Toy Store Pop-Up Shop Was So Much Fun! Thank You!

November 30, 2016

fav13-web800Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 was an amazing day!

Oasis of Hope partnered with Hope City Church & Hope Church to host the annual Oasis Toy Store as a One Day Pop-up Toy Store due to a fire earlier in the year at the Oasis Appliance & Furnishings store where we normally house the toys over a two-week period. On this one day alone we were able to host approximately 150 families with approximately 5 children per family, impacting around 700 children ranging in ages from 2 months to 16 years of age!

Not too shabby for ONE day! God is Amazing!

fav4-web800I would like to extend a sincere heartfelt THANK YOU from myself and Oasis of Hope first to our “elves”… ALL OF YOU from Hope City Church and Hope Church who donated toys or volunteered your time! We could not have done any of it without you helping to setup, price toys, help families with their packages, etc. Pastor Colley Cooper…you are a true gem! Hope Church congregation….THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! Without all of your wonderful donations this toy store could not be this successful! What YOU donated is appreciated not only by Oasis but also by the North Memphis families whom we desire to support in providing a memorable and affordable Christmas for their children.

I personally want to thank you all again & look forward to the 2017 Toy Store and the joy & blessings it provides during the Christmas season to so many. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

– Toy Store Director, Melissa Orr

School Supply Drive Lists are Out! Adopt a Student Today!

July 20, 2016

Backpack Drive:back-to-school-drive-100x11

We know the thought of heading back to school conjures up a lot of emotions; there is excitement, anxiety, tighter schedules, and the fun of reuniting with classmates and friends. However, in the inner city, it often also means financial concern about being able to even afford one new uniform, or finding money to purchase a backpack or notepaper. If surprising a child with a backpack full of beautiful, new, school supplies sounds like a fun way to bless a student, we can connect your gift with kids who really need it!

This is your chance to shop for a cause! While you’re out buying school supplies for your own children, consider picking up a few more items to be passed on to less fortunate students from one of our partnering inner city schools who have helped us formulate the school supply lists (below) for various age groups.  It takes a little effort but makes a big impact!

Backpacks of supplies can be dropped off at Hope Presbyterian Church from now until the end of July; look for the bins/carts that say ‘Backpack Drive.’

If you would like us to do the shopping for you, you can donate online or make checks payable to Hope Church and write ‘Backpack Drive’ in the memo.

Uniform Drive:

We often know kids who have one uniform to wear at school, as well as throughout the summer. We’d love to send these kids to school dressed in NEW uniforms!  This year, our neighborhood schools have asked for help in stocking their depleted school clothing closets, so that students are able to get items that they don’t have. Your monetary donation (donate online) will enable us to “shop in bulk” to help out these students and the school clothing closets.

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

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SCHOOL SUPPLY LISTS:

Kindergarten

Backpack
6 pocket folders
1 glue stick
1 bottle of Elmer’s glue
2 boxes of crayons-8 count
1 pkg washable markers
1 pair scissors-Fiskar blunt tip
12 #2 pencils
4 fat pencils
2 Kindergarten tablets
1 pkg 3×5 index cards
1 bottle anti-bacterial hand sanitizer

Grade 1

Backpack
4 folders with pockets
4 folders with pockets and brads
2 glue sticks
1 bottle Elmer’s glue
1 box crayons-24 count
1 pair scissors-Fiskar blunt tip
24 #2 pencils
6 1st grade tablets
2 black/white marble composition books
1 pkg washable markers
2 pink erasers
1 spiral notebooks
2 steno pads
1 bottle of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer

Grade 2

Backpack (no rolling backpacks please)
1 box of crayons (no more than 24 count)
24 #2 pencils
2 glue sticks
1 bottle Elmer’s glue
1 pair scissors
1 3-subject composition notebook
2 70-page spiral composition notebooks
2 boxes of Kleenex tissues
1 box of gallon size Ziploc bags
5 2-pocket folders (no prongs)
1 box of markers, thick point
2 soft vinyl 1-inch 3-ring binders
1 Steno notebook
1 pkg wide-ruled notebook paper
1 spiral notebook
1 Steno pad
1 bottle of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer

Grades 3, 4, 5

Backpack
24 – #2 pencils (wood only)
2 glue sticks
1 box colored pencils
1 pair scissors, Fiskar
1 box crayons, 24 count
1 pkg ink pens (blue, black & red)
1 pkg washable markers
3 spiral notebooks
2 pkgs notebook paper, wide rule
8 folders with pockets & brads (assorted colors)
1 ruler with inches & centimeters
2 composition books
1 box Kleenex
1 bottle anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
1 box Ziploc bags (gallon or quart size)

Grades 6, 7, 8

Backpack
24 – #2 pencils (wood only)
1 eraser
1 pair scissors, Fiskar sharp tip
6 spiral notebooks, 1-subject, wide rule
8 folders with pockets & brads
1 bottle of glue
2 glue sticks
1 box colored pencils, 24 count
1 protractor
2 red ink pens
1 pkg blue ink pens
1 pkg black ink pens
1 pkg colored markers
2 pkgs notebook paper, wide-rule
1 ruler with inches and centimeters
1 Steno pad
1 3-ring binder 2″
2 pkgs dividers
1 pkg 3×5 index cards

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Draw string backpack or regular backpack
24 – #2 pencils (wood only)
1 eraser
6 spiral notebooks, 1 subject, college rule
8 folders with pockets & brads
1 box colored pencils, 24 count
2 yellow highlighters
1 protractor
1 pkg red ink pens
1 pkg blue ink pens
1 pkg black ink pens
1 pkg colored markers
2 pkgs notebook paper, college rule
1 ruler with inches & centimeters
1 steno pad
1 – 3 3-ring binder, 2″
2 pkgs dividers

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.

Make an Impact in 2016; Attend Urban Plunge Feb. 25-28

January 20, 2016

memphis-neon-sign-web110x11Spend 3 1/2 days with Eli and Hope’s Urban Staff on our upcoming Plunge where you will hear the heart of our urban leaders and have your eyes opened to the many great things taking place in our city. You will leave changed and with a new outlook on the City of Memphis as you experience life in the inner city as well as cultural landmarks famous to Memphis’ civil rights history.

We do a lot in a couple days, and the whole experience will stretch your mind, heart, and beliefs in a way you’d never imagine!

We leave Hope on Thursday evening and return to Hope Sunday afternoon. We have speakers come in, panel discussions about racism, visit approximately 10 of our ministry partners, tour the National Civil Rights Museum and Slave Haven, eat lunch on Friday in one of our many urban, soul food restaurants, eat Saturday dinner at Eli’s home, have a work project on Saturday from 8a-1p in North Memphis, and end the entire weekend by attending First Baptist Church on Broad Avenue.

Are you ready to Plunge???

Housekeeping: We sleep at one of our ministry partners in a dorm-style fashion; all the women in one room and all the men in the other. We provide beds and you bring your own linens or a sleeping bag, toiletries, clothes, and a pillow. All your meals are provided along with beverages and snacks. The cost for members is $100 and $175 for non-members.

Space is limited, so register today! For more information and to register contact Megan.

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.

Jasmine Went From Oasis Participant to Oasis Staffer!

January 01, 2016

God doe2015-jasmine-web500s amazing things when you submit yourself to His will!

At the inception of Oasis of Hope, I was in the 7th grade at Humes Middle School. My life would be forever changed by the existence of “The Green House” which was a safe haven for all the children of the neighborhood run by Oasis. We were able to go there to hang out and just be kids!

Eventually, we started having Bible studies and other events and the staff and volunteers willingly shared their lives with me and gave me a whole new perspective of the world! At some point in my Jr. High years a shift happened in my mind, and I started taking ownership of my community. From that point on I knew I would be a part of the good changes that would happen in my neighborhood!

In the Fall of 2009 I went away to Union University for college, but due to unfortunate circumstances I had to return to Memphis. I immediately got re-involved with the Oasis programs; everything from Bible Studies to Vacation Bible School, and in the Fall of 2010, I enrolled in classes at the University of Memphis and I received a scholarship from Oasis of Hope to pursue my higher education. I graduated from the U of M in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Supply Chain Management.

My desire was to continue to be involved with Oasis just as a volunteer and pursue a career in business, however, God had His own plans and my time to do my part for God’s Kingdom had come. Through the transition of several different staff members, God was calling me to accept a staff position with Oasis. It took me a moment to reflect over my life to see how God had equipped me for what He was calling me to. In November 2014, I said “yes” to God’s calling for me and obeyed His command. I am now the Middle School Youth Developer! I am willingly sharing my life with the youth in the same community I grew up in, so that God can use me to ignite a fire in their hearts for Jesus! It has been a surreal feeling to see all this come full circle, but it’s only because I chose to submit to God’s will.

Jasmin Martin, Oasis of Hope Middle School Youth Developer

Fall is an Important Time to Support Oasis Financially

November 01, 2015

camper-reading-bible-web100This time of year is always challenging financially for the ministry. We are still a couple months out from our year-end donation drive and these are some of the most expensive months on the calendar:

  1. All of our fall outreaches are being launched, requiring materials, food, transportation, increased staffing, etc. The costs of which easily extend beyond an additional $15,000.
  1. You may not realize it, but our Toy Store ministry has to purchase 60% of the toys we sell and that outlay happens over September and October, adding $10,000 in expenditures.
  1. This year we have an amazing opportunity to send staff, volunteers and neighborhood friends to the amazing Christian Community Development Conference (CCDA) for education and encouragement. But many cannot afford the $209 registration fee so we are helping with scholarships which may total an additional $3,500.
  1. We are in the process of preparing Bearwater Park for phase II construction. Even though we have some grant funds for the actual home construction the prep work and engineering plans are in process to the tune of at least $7,000.
  1. Finally, we were blessed with a partial grant to fund the purchase of a ministry van! However, there was $2,400 still to be covered.

We know with the downturn in the market, it isn’t the best time to ask, but if you happen to have the capability of giving a gift to the ministry – the timing couldn’t be better for us. If you would like to address a specific ministry area, let us know. You can write checks out to Oasis of Hope and mail to 8500 Walnut Grove Rd, Cordova TN 38018 (or place in the offering bucket at Hope Church); or you can donate online.

Thank you again for your interest, prayers and support of Oasis of Hope!

Terry Hoff
Director, Oasis of Hope

Generations of Parents Want In to our Read2Succeed Program!

October 17, 2015

2014-read-to-succeed-100x11It’s not “Fried” words, but Fry Words that our elementary students are given an extra serving of at Read2Succeed (R2S)!  Last year, at R2S we paired 22 students (ages 2nd-5th grade) with 22 coaches. The student-coach team read together once a week for 9 months. They focused on reading fluency with Fry Words, comprehension & read Bible lessons. The results showed that 95% of our students gained 200 words or more from their baseline at the beginning of the school year! 70% of all students gained 400 words or more to levels above their grade level!

If it seems like Fry Words are a big deal, it’s because if a student doesn’t recognize these foundational words on sight they are unable to read at their full potential. According to The National Institute for Literacy, “Having a bank of sight words releases a reader’s attention needed for comprehension and for figuring out more difficult and less frequent words.”

At R2S, we have seen evidence of improved reading comprehension, with 57% of students achieving reading comprehension accuracy ranging from 81-100% at their grade level.

Oasis of Hope has been around for 14 years now … and during 13 of those years the Miller family from North Memphis has enlisted numerous family members to participate in R2S because they believe in it so much. Uncles (Jimmy & Kevin), aunts (Elizabeth), nieces/nephews (Jamie & Javonte), and now the next generation (Trey), have all signed up to participate in this one-on-one reading program that is helping kids read more efficiently. And we have the proof to prove that it’s working.

Of course, we aren’t so focused on reading that we don’t have time for a little fun. Building relationships is just as important! It’s so important that most of our students remain in R2S all four years and many of our coaches have been volunteering for 10-13 years. Together we pray, celebrate birthdays, visit Hope church, attend monthly field trips, annual swimming parties and this year, we’ll participate together in service projects. Growing in mind, body & soul WITH each other.

If you have time Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00pm and want to be an important part of a child’s educational, spiritual, and emotional development, prayerfully consider becoming a Read2Succeed coach.

If you’d like more information about Read2Succeed, please contact Kathleen. If you are interested in any of our other programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram (@oasisofhope).

Back to School Volunteer Opps – Ways to Get Involved!

October 15, 2015

student-taking-test-100x116Curious about us? You’ve been hearing about Oasis for 14 years now, but have you visited our offices and seen our ministry neighborhood? Come be our guest and join us for our Oasis Open House/Neighborhood Tour July 29 or August 26 at 6:00pm and let us show you around! We’d love to share with you the big picture of why we are located in and committed to North Memphis.

Curious if there is a volunteer opportunity that fits you? Whether you like to work with younger kids, older teens, tutoring, singing, biking, Bible Studies, senior citizens, work in retail, or more, we can plug you in, whether you are looking for a light touch entry or are ready to go deep!

Following is a list of numerous ways to get involved. Click here for more details like days/times/locations/contacts for the below opportunities.

Read2Succeed
In School Tutoring at Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary
Pathfinders Jr. High Mentoring
Pathfinders Jr. High Tutoring
Life Builders Sr. High Mentoring
Empowerment at Manassas High School
Manassas Football Volunteer Coaching
Lion’s Cage at KIPP Middle School
Warrior Princesses Girls Club
Oasis Bike Shop
Angel Street Choir

Email us, call us, come to our Open House and let us answer your questions. We’d love to have more volunteers so we can expand our reach!

We’ll equip you! We will have a prospective Volunteer Training on August 31 and September 3rd (attend both days) at the Bickford Community Center from 5:30-7pm. During training, you can expect to learn:

– How to build relationships that have consistent impact
– How to develop cross cultural relationships
– Effective mentoring practices
– How to maintain healthy relationship dynamics and boundaries with youth
– An understanding of Oasis of Hope’s vision and mission, and much more!

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 (@oasisofhope).

Plunge Into Inner City Memphis at Urban Plunge-Sept 10-13

June 08, 2015

urban-plunge-100x116Pack your bags and experience life in the inner city with Eli, Terry, and Sharon during this year’s Urban Plunge September 10-13, 2013.

We do a lot in a couple days, and the whole experience will stretch your mind, heart, and beliefs in a way you’d never imagine!

We leave Hope on Thursday evening and return to Hope Sunday afternoon. We have speakers come in, panel discussions about racism, visit approximately 10 of our ministry partners, tour the National Civil Rights Museum and Slave Haven, eat lunch on Friday in one of our many urban, soul food restaurants, eat Saturday dinner at Eli’s home, have a work project on Saturday from 8a-1p in North Memphis, and end the entire weekend by attending First Baptist Church on Broad Avenue.

Are you ready to Plunge???

Housekeeping: We sleep at one of our ministry partners in a dorm-style fashion; all the women in one room and all the men in the other. We provide beds and you bring your own linens or a sleeping bag, toiletries, clothes, and a pillow. All your meals are provided along with beverages and snacks. The cost for members is $100 and $175 for non-members.

Space is limited, so register today! For more information and to register contact Megan.

Invest in the Next Generation; Sponsor a Kid to Attend Camp

May 27, 2015

octavious-and-sharice-110x116 of 34 kids have been sponsored ($215/ea) as of 5/27/2015! Camp starts June 7th.

Are you frustrated about our youth dropping out of school, broken teenage families, drug use, and gang violence defining our city?

We are encouraged to be working towards a solution to these heartaches … an investment that is offering our inner city kids a new, Biblical model that they are affected by and listening to. We are prayerfully planting visions in their minds of believing that they can truly BE the next generation of indigenous leaders who return to North Memphis and demonstrate leadership, Godly living, and hope for the next generation.

This process involves a ton of time, love, investment and relational trust that is slowly built over many years. Oasis of Hope has been in the neighborhood now for 14 years. We’ve had the chance to work with kids from childhood to adulthood and are now listening to their ideas for change and leadership.

One of the things these new leaders, like Octavious Johnson, are saying is this: Send our youth to Bible Camp: Offer them this powerful opportunity & exposure!

Octavious was hesitant when Oasis went with him to camp for the first time in 2009. He even tried to back out at the last minute, but ended up experiencing the life-changing urban camp with a mission of “building urban leaders by encouraging, equipping and empowering urban youth and their mentors through camping and education.”

He had never gone to a camp of any kind, never zip-lined, and didn’t know how to swim. He loved tubing on the lake and sitting around the bon fire and making friends from other states! These were all new experiences that he conquered over the next four years as he returned and grew both spiritually and emotionally. He remembers during a scavenger hunt event he carried other kids through the obstacle course and was later selected as their leader! From this experience, it sparked leadership qualities in him which he has continued to grow and develop.

But Octavious’ most memorable camp moment was when he surrendered his life to Christ! His camp counselors shared the Gospel with him which sparked an “aha moment” in his life motivating him to return to Memphis and live differently.

Today, Octavious is a leader amongst his peers in North Memphis and just completed his first year at Lane University (YAY OCTAVIOUS!!!). He encouraged his family to rearrange their summer schedule to make sure his younger sister, Sharice would be able to attend camp this summer like he had as a teen.

And now Octavious wants to give back … and eventually be an Adult Counselor at camp himself.

HOW EXCITING!!!

But it costs each student $215 to attend.

We have 34 kids that we have built relationships with, have worked with through various Oasis programs, feel they will benefit from camp, and are willing to send our staff and volunteers to counsel them through the awesome emotional process of the overload of the amazing experience of camp, but we need financial sponsors to help us pay each youth’s camp cost.

North Memphis is an ‘under-resourced’ community in our city. This means that families and kids living here aren’t offered the same opportunities as other kids around town. There are zero expectations that they will be taking a trip to the ocean, or Yellowstone, or experiencing a month – or even a week – of fun at a camp of any kind.

Being gifted a chance to attend camp … BIBLE camp … in another city, and even more exciting in another state, is a VERY big deal to kids who have most likely barely even left their own neighborhood.

We are interested in transforming urban youth in our city to impact their communities for Christ. We are interested in developing leaders like Octavious … and Shirice!

If you believe in this mission too, we’d love your support and prayers. Campers leave June 7th and return June 13th.

Donate online or send us a check. THANK YOU for being part of this movement to transform!

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