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

February 12, 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.

Tax Season is Over! Thank You To Our Tax Volunteers!

May 04, 2016

2015 VITA (1)April 15th, 2016 has officially passed and our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) team has wrapped up another successful season of serving our North Memphis families by providing honest, reliable, and free tax filing.

This year, our team filed 95 returns, producing a savings of $271,047!

Since 2016 marked our tenth year of offering this service, we have cumulatively filed 1,667 returns and saved our community $2,984,047, allowing that money to be invested back into families and into the neighborhood!

Director Peggy Fulmer Ball recalls a favorite memory from this year: “We had two stories of men who were returning clients and brought their college student sons with them this year. We were able to confirm they had tax credits coming if they could get the necessary forms from their schools. They each came back with the 2015 VITA (7)paperwork the next week and we were able to help them get the maximum refunds. It was so awesome to assist these families working to improve the lives of their children!”

We cannot thank our volunteers enough for their faithful commitment and willingness to spend weeks of Saturdays serving and loving on people. If you are interested in being involved on this team next year, training is provided and you do not need to be a certified accountant.

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

It’s Our 10th Year; We’ve Saved People Almost $3M!!

March 09, 2016

Oasis-VITA-100x116OASIS VITA TAX ASSISTANCE – 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.

“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 10th tax season, and to-date our volunteers have filed 1,572 returns in the past nine years saving North Memphis residents $2,713,000 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 from January 31 through March 28. 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 or www.oasis-of-hope.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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Our Tax Volunteers Have Saved N Memphis Almost $3 Million!

April 08, 2015

2015 VITA (3)God is Good – and so are our faithful VITA Volunteers!

Oasis just wrapped up its tax filing outreach for the year…another great year of very tangible impact in families lives! This year the team filed 112 tax returns, requiring 203 volunteer man-hours, and saved people $242,204 this year alone in tax credits and filing fees! That means donating a lot of Saturdays to faithfully show up week after week to file taxes!

This team is a humble/faithful group that has been serving the community for 9 years … NINE years! Their wonderful leader over that time has been Doug Edwards. His commitment, faithfulness, and servant’s heart has been a powerful witness for Christ proving that helping people with their taxes is way more than a love of numbers … it’s a ministry of love. This year Vikki Coker helped to share the 2015 VITA (1)load and her service has been greatly appreciated!

Over the past 9 years this awesome team has filed a total of 1,572 returns and saved low income families approximately $2,713,000 to date!

We do have a prayer request: that God will provide good leaders to take this outreach into the future, as Doug looks forward to new opportunities going forward.

We are so thankful for this ministry affecting people’s lives personally and economically…and for the wonderful people God has used to make it happen!

-Terry

Oasis Family Dinner is this Wednesday, April 15th

March 29, 2015

you're-invited-110x116Who: Families of youth participating in any Oasis of Hope program, mentors and Oasis & Bickford staff
What: Dinner for your whole family on us (it’s free)!
When: NEW DATE is Wednesday, April 15th from 6-7:30pm
Where: Bickford Community Center
Why: To enjoy community fellowship, to honor our participants, and to showcase Oasis programs that can encourage community growth

Families of the youth currently involved in our programs are invited to attend the 3rd Annual Oasis Family Dinner! We would love to treat the whole family to a delicious meal and an entertaining program to celebrate how special you are to us! Mark your calendars and plan to enjoy the sounds of the Angel Street choir, hear a rousing word from staffer Martell, and listen to personal testimonials from students & families who have been involved themselves.

We are looking forward to a fun night of fellowship and mingling, and to inform families of additional upcoming programs/volunteer opportunities we have to invest in more families in North Memphis!

We know that by working together, we will all have a much more profound impact on our community!

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 checking our website for pictures, videos and current information.

To Us Tax Season is an Exciting Way to Show We Care

March 05, 2015

Oasis-VITA-100x116At Oasis, we believe that relationships often begin by giving someone-in-need tanglible, practical help. Through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), our professional accountants and volunteers have saved North Memphis residents thousands of dollars … millions actually … which keeps money in families pockets to be used for necessary items like food and housing.

In recent years, tax filing had become dirty business in the inner city and several local businesses were charged for filing fraudulent claims and withholding money that was due people. But for eight years now, our trusted and trained volunteers have set up shop in the neighborhood for several weeks and faithfully filed honest returns – at no cost – with a main goal being to find each person all the earned income tax credits they are eligible for, as well as, save them all the filing fees other companies charge. This saves many low-income families hundreds of dollars every year and puts precious dollars back into their households and our community. The impact is not only individual, but positively impacts the entire family and local economy.

“We have many repeat customers who have come to us every year,” says former VITA Project Coordinator, Doug Edwards. ” I would estimate at least 50% of the people we serve have been coming back for at least 4 years. 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.

Over the past eight filing seasons, VITA volunteers have invested almost 2,475 hours of their own time, filed 1,460 returns, and saved people just shy of $2.5 MILLION dollars!!

We will be available to file taxes every Saturday from 9:30-1p at the Bickford Community Center from January 31 through March 28.

If you are interested in joining our volunteers (we’ll train you!), let us know! We’d love to add more members to our team!

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

Tanglible Tax Love! We Helped People Keep $2.5 MIL Dollars!!

April 20, 2014

2014-3-VITA-volunteers-web5At Oasis, we believe that relationships often begin by giving someone-in-need tanglible, practical help. Through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), our professional accountants and volunteers have saved North Memphis residents thousands of dollars … millions actually … which keeps money in families pockets to be used for necessary items like food and housing.

In recent years, tax filing had become dirty business in the inner city and several local businesses were charged for filing fraudulent claims and withholding money that was due people. But for eight years now, our trusted and trained volunteers have set up shop in the neighborhood for several weeks and faithfully filed honest returns – at no cost – with a main goal being to find each person all the earned income tax credits they are eligible for, as well as, save them all the filing fees other companies charge. This saves many low-income families hundreds of dollars every year and puts precious dollars back into their households and our community. The impact is not only individual, but positively impacts the entire family and local economy.

“We have many repeat customers who have come to us every year,” says VITA Project Coordinator, Doug Edwards. ” I would estimate at least 50% of the people we serve have been coming back for at least 4 years. 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.

Over the past eight filing seasons, VITA volunteers have invested almost 2,475 hours of their own time, filed 1,460 returns, and saved people just shy of $2.5 MILLION dollars!!

Thank you SO MUCH to our lead volunteer, Doug Edwards, who coordinates our site and to his volunteer team who make this amazing outreach possible!

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

We Are Determined to Get Residents’ Every Penny Back!

March 15, 2014

2014-3-VITA-volunteers-webA ministry that has an extremely tangible impact on our area families has begun again…the Oasis Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) site.

Here families can get their income taxes filed for free! This helps them to get all the earned income tax credits they are eligible for, as well as, save them all the filing fees other companies charge. This saves many low-income families hundreds of dollars every year.

Since its inception, eight years ago, our VITA site has processed 1,310 returns and saved families more than $2,180,000 in tax credits and filing fees! This puts precious dollars back into their households and our community. The impact is not only individual, but positively impacts the entire family and local economy.

The first day we opened this year we filed 23 returns which is the second highest total we’ve ever done in one day! We are excited to be off to a great start!

Thank you to our lead volunteer, Doug Edwards, who coordinates our site and to all of his volunteer team that makes this outreach possible!

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

It’s Ladies Night(s) at Urban Plunge! Feb. 27-March 2

January 15, 2014

memphis-neon-sign-web110x11We are offering a very special Urban Plunge for ladies only (guys – you’ll have to wait to join us on the next Plunge in the Fall)!

Spend 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.

Cost is $100 for Hope members and long-time attenders or $175 for non-Hope members. Sign up online or email Di for more information.

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