Spring Means It’s Time for Baseball! Batter Up!

May 14, 2018

manassas-baseball-100x116Our youth (and their parents!) desire fun and active things to do to stay healthy and to provide a positive environment that will keep kids busy from spring into the summer, like baseball!

We partner with A Game Sports to provide a program teaching fundamentals, team spirit and fun competition. Over the last few years we have had winning seasons by our Little League World Series teams as they put into practice what they’re learning. This year we plan to have 3 teams (Coach Pitch 8 & under, 10 & under, 12 & under/minors).

How To Get Involved:

Send Your Kids: Practices will be held most evenings at the Bickford Community Center baseball field. Schedules will be handed out at practice. If you have (or know) a young person who would love to experience this, give Coach Barry a call (or text) at 901-502-9135.

Volunteer: If you like baseball and have some time, we’d love your help coaching these awesome kids!

Donate: If you’d like to help make this American summer tradition possible for our kids (and free to them) – the costs for this outreach including coaching, league fees, equipment and transportation is roughly $4,000.

To volunteer or for more information about this ministry, contact Coach Barry. 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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Working Together To Provide A Food Pantry Partnership!

May 10, 2018

2017-4-food-pantry-web800We are excited about a new ministry partnership happening in North Memphis!

Often times ministry programs develop when one of our connected volunteers sees a need and is moved to help fill a void.

This is how Oasis Appliance began, and our Warrior Princesses program for middle school girls, and now … a food pantry aimed at assisting 60 North Memphis families whose children attend Memphis Scholars Caldwell Guthrie (MSCG) elementary school.

This came about after a volunteer reading tutor who works with students several days a month personally witnessed numerous students suffering from a lack of nutrition. Her heart was moved, she shared this need, and several partnerships began working together to do something about it! MSCG, Mid-South Food Bank, Hope City Church, and Oasis of Hope combined forces and have just begun to serve 60 families who will receive groceries and toiletries through this initiative. The food component of this mission has become an added value to MSCG’s new outreach center which also includes a clothes closet and washer and dryer.

2017-4-food-pantry-(13)-webSixty families have been carefully identified and are personally invited to receive the bi-monthly box of groceries and toiletries. This means that 30 families will be served every other month for the next 12 months (including the summer). Grocery boxes may consist of items such as canned fruit & vegetables, beans, cereal, juice and milk.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

In an effort to keep the boxes of food consistent, we are in need of financial donations to support this ongoing mission! Family boxes of groceries and toiletries cost approximately $25/each due to buying in bulk and utilizing assistance from organizations like the Mid-South Food Bank.

Donations can be made online or checks can be sent to Oasis of Hope, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, TN 38018. Please list ‘Food Pantry’ in the memo.

WHEN IS THE FOOD DISTRIBUTED?

This outreach is available every 2nd Saturday of the month from 11am-12pm, by appointment only.

We are grateful for the tender heart of the volunteer who looked way beyond her important mission of reading with students, and not only spoke up, but has now put into motion a practical, helpful program that will make a BIG impact in the lives of 60 families! That is what ministry looks like!

If you would like more information regarding this ministry, contact Crystal at (901) 527-0074 or Crystal@oasis-of-hope.com. For more information about our other ministries, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website for detailed information.

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Free Tax Filing! Our Goal is to Save North Memphis Money!

March 05, 2018

2015 VITA (3)LET US FILE YOUR TAXES FOR FREE!

It’s our 12th year and so far we’ve saved North Memphis over $3.6 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 12th tax season, and to-date our volunteers have filed 1,817 returns saving North Memphis residents $3,636,551 in tax credits 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 10:00am-1:00pm 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 Terry.

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

Volunteers Needed For Our NEW After-School Program!

January 03, 2018

1fav elementary r2s (2)Now that we have received the blessing from the City of Memphis to move into the back-end of the Bickford Community Center, we have expanded our youth programming to open our doors Mondays-Thursdays after-school from 2-6pm! That’s a lot of time to fill for neighborhood students in grades 2-12! We will still operate all of our familiar youth programs, plus are adding in several new ones!

Due to this, we will need a lot more volunteers to assist us! Following is a list of the volunteer job descriptions we are seeking:


Elementary Programs (1st-5th grades)
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Read2Succeed Reading Coach: Tutor a student in reading; Mon or Wed, 4:30-6pm
-Read2Succeed Character Education Coach: Implement character education lessons; Mon or Wed, 4:30-6pm
-After-School Counselor: Assist the elementary staff on a general basis; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Warrior Princess Mentor: Females needed to serve as personal mentors; Sat (1st & 3rd), 10am-12pm
-Lion’s Cage Mentor: Males needed to serve as personal mentors; Sat (1st & 3rd), 10am-12pm

Middle School Programs (6th-8th grades)1fav mentoring (4)
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After-School Counselor: Assist the staff in tutoring, planning, and general needs; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Pathfinders Mentor: Mentor 2-3 students & teach life skill lessons; Sat (1st & 3rd), 10am-12pm

High School Programs (9th-12th grades)
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After-School Counselor: Assist the staff in tutoring, career planning, and general needs; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-LifeBuilders Mentor: Student mentoring and preparation for life beyond high school; Thurs, 6-7:30pm

General After-School
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Recreation & Sports Coach: Organize sports & recreational games in the gym; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Food & Snacks Team: Help pick up and organize, and pass out food and man the concession stand; Mon-Thurs, 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Floater: Help process the intake, transitions, security, and exit of students; Mon-Thurs, anytime between 2-6pm (choose 1 to 4 days)
-Van Driver: Pick up students from various area schools and drop off in provided vans; Days/Times TBA

Wednesday Night Club
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Small Group Facilitator: Teach Bible lessons and life discussions with small groups; Wed, 6-8pm
-Floater: Help process the intake, transitions, security, and exit of students; Wed, 6-8pm

If you are not able to volunteer your time, we also need prayer and financial support. Donate online to give a one-time gift, or even better, enroll in a monthly donation to support this expanding youth ministry

If you are interested in any of the above volunteer possibilities, we’d love to plug you in and have you join our team! For more information, please feel free to contact us!

This.Is.Happening! After-School Program Begins at OEC!

January 02, 2018

greenhouse-the-cut-oec-collOasis 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.

*NEW* Registration Opens for Spring Break Camp at the OEC

January 02, 2018

web695x900-Spring-Break-CamWe are so excited to announce that we now have space to offer a Spring Break Camp for your kids when schools close at the Oasis Enrichment Center (OEC)!

Details are:

Registration Opens: Monday, February 26th (limited spots available). Register at BCC between 4-6pm Mondays-Thursdays

Where: The OEC at the Bickford Community Center (BCC)

Who: Elementary and Middle School Students

When: March 12th-15th, from 8am-5pm

Fees: $35/per child (breakfast and lunch will be provided)

Contact: For more information, please contact neko.sharkey@oasis-of-hope.com

Consider a Year-End Gift For a Great Cause – Grow the OEC!

November 30, 2017

OEC-collage-11-2017We can’t thank God enough for the incredible recent growth we’ve seen (increased staff, huge Bearwater Park build, newly renovated Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings, etc.).

Now we are on the verge of another opportunity that can take the ministry to a new level.

We have struggled with limited space since our inception, but what is a challenge for us is not too big for God! The City of Memphis has appreciated our partnership with them over the years at the Bickford Community Center and has awarded us the opportunity to operate out of their former Head Start space in the back half of the building. This new Oasis Enrichment Center (OEC) will allow us to expand our current youth programs and launch new empowerment initiatives including, a daily after-school program focusing on education, entrepreneurship and technical skills, Bible studies, computer lab, and a safe space for youth to hang out and call their own.

However, this wonderful space has been vacant for many years and needs significant updating (painting, computer/AV equipment, furniture, etc.). Additionally, the expanded outreach will require another van to transport our youth. To the left are some pictures of the current space to help you picture the need and opportunity.

We have had a wonderful first response from some of our committed donors who have made challenge/matching gifts totaling $110,000!

Due to this, your gift will be doubled until we match that amount. Giving us a total of $220,000!

The attached fact sheet gives a little more financial information on the OEC Challenge.

Please consider partnering with us to make the most of this opportunity! You can make a one-time donation and/or prayerfully consider being a monthly contributor to the ministry, as the needs continue throughout the year.

For questions contact Terry Hoff or for more information, visit www.oasis-of-hope.com. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

God’s blessings to you and your family as we celebrate Christ’s birth,

Eli Morris
Board Chair

Terry Hoff
Executive Director

 

#GivingTuesday – Help Us Expand Our Reach to Youth!

October 18, 2017

OEC-collage-11-2017We can’t thank God enough for the incredible recent growth we’ve seen (increased staff, huge Bearwater Park build, newly renovated Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings, etc.)!

We are on the verge of another opportunity that can take the ministry to a new level by allowing us to broaden our reach.

We have struggled with limited space since our inception, but what is a challenge for us is not too big for God!

The City of Memphis has appreciated our partnership with them over the years at the Bickford Community Center and has awarded us the opportunity to operate out of their former Head Start space in the back half of the building!

This new Oasis Enrichment Center (OEC) will allow us to expand our current youth programs and launch new empowerment initiatives including, a daily after-school program focusing on education, entrepreneurship and technical skills, Bible studies, computer lab, and a safe space for youth to hang out and call their own.

However, this wonderful space has been vacant for many years and needs significant updating (painting, computer/AV equipment, furniture, etc.). Additionally, the expanded outreach will require another van to transport our youth. The pictures to the left show the current space as is, and then our goal envisioning what we’d like it to be!

We have had a wonderful first response from some of our committed donors who have made challenge/matching gifts totaling $110,000!

Now your gift will be doubled until we match that amount, giving us a total of $220,000! View the OEC fact sheet which gives a little more financial information on the OEC Challenge.

Please consider partnering with us to make the most of this opportunity! You can make a one-time donation and/or prayerfully consider being a monthly, recurring contributor to the ministry, to assist with the needs that continue throughout the year. Please click here to give online (one-time or monthly).

If you would like more information about our ministry, please contact our Executive Director directly, Terry Hoff at terry@oasis-of-hope.com. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Thank you for your partnership in our investment in North Memphis! We believe in 38107!

Sincerely,

Terry Hoff
Oasis of Hope, Executive Director

Eli Morris
Oasis of Hope, Board Chair

Local Staffer Serving Her Neighbors From the Inside Out

July 24, 2017

web800-jas-soul2017From the time Oasis of Hope entered my North Memphis neighborhood I began having a growing desire to serve my community. As I start noticing the positive impact that was happening, I knew I wanted to be a part of that change. I was very thankful for the presence of Oasis’ staff and volunteers, but I wanted more community people to take ownership of our community. God used Oasis to burden my heart for my community and His people.

In May 2014, I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree and I was wondering what I was going to do next. Little did I know God was going to bring everything full circle for me. Five months after graduation I started working with Oasis of Hope as their Middle School Youth Developer. Accepting this position was totally a God thing. Aside from being equipped through the things God allowed me to experience in my childhood and college years, I had no idea how to effectively fulfill my job’s responsibilities. I found peace in this truth;

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”

web800In September 2015, I also started at SOUL where I would be equipped some more for the work that God called me to do. SOUL stands for Sending Out Urban Leaders. SOUL’s mission is “to recruit, train, and resource new leaders in order to impact the youth of our city with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Over the course of the past two years, this mission has been fulfilled in my life. I learned so much about my relationship with God, my community, my city, and myself through this organization. I was stretched and I was placed in some uncomfortable situations. However, I have grown so much in my abilities to fulfill my job’s responsibilities because of SOUL. Through my time at SOUL, I am now better for Oasis of Hope, my community, and my city. Moreover, I am better equipped for whatever God calls me to next through the enrichment I’ve received at SOUL. I am forever grateful for these past two years! I am very certain that I couldn’t have done Urban Youth Ministry without SOUL’s resources and training.

-Jasmine Martin, Oasis of Hope Middle School Director

To volunteer or for more information contact Jasmine. 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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Check Out Our Read2Succeed Students’ Year-End Stats!

May 24, 2017

R2S2017-1-web800Growing up in Christ…..”  Ephesians 4:15-16

“So we become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

“Each part”- each faithful volunteer sacrificing one evening for 28 weeks Sept-May to read Bible stories with students, memorize Bible verses, improve vocabulary, gain sight word recognition & increase reading comprehension. “Each part”- students committed to memorizing Bible verse & improving their reading skills even after going to school all day. “Each part”- parents valuing Read2Succeed & reinforcing reading skills & Bible verse memorization. All together working so that the whole body is healthy & growing!!! Together we worked helping each other & grew in our knowledge of God with a love for one another.

R2S2017-2-web800This year, seventeen Read2Succeed students attended 28 weeks of tutoring, once a week with their same committed coach. Students were challenged to learn a minimum of 120 new sight words (Fry Words), pass 7 reading comprehension tests (Bench Marks) with 80% or better accuracy, & memorize 10 foundational Bible verses. Goals were posted on a “Score Board” where they could visualize their progress weekly.  Just as an athlete knows the goal of the game & can visualize their score at any point during the game, likewise, our Read2Succeed students understood what their goals were & how they were “scoring.” Parents were informed of goals & met with coordinators to monitor progress through out the year.

DID THEY WIN??? HOW DID THEY SCORE??

Based on “Team Read2Succeed” having 17 students, one student of whom is not included in reading & Bible memory goals due to special needs and joining in mid-January:

16 students: grades 2nd through 5th grade
17 volunteers
2 Oasis of Hope middle school interns (discipleship at work!)
28 weeks/42 hours
96% attendance
94% of students met or exceeded the Bench Mark goal
100% of students met or exceeded the Fry Word goal
+468 = average number of Fry Sight Words gained per student
+6.8 (out of 10)= average number of Bible verses memorized per student
17 birthday celebrations with cakes & balloons
1 Birthday Club Parent Volunteer Coordinator

Each working together, encouraging each other, so as to strengthen the Body of Christ is a winning combination!!! “Healthy and growing and full of love.”

-Kathleen McDonald, Elementary Youth Developer

If you would like more information regarding this ministry, contact Kathleen. For more information about our other ministries, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website for detailed information.

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