Sign Up with Amazon Smile and Re-Enroll Your Kroger Card

February 08, 2017

kroger 275x303Kroger Requires You to Re-Enroll Your Desired Non-Profit Each January: Shop at Kroger and Donate 3-5% without writing a check!

Each January 1st, all Kroger Community Reward Participants are required to renew their organization of choice to receive Kroger reward payments. We are hoping you will choose Oasis of Hope!

It may seem like a small act, but it’s a huge help! Designating Oasis of Hope on your Kroger card allows you to donate to our ministry each time you shop for groceries or buy gas!

For example, if 2,500 people spent $100, Oasis could receive a total of $7,500!

We can do a lot of ministry with that!

It takes about 3 minutes and registering your Kroger Plus Card is easier than ever:

If you already have an existing Kroger account:

  1. Sign in to your Kroger account at www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Click ‘View Your Rewards Details,’ edit your Community Rewards, and search for ‘Oasis of Hope’ (or 80469). Click ‘enroll’

If you are registering your Kroger account for the first time:

  1. Creat an account at www.kroger.com/communityrewards
  2. Follow the prompts to enter your email, password, & address.
  3. Click ‘View Your Rewards Details’ and designate Oasis of Hope as your Community Rewards recipient by typing ‘Oasis of Hope’ in the Search box (or #80469). Click ‘enroll’

That’s it!

amazon-smile-logo110x116AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Oasis of Hope! Same products, same service!

To designate your existing Amazon account:

  1. Go to www.smile.amazon.com (email/password); click ‘Sign In’
  2. Type “Oasis of Hope” in the search field (Cordova, TN) & select … then Start Shopping! From then on Amazon will remind you to sign in with using the ‘Smile’ site every time you log on.

Shop online via Smile.Amazon.com rather than Amazon.com. Smile.Amazon.com has the same products, prices, and service as Amazon.com, and Oasis of Hope will receive a donation from Amazon equal to .5% of your purchases placed through Smile.Amazon.com.

Invite family and friends from across the country to support Oasis of Hope by designating Oasis of Hope, Inc. on their Amazon account and shop through Smile.Amazon.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.

Teens From SLA Program Get Offered Part-Time Jobs!

September 01, 2016

SLA-web500I am very proud to say that this year’s Summer Leadership program was a huge success! Summer Leadership Academy (or SLA) is an 8 week leadership development program aimed at high school youth. SLA is designed to help teens grow in their leadership capacity, biblical worldview, workplace competency, and in their social capital. This is achieved through training sessions, exposure outings, and work internships. A recent study out of Chicago showed that that an 8 week paid summer jobs programs for at-risk youth reduced violent crime arrests by 43% over a 16-month period. So we decided to create a space where teens could learn and develop skills called Summer Leadership Academy. This is extremely important because without this type of investment kids who grow up in generational poverty will have a hard time successfully transitioning into the “real world.”

It’s been strange, however, to talk to my teens about the challenges of the “real world.” I know many of the youth I mentor have experienced more trauma in their short lives than most people twice their age. They understand what it means to be poor and to struggle. They know what it means to experience significant loss. They are not afraid of the uncertainties of life, but in fact, they are quite adapted to disappointment. They do however, have many fears. Ironically, my student leaders are often afraid of success. After navigating through life with very little affirmation concerning their ability to impact the world around them, they struggle to believe that their choices can actually lead to significant success in life. They have learned simply to be resilient and to survive.

It’s easy for me to relate to my student leaders. Growing up I didn’t know many successful people. That is why success seemed so unrealistic for me as a teen. It was not until God placed mentors in my life that I made a change. It was the first time I understood that I had talents and gifts that people needed. My mentors helped me to see how I could make an impact on the world around me. They took the time to affirm my gifts and talents. They also leveraged their influence to help me gain opportunities and gave guidance concerning what it took to become successful. In short, my mentors gave me hope regarding what I could achieve in life. I developed a new perspective that allowed me to dream beyond what my underprivileged community had to offer.

SLA has been a way for me to give back to youth in at-risk community much like the one I grew up in. We have sought out partnerships with local businesses like Chick-Fil-A and Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings to host our teens as summer interns as we provide training and accountability for their work ethic and character. We have raised money from people who believe in what we do to provide work stipends for the teens, so that our student leaders can learn the value earning an honest dollar. We also took the teens on college tours and other exposure trips to help our young leaders discover what they want out of life.

One of the student leaders told me that after our long summer experience that I had become like a father to her and the SLA teens. She said she understood what I was trying to do for them and that she appreciated it.

I could only think how my mentors supported me as a teen and had become father figures in my life. Nothing is more fulfilling than being able to pay forward the gift God gave me in my time of need. I am more convinced than ever that programs don’t change people, but it’s people who change people. Our decisions to invest in the lives of others will bring healing to our communities and also to the world around us. We’d love to have you join us; we need more mentors.

– Martell Hixson, High School Youth Developer

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.

Summer Leadership Academy…Teen Internships

July 22, 2016

2015-martell-web800As a teen, I craved attention. I wanted to know that my life had significance. Yet, the message I received from the world around me said that I was at best a nuisance. I remember dreaming of doing something significant, but never really thinking it was possible. All that changed when I experienced leadership training from a childhood mentor one summer. I felt I was able to achieve anything after that summer experience.

Summer Leadership Academy (SLA) is a program inspired by my own story. The development I received as a teen must be given to a new generation of student leaders. Some of our youth experienced similar dream crushing upbringings. SLA is designed to encourage hope for the future and to give confidence building exposure through role models and opportunities. Much of SLA is based off of the Great Commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:37-40).  Our passion for the Great Commandment has lead us to focus on the foundational values, 1) spiritual formation, 2) servanthood/acts of love, and 3) love for neighbors/strangers.

With these core values in place, the goal for SLA is to provide cultural exposure, leadership development and service opportunities for students in order to promote longevity and sustainability in Oasis of Hope’s youth development processes:

  • Cultural Exposure – We are providing strategic opportunities to enlarge the worldview and perspective of our student leaders. We want to help our youth see what’s possible when motivated by love and faith. For example, youth will attend a diversity training at Bridges as well as experience racial & economic diversity by attending St. Jude, Slavehaven, art shows and cross cultural service projects.
  • Leadership Development – We seek to provide spiritual, character and vocational training to enlarge the understanding and competencies of our youth. We want to help our student leaders become more functional in their faith.  For example, our business professional mentors are teaching the students many of the business essentials to succeed in the workforce.
  • Service Opportunities – Our students are experiencing the workplace in an on-the-job setting serving as interns at Chick-fil-A and Oasis Appliance. In addition, many served as volunteer leaders at our Summer VBS program and other outreaches designed to stretch their leadership muscles and grow in this essential aspect of their lives.

2015-summer-leadership-acadThe six week curriculum is based around:

  • Love for God (acknowledging the creator)
  • Love for Self (knowing one’s value)
  • Love for Others (engaging community)
  • Acts of Love (the importance of service)
  • Love for the City (stewardship)
  • Social justice and Community Development (equity for all)

One of our teens involved in SLA told me that it’s time for them to give back to their own community. She was so encouraged by her leadership training that she couldn’t wait to find a way to invest in others. The teens are learning the power of Gospel to give them purpose and confidence. Every lesson learned and every time they serve, our student leaders grow in many unanticipated ways. One student even told me that he wanted my job. It was then that I knew our leadership training was working.

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” – 2 Timothy 2:2

We are really thankful for Chick-fil-A and Oasis Appliance and furnishing for hosting interns from SLA last year! Their partnership has provided the opportunity for three of our student leaders to have part time work and the ability to develop work history as they move towards adulthood. While we are able to train student leader to develop professionalism and character for the workforce, without strategic partnerships with local businesses we could not fulfill the vision of Summer Leadership Academy. If you are able to host an SLA student intern for 6 weeks at your local business next summer, we can deliver a highly motivated and accountable young leader to your team! Partner with us by making an impact on our city’s youth!

Martell Hixson, High School Youth Developer, Oasis of Hope

If you would like more information regarding this specific 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.

Summer Leadership Academy; A Ministry From the Heart

July 25, 2015

2015-martell-web800As a teen, I craved attention. I wanted to know that my life had significance. Yet, the message I received from the world around me said that I was at best a nuisance. I remember dreaming of doing something significant, but never really thinking it was possible. All that changed when I experienced leadership training from a childhood mentor one summer. I felt I was able to achieve anything after that summer experience.

Summer Leadership Academy (SLA) is a program inspired by my own story. The development I received as a teen must be given to a new generation of student leaders. Some of our youth experienced similar dream crushing upbringings. SLA is designed to encourage hope for the future and to give confidence building exposure through role models and opportunities. Much of SLA is based off of the Great Commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:37-40).  Our passion for the Great Commandment has lead us to focus on the foundational values, 1) spiritual formation, 2) servanthood/acts of love, and 3) love for neighbors/strangers.

With these core values in place, the goal for SLA is to provide cultural exposure, leadership development and service opportunities for students in order to promote longevity and sustainability in Oasis of Hope’s youth development processes:

  • Cultural Exposure – We are providing strategic opportunities to enlarge the worldview and perspective of our student leaders. We want to help our youth see what’s possible when motivated by love and faith. For example, youth will attend a diversity training at Bridges as well as experience racial & economic diversity by attending St. Jude, Slavehaven, art shows and cross cultural service projects.
  • Leadership Development – We seek to provide spiritual, character and vocational training to enlarge the understanding and competencies of our youth. We want to help our student leaders become more functional in their faith.  For example, our business professional mentors are teaching the students many of the business essentials to succeed in the workforce.
  • Service Opportunities – Our students are experiencing the workplace in an on-the-job setting serving as interns at Chick-fil-A and Oasis Appliance. In addition, many served as volunteer leaders at our Summer VBS program and other outreaches designed to stretch their leadership muscles and grow in this essential aspect of their lives.

2015-summer-leadership-acadThe six week curriculum is based around:

  • Love for God (acknowledging the creator)
  • Love for Self (knowing one’s value)
  • Love for Others (engaging community)
  • Acts of Love (the importance of service)
  • Love for the City (stewardship)
  • Social justice and Community Development (equity for all)

One of our teens involved in SLA told me that it’s time for them to give back to their own community. She was so encouraged by her leadership training that she couldn’t wait to find a way to invest in others. The teens are learning the power of Gospel to give them purpose and confidence. Every lesson learned and every time they serve, our student leaders grow in many unanticipated ways. One student even told me that he wanted my job. It was then that I knew our leadership training was working.

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” – 2 Timothy 2:2

Martell Hixson, High School Youth Developer, Oasis of Hope