146 Families Save By Filing Their Taxes At Our VITA Site

April 02, 2018

IMG_3165We had an another amazing year through our free tax assistance program Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)! Initially, we were concerned that we may have to close the site because our wonderful coordinator from last year had to leave to help take care of her aging parents but God had other plans! Ms. Ellen Williams, who originally grew up in North Memphis, spent much of her career with the IRS and wanted to give back in a meaningful way to her community and the Lord, so stepped in and oversaw the program. What a blessing!

On top of that, we had a very productive year with our faithful volunteers. This year they helped 146 families file returns and get refunds totaling $258,752. This added to the previous 11 years brings a total of 1,963 returns totaling $3,531,903 in refunds for the 2017 tax year. Then if consider the average cost of a $200 filing fee per return over that time (that we didn’t charge since our services are free), this gives an additional savings of $392,600.

So, approximately $3,924,503 has been put back into North Memphis family’s pockets through this practical 12-year ministry!

Praise the Lord for His faithfulness over the years and for providing such a blessing through our volunteers and through Ms. Ellen…we couldn’t do it without them!

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.

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.

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

 

We Are Hiring A Ministry Director to Join Our Team!

April 28, 2017

Blackboard with the text We want youWe are *more than excited* to announce we are ready to hire additional staffing to enhance our staff and outreaches!

We are hiring a Ministry Director!

Following are the details of the job. If you are interested or know someone who is, please contact Terry Hoff, our Executive Director with your resume (contact information below). For our prayer warriors, please be in faithful prayer about bringing on the person God knows is the perfect fit! Details are:

Department/Ministry: Oasis of Hope
Job Title:
Ministry Director
Reports to: Executive Director of Oasis of Hope
Salary Range: Commensurate with Experience
Type of Position: Full-Time

General Description: This position will be an essential part of Oasis of Hope with the overall responsibility to: Oversee the ministries coordinated by the staff, including ministry direction, evaluation, and staff/volunteer relations; with an emphasis on making disciples. In addition, adult outreach will be a main responsibility (discipleship, life/skills, connection with Hope City Church).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Love and be a follower of Jesus Christ
  • Adhere to the Core Values and ministry philosophy of Oasis of Hope
  • Be a Servant Leader – the main responsibility is to serve the staff so they can succeed
  • Provide leadership to the staff, in area of ministry impact, making sure our energy/resources are utilized to their potential
  • Conduct program evaluations (in conjunction with the responsible staff person), offering suggestions for improvement and assisting them in making the necessary changes
  • Lead weekly staff meetings (in partnership with Executive Director), providing Biblical motivation and making sure staff are on the same page and ministry calendar
  • Run ministry outreaches for adults in the community, including discipleship & life-skills
  • Correspond and work with various departments of Hope Church & Hope City Church
  • Respond clearly and promptly to all calls and emails
  • Organize and prioritize work flow
  • Have a “whatever it takes” attitude and a passion for urban ministry

Skills and experience requirements:

  • Have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Word).
  • Strong written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, handle multiple tasks, and reassess priorities as necessary.
  • Energetic, exceptional organizational skills and a positive outlook.

Education Requirements:

  • Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred. Minimum of 5 years of related experience. . Church ministry experience is preferred.

Other:

  • Participate in weekend ministry assignments, as needed
  • Compile/maintain basic ministry schedule/calendar from all departments
  • Have a working knowledge of Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and post as assigned
  • Others duties as necessary

To Apply: Send a resume & references to: Terry Hoff, Executive Director, terry@oasis-of-hope.com, 901/438-6600, fax 901/527-0053; 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38018.

Download a PDF of the job description: Oasis of Hope Ministry Director 2017 3

For more information about our ministries, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website for detailed information.

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

March 04, 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

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