young man through our partnership with a diverse group of dedicated mentors. We also want to increase their networks by connecting them to resources that will enhance their scope of life.

2017 Lions Cage Schedule (subject to change):
Jan. 7: Orientation (outing)
Jan. 21: The Four Faces of Manhood: an Overview of the principles of Manhood (Self-Defense)
Feb. 4: The King Face (A man’s leadership, worth, goals, and ambitions … made for greatness!)
Feb. 18: Field trip – TBD
Mar. 4: Warrior Face (What should a man take a stand for? Peer pressure, bullying, conflict resolution, and more – Self defense)
Mar. 18: Spring Break – no meeting
April 1: Friend Face (A man’s circle: How to make friends and navigate relationships – Self defense)
April 15: Lover Face (Why is Jesus and Love important to manhood – Easter weekend)
May 6: Field trip – TBD
May 20: End of year party (Parent & child)

Location: Bickford Community Center
Meeting Dates: 1st and 3rd Saturdays, 10:30a-12p

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS:

1. Volunteer with us: We need several male volunteers to assist who are willing to commit to a mentoring relationship. We’d especially love African-American males to join us!

2. Donate funds to support this ministry: We always appreciate financial support; donate online or by mail here.

To volunteer or for more information about this ministry, contact Martell. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Resolve to Grow Your Disciple Making at the Downline Summit

December 30, 2016

downline summit logo 2017Did you resolve to grow your faith in 2017? We highly recommend you attend the Downline Summit at Hope Church on Feb. 3-4! Read on to learn more:

Downline Ministries is on a mission to restore biblical disciple-making. They equip Christ-followers in and through the local church to make disciples in their homes, churches and communities.

The 2017 Downline Summit will be here before you know it, and we are so excited to be a part of what the Lord is doing with such a powerful weekend of full of shared insight, equipping and connection. The Downline Summit is a time for church members and churches to join together, fanning the flame of disciple-making—and renew their commitment to live out the great commission.

It is our sincere hope that this weekend will refresh your relationship with Jesus and renew your passion for the mission He has entrusted you with and gifted you for. Please make plans to join us and invite others to come with you!

When: February 3-4, 2017
Where: Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3

12 PM – 2 PM – Church Leaders Lunch
5:30 PM – Doors Open
6:30 PM – Main Stage 1
8:20 PM – Main Stage 2
9:30 PM – Dismiss

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4

8:30 AM – Main Stage 3
10:15 AM – Workshop 1
11:30 AM – Lunch Break
1:00 PM – Workshop 2
2:30 PM – Main Stage 4
4:00 PM – Dismiss

As a Hope attender, you receive a discounted general admission ticket by using the promo code ‘downlinefriends.’ For more information and registration, click here.

Downline Ministries exists to restore biblical discipleship in and through the local church.  It is our desire to serve the local church by equipping students with a clear vision and definition of what Jesus meant when He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” and providing them with resources, including the Downline Institute, Downline Builder, and Downline Summit Series to assist them in living a Great Commission lifestyle for a lifetime.

At Downline, they define discipleship as “truth and life transference in the context of authentic relationship” based on Paul’s description of his relationship with the Thessalonians (I Thess. 2:8). Paul’s love for the Thessalonians compelled him to give them the Truth of God and his life for their good and God’s glory. Our hope is that wherever you are in your journey toward making disciples in the home, church, and community, that this weekend would compel you to respond to the gospel by loving someone else to the point of sharing the Truth of God and your life with them, so he or she can in turn do the same with others.

For more information visit Downline.

Bringing Hope to Readers at Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary

December 01, 2016

bringing-hope-web800“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Lila Watson

And with that vision, a new and deeper partnership to invest in North Memphis students has begun between Hope Church and Caldwell-Guthrie/Memphis Scholars Elementary under the leadership of School Director, Janai Douglas!

Students in North Memphis need this investment. Why?

– Because only 33% of students are proficient/advanced in reading
– Low reading levels and high drop out rates are directly correlated
– 4% of students are reading at the college readiness rate
– There is no federal funding for remedial courses

What is Bringing Hope’s goal?

With an intensive commitment to work on student’s reading skills, it is Director Douglas’ goal that due to this investment 70% of students would increase their reading level for 1.5 years each academic year with a program like this!

bringing-hope-9-14-2016-webHow can you help?

Through volunteer-led reading groups, teacher-led whole group instruction, and small group instruction, together we can help kids reach this lofty goal of improving reading levels by 1.5 years per each academic year!

What does volunteering look like?

Volunteers only need to commit to being in the classroom one hour per week, and to read with the same group of 5-6 students all year for 20 minutes of that time (the rest of the time will include collecting and reviewing tutoring materials prior to assisting). Books and discussion questions will be provided and will be assigned by the teachers. The objective each week will simply be to improve or heighten reading comprehension. We will initially begin working with younger classrooms, but will grow to assist with K-5.

Make a difference and sign up!

It’s easy to get started! All you need to do is email the coordinator and let us know you’d like to join the team! You will receive a needed background clearance link, and following this step, will be contacted to help you find a time-slot that fits your schedule. Slots begin at 9am and continue until the school day is over, Monday-Friday.

Reading begins September 12th!

This is a program offered and organized by our parent church, Hope Church. We are thrilled they are providing such a focused investment within Oasis of Hope’s North Memphis boundaries! We are so excited for the future of this community! If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Marcia.

Support Angel Street – Attend their Fundraising Dinner 8/29

August 20, 2016

MIMbutton-web500Celebrate what we love about our city while investing in the lives of girls from N Memphis. Enjoy an evening featuring a four-course meal while members from Angel Street sing.

DATE: Monday, August 29th
TIME: 6:00-8:30pm
PLACE: Napa Cafe, 5101 Sanderlin Avenue, Memphis
COST: $125 per ticket or $1000 for a table of eight (includes $25 gift card to Napa Cafe)

Reserve your tickets today!

Also – we are looking for individuals and companies who may be interested in being a sponsor for this event. Contact us to find out how! For details and more information click here, or email us at info@angelstreetmemphis.com

Thank you to our friends at Napa Cafe!

Tylon Won the Prestigious I’M THIRD Award!! WooHoo!!

July 24, 2016

camp-web215x215Every year for the past eight years, Oasis of Hope has taken our students to Kids Across America (KAA) Bible camp. This privilege is available for any student, ages 9-18, who actively participates in our weekly programs. KAA is a camp that seeks to transform urban youth to impact their communities for Christ. Students have the opportunity to experience camping, tubing, team building, climbing tree tops, learning the value of serving others, and some for the first time feel the Lord stirring their hearts to pursue Him.

Kids Across America (KAA) 2016
Theme: F.O.C.U.S – Fixed on Christ’s Ultimate Sacrifice
Verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

KAA camp is truly a mountain top experience. The staff and counselors are very intentional about ushering in the Holy Spirit on those grounds even before the students arrive. Throughout the week of camp the counselors are saturating the minds and hearts of the kids with the word of God. All of this leads to one of the major highlights of camp: CROSSTALK. Crosstalk is when the staff of KAA does a reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is such a powerful night and several students make the decision to accept God as their personal Savior and Lord. Oh what a joyful and freeing commitment!!

2016-tylon-walkerAnother highlight of camp is Vespers, which is an award ceremony. On this night the campers are awarded for their hard work and excellence throughout the week. The highest and most prestigious award that is given is the “I’m Third” award. This award is based on the life of a pilot who made the decision to sacrifice his life to save the lives of thousands in a fatal plane crash. When his coworkers were gathering the things from his work locker they became aware of the personal oath that the pilot made to himself.

The pilot vowed to keep God 1st, others 2nd, and self 3rd.

So throughout the week at camp the directors, counselors, and staff seek students who exhibit this kind of sacrificial giving and servant leadership. Out of hundreds of campers, our student Tylon Walker was the only student to receive this honor! Tylon has participated in our Read2Succeed program since he was in the 2nd grade; through this program he learned Bible stories, memorized verses, and established a personal relationship with Christ! We are beyond proud of the leader and young man of God that Tylon is becoming. This year Tylon will be heading to middle school and joining our Pathfinders program. We can’t wait to continue to nurture and foster a relationship with Tylon. We will continue to help him realize who God wants him to be and develop skills in him so that he is an asset to his community, city, and nation.

-Jasmine Martin, Middle School Developer

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

R2S-A Small Idea That Grew Into a 13-year Project!

July 03, 2016

read2succeed-215x215When Oasis of Hope began 13 years ago, one of the very first needs identified was the need to partner with local elementary schools to help provide assistance tutoring. Although our program has evolved over the years, it began as a reading enhancement lesson combined with Biblical stories and has remained a strong and growing reading program today. We run Read2Succeed (R2S) out of one of our small ministry houses (see In the Cut) and initially offered this service one night a week, then two, and now we have expanded to three! Over the years we have been approached by more parents from the community desiring to enroll their child in this thriving program, but due to space and volunteer limitations, we are presently at capacity!

What happens during a typical night goes something like this: The students start off the night with prayer, a snack and a fun activity, then meet with their assigned “coaches” to read together and check out additional books from the Oasis Library. Bible stories are shared, Bible verses are memorized, and kids and mentors build strong bonds as they work together from August through May. The real key here is relationship building and having a r2s-web215x215caring adult involved in their lives and providing additional support, encouragement and spiritual guidance.

Students’ progress is carefully tracked throughout this 30 week period. Sight word recognition and reading comprehension are measured.

This year 95% of our students reached the goal of acquiring 200 or more sight words! 95% are also reading sight words above grade level!

In addition, kids are rewarded for participating in service projects, memorizing Bible verses, and demonstrating faithful attendance. Occasionally motivational and educational incentives are planned to reward hard-working students and give them the chance to attend field trips to places such as nature little-library-web215x215centers, the Imax Theater, Hope Church events, pool parties, etc.

So when the end of the year approaches, it’s a BIG deal to these kids and volunteers who have been meeting together every week throughout the school year! It’s time to party! This year the kids thanked their faithful coaches by serving them dinner and making special frames they painted that included the following words and Bible verse: Thank you for your servant’s heart. ‘As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.’ I Peter 4:10

Since R2S meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, a grand gathering of all participants, their coaches, and families recently combined to celebrate the year’s successes! Two very special surprises happened:

Shelby County’s Outstanding Teen Gabby Generaux built and donated a ‘Free Little Library’ to be placed outside r2s-bike-winner-boy-web215xThe Green House for kids to take a book/return a book to fuel their desire to read year-round! Additionally, Gabby collected 2,000 books to keep the library well stocked and the kids reading for a long time! The library is dedicated to Norm & Kay Rodriguez who are the founders of this program, which is still going strong 13 years later! Look at the legacy Norm and Kay started!

The Oasis Bike Shop donated two, brand new bikes to be raffled off to R2S students based on points earned for attendance, memorized Bible verses, and service projects. The winner of the boy’s bike,  Johntarrious Covington, selflessly declined his prize declaring that he already owned a bike, and insisted on giving it to another boy!! WHAT?! That’s an amazing display of kindness and selflessness! Because of this act of generosity, Davion Lee actually took home the boy’s bike prize which was especially touching because he lost his dad in a car accident one year ago to the day of the R2S dinner! Nierria Humphrey, a 4th grader who did not own a bike, won the girl’s bike. Thank you to The Bike Shop for this exciting memory in these great kids’ lives!

r2s-bike-girls-web215x215As a ministry, we are grateful when God implants a passion and a vision in someone who is faithful to the call and willing to put in the work to carry it out! Read2Succeed began as a tiny seed and has grown into a strong tree with deep roots. We are also grateful for the opportunity to watch kids grow, become parents themselves, and then enroll their own children in our programs! Although we break for the summer, we will be enlisting another round of students and volunteers soon. If you are interested in finding out more about this ministry, we’d love to tell you about it.

Read2Succeed
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00pm
In the Cut ministry house, 932 N. 6th Street, North Memphis
Staff contact: kathleen@oasis-of-hope.com

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 Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Hey Kids! Join us for I’ve Got Talent / VBS June 27-30!

May 14, 2016

2014-6-best-of-vbs-web500The God of the universe has given each of us special talents to use for HIS service and glory!

In I’ve Got Talent, students will learn how famous Bible characters used their God-given skills for Him – and how they too can accomplish great things in their careers and life! Students will uncover their personal gifts and will learn about contemporary jobs that depend on those talents for success. Then everyone gets to put their gifts on display at the I’ve Got Talent Stage Show event! Kids will leave motivated to excel in their personal giftedness and inspired to be used by God to better His world.

Theme Verse

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Theme Focus

God has created each of us with unique gifts and talents. Through our work, we can bring honor to Him, help others, and play our part in God’s plan for humankind.

We’d love to have your kids join us for this exciting and FUN time this summer!!

Dates: June 27, 28, 29 at Bickford Community Center from 6-8pm and June 30 at Shelby Farms from 10a-1p
Registration opens soon … please check back next week to learn how.

We are always in need of volunteers … if you love kids, we’d love to have you join us!

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

Rent Selma Then Attend the Justice Tour June 3-5

May 12, 2016

justice-tour-ella-miller-20Did you see the movie ‘Selma’ last year? If not, rent it, then sign up to go on the Justice Tour and watch history come to life as you experience a glimpse of the labored path to civil rights!

SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernays tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. View the trailer here.

Then after the movie, make plans to join us on the annual Justice Tour, June 3-5 where Pastor Eli and Hope Urban have been walking people over the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL for years to literally and metaphorically give us a glimpse of what African-Americans have gone through to bridge the gap to equal rights, beginning with their fight to be allowed to vote.

Can you imagine what it feels like to walk under the actual arch where Bloody Sunday occurred on March 7, 1965 … and hearing how African Americans peacefully marched to gain voting rights but were brutally attacked by police with billy clubs to break up the protest killing men, women and children, ultimately hospitalizing over 50 people … and then crossing that bridge yourself next to unified friends who are both black and white?

1st-baptist-church2-100x116This is just one of the many stops on the Justice Tour as we attempt to walk the same paths as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others did in the late 50s and 60s during turbulent times in our country as they fought for equal rights for all. It is a powerful history lesson listening to the stories of that day from many first-hand witnesses as we visit Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Memorial, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (which was bombed in September of 1963, resulting in the death of 4 young girls – as is seen in the movie), attend services at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and more.

Elle Miller (in the above picture), Oasis of Hope leader, volunteer, and North Memphis resident attended the Tour in recent years. “I really enjoyed everything. I learned a lot of history in such a little amount of time. Everyone should go on this trip! ” – Elle Miller

Eli and urban staff will escort you on this unforgettable journey. We leave Friday morning, from Hope at 6am on a charter bus, and return Sunday at approximately 6pm.

While on the bus we view some movies (Selma included!), have discussions, and get more historical background on the Civil Rights march to freedom from Eli. This is an informative tour about the struggle for equal rights, but also packed with fun as we fellowship and make friends with a lot of Hope members we never knew before! Your transportation, snacks, most meals, hotel accommodations (based on double occupancy), and tour fees are covered by the $225 fee; ($325 fee for non Hope members). You will need money to purchase a couple of lunches and possibly souvenirs.

If you are interested in joining us or would like more information about the trip, contact Megan. If you would like to register, click here. Space is limited to 35.

Who: Adults interested in a 3-day Journey of Civil Rights Heritage
When: June 3-5, 2016
Where: Selma, Montgomery & Birmingham
Click here to view Justice Tour Photos

If you would like more information regarding our ministry, email us. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

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