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

February 24, 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.

Donations Needed to Restock Oasis Appliance and Home!

February 22, 2017

2015-1-staff-176x176It’s tax season again, which means BOOM-TIME for Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings!

Our customers often wait to get their tax refund before purchasing needed appliances or pieces of furniture. Keeping our stockroom filled is a challenge year-round, but keeping up with demand January-April is especially challenging because we are busy! It’s a good problem to have!

If you have an appliance that you are considering updating, or some furniture that you’d like to donate to a good cause – the best timing is now!

2013 11 new arrivals web300 (14)If you’re a Hope Church attender, you can deliver any items both big and small to the “Oasis Appliance” trailer in the parking lot outside Entrance 3, or contact us for pickup, or call 901-577-0013. We are excited to be operating in our new location in the Frayser Northgate Shopping Center, 3154 Thomas Street (behind AutoZone), Tuesday-Saturday 10a-4pm. Come check us out! Everyone is welcome to shop and every sale helps provide job training & employment for an under-resourced community.

SHOP! Everyone is welcome to shop and proceeds benefit this ministry

DONATE! Please continue to send us your donated appliances, furniture, and decor

VOLUNTEER: We’d love to plug you in; maybe this is a place you can give back to our city in 2017?

SPREAD THE WORD! Help us alert North Memphis, Frayser and beyond to our new, temporary location. Nothing is as valuable as a personal recommendation! Please tell your friends, family and neighbors through word-of-mouth or on social media (Follow us on Facebook).

PRAY! Please also be praying for direction as we continue to seek a permanent space in North Memphis to fulfill this practical need within our ministry neighborhood.

Thank you for your support! We are so happy to be back up and running after our fire in August!

For more information, or to schedule a pick-up, visit www.oasis-of-hope.com. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following Oasis on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Join us for The Easter Experience April 16 at Noon

February 20, 2017

oasis-easter-egg-hunt300We are thrilled to once again partner with Hope City! Pastor Cooper will be providing an inspirational Easter message during a time of teaching and worship, including special music, and even door prizes and a raffle drawing! Parents can sit back and enjoy a time for adults, while we watch the kids, teach them a Bible lesson, and take them on a quest to fill their baskets with eggs and candy.

Bring your friends and neighbors and come out to celebrate the meaning of Easter, have fun with the kids, and get to know Community Pastor Colley and his family.

Date: Easter Sunday, April 16th
Location: Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary School, 951 Chelsea Ave.
Time: 12:00pm

test-100x116Get Involved: If you would like to be involved in helping, we can use your help! You can either volunteer your time, or donate items for the hunt:

  • Volunteer your time to help with the kids
  • Donate baskets, plastic eggs, candy (no chocolate please; it melts), or stuffed eggs taped shut (Look for drop-off bins at Hope Church)

This is going to be a great community building event and we’d love to have you help us spread the word and join us Easter Sunday! If you would like more details about the The Easter Experience, contact Jasmine.

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

Lions Cage: A New Program For Middle School Guys

February 18, 2017

2016-tylon-walkerFor many years we have offered an excellent program for middle school ladies called Warrior Princesses to address important issues facing this season of life. This program has been exceedingly popular with both girls and volunteers, so much so that we knew we needed an equivalent program for the guys. So, we are thrilled to announce Lions Cage Boys Club for our middle school boys!

This is a mentoring program geared toward urban boys living in a disadvantaged environment in grades 4-6 where they can learn skills that are relevant to their actual life experiences. We seek to help develop character and dignity in each young man through our partnership with a diverse group of dedicated mentors. We also want to increase their networks by connecting them to resources that will enhance their scope of life.

2017 Lions Cage Schedule (subject to change):
Jan. 7: Orientation (outing)
Jan. 21: The Four Faces of Manhood: an Overview of the principles of Manhood (Self-Defense)
Feb. 4: The King Face (A man’s leadership, worth, goals, and ambitions … made for greatness!)
Feb. 18: Field trip – TBD
Mar. 4: Warrior Face (What should a man take a stand for? Peer pressure, bullying, conflict resolution, and more – Self defense)
Mar. 18: Spring Break – no meeting
April 1: Friend Face (A man’s circle: How to make friends and navigate relationships – Self defense)
April 15: Lover Face (Why is Jesus and Love important to manhood – Easter weekend)
May 6: Field trip – TBD
May 20: End of year party (Parent & child)

Location: Bickford Community Center
Meeting Dates: 1st and 3rd Saturdays, 10:30a-12p

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS:

1. Volunteer with us: We need several male volunteers to assist who are willing to commit to a mentoring relationship. We’d especially love African-American males to join us!

2. Donate funds to support this ministry: We always appreciate financial support; donate online or by mail here.

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.

Attend Hope City Church…A New Way To Do Church!

February 06, 2017

logo-web215x215Last week we watched a years-long dream come to fruition as Pastor Colley Cooper took the stage and welcomed North Memphis to Hope City’s first official church service!

Hope City is here to offer the unchurched, the dechurched and the rechurched a New Way To Do Church!

Everyone is welcome at Hope City and there are no dress codes, no inner circles, and no churchy languages. This is just a church with a passion to be relevant and real for our neighborhood.

Hope City’s Vision:

We are a place where the unchurched can find meaning and purpose through Christ-centered living and love-centered outreach!

Hope City’s Mission:

- Evangelize the lost
- Equip the believer
- Empower the community

Join Pastor Colley and team on Sundays at noon in the Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary School (951 Chelsea Ave) for an uplifting message and spiritual connection. Children’s ministry provided.

Be sure to following Hope City on Facebook and Twitter!

For more information about this exciting and growing ministry, or to learn more about how you can get involved, email Pastor Colley  or call him at 901-881-5877.

Why Has Our Senior Program Doubled? Volunteers Needed!

January 08, 2017

web2-IMG_3460Any line dancers out there? How about computer nerds? Or maybe you’re a quilter or an arts and crafts fan?

Have you ever considered that using your personal interests and talents could immensely bless others? Our senior ministry has doubled to 123 members in the past few years and we are in need of at least five more weekly volunteers to come and hang out with us! We are bursting at the seams but are thrilled that the word has spread that Bickford Senior Center is the ‘happening place to be’ for those 60 and over in North Memphis!

Our Seniors Program Director of nearly 3 years, Shirley Glenn, in partnership with Activities Coordinator, Leon Murrell, have poured themselves into advocating for our seniors and have been growing and expanding the programming we offer to provide activities that are truly needed and wanted. Practical, helpful, useful and fun events rotate weekly and this program has evolved from a place to perhaps cool off or warm up, to a place that offers educational, healthful, spiritual, practical, financial and fun activities for members, volunteers and staff to enjoy Mondays-Fridays from 8am-1pm.

The atmosphere around the center is very casual but bustling. Friendships are formed here, and relationships are developed that go beyond a neighborly hello. Seniors look forward to spending time with their friends doing the typically expected activities such as playing bingo or wii, sewing or making ceramics, exercising by line dancing or practicing water aerobics, and attending the highly-anticipated field trips that are both educational and social.

2014-susan-harber-110x116However, so much more is offered in addition to the assumed senior activities. Through seeking out numerous local partnerships, seniors can expect delicious free meals, optometry assistance, regular health check-ups, massages, needed home repair, and financial help. And programming is continually expanding and evolving to address new needs as they arise. For example, cell provider, Cricket, will be coming next week to work with anyone needing a lesson on how to use their cell phones. UT nursing interns are scheduled to check blood pressures and discuss blood sugar. The Red Cross will be coming to address disaster awareness. MPD is always nearby and can often be talked into playing a round of Spades. We’d like to give a special thanks to the City of Memphis, Division of Parks & Neighborhoods for their generosity in providing this facility free of charge!

This is a FUN place to be and the activity calendar is packed providing both the social and the practical! Come teach a line dance, or show someone how to send an email, or just simply provide a listening ear and adopt a grandparent! If you have a heart for seniors and a hobby or skill you are willing to share, we invite you to hang out in the most happening spot in North Memphis!

To volunteer or to become a member (free; must be 60 years or older), contact Shirley. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Bringing Hope to Readers at Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary

December 01, 2016

bringing-hope-web800“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Lila Watson

And with that vision, a new and deeper partnership to invest in North Memphis students has begun between Hope Church and Caldwell-Guthrie/Memphis Scholars Elementary under the leadership of School Director, Janai Douglas!

Students in North Memphis need this investment. Why?

– Because only 33% of students are proficient/advanced in reading
– Low reading levels and high drop out rates are directly correlated
– 4% of students are reading at the college readiness rate
– There is no federal funding for remedial courses

What is Bringing Hope’s goal?

With an intensive commitment to work on student’s reading skills, it is Director Douglas’ goal that due to this investment 70% of students would increase their reading level for 1.5 years each academic year with a program like this!

bringing-hope-9-14-2016-webHow can you help?

Through volunteer-led reading groups, teacher-led whole group instruction, and small group instruction, together we can help kids reach this lofty goal of improving reading levels by 1.5 years per each academic year!

What does volunteering look like?

Volunteers only need to commit to being in the classroom one hour per week, and to read with the same group of 5-6 students all year for 20 minutes of that time (the rest of the time will include collecting and reviewing tutoring materials prior to assisting). Books and discussion questions will be provided and will be assigned by the teachers. The objective each week will simply be to improve or heighten reading comprehension. We will initially begin working with younger classrooms, but will grow to assist with K-5.

Make a difference and sign up!

It’s easy to get started! All you need to do is email the coordinator and let us know you’d like to join the team! You will receive a needed background clearance link, and following this step, will be contacted to help you find a time-slot that fits your schedule. Slots begin at 9am and continue until the school day is over, Monday-Friday.

Reading begins September 12th!

This is a program offered and organized by our parent church, Hope Church. We are thrilled they are providing such a focused investment within Oasis of Hope’s North Memphis boundaries! We are so excited for the future of this community! If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Marcia.

Toy Store – Remaining Toys at Oasis Appliance & Home!

November 08, 2016

Toy Drive Promotion12/11/2016: We have brought all remaining toys from the Oasis Toy Store to the new location of the Oasis Appliance Store (3154 Thomas Street, Suite 2, Frayser, Northgate Shopping Center, Tel:  901.577.0013, www.facebook.com/OasisApplianceAndHome ). Come & get some incredible deals!! Toys priced at 75% less than retail prices!

Due to the fire at Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings, we will be offering a one day Oasis Toy Store Pop-up Shop on Dec. 10th! Oasis of Hope and Hope City Church are partnering together to bring the joy of Christmas to our North Memphis neighbors! Through your generous gifts, our annual Toy Store empowers parents to provide new toys with dignity for their children at a fraction of the cost. Please bring new, unwrapped toys to Hope Church now through December 8th and drop them in the marked barrels across the campus. We will need lots of volunteers to help set up, run and cleanup.

Store hours will be 10am-5pm on Saturday, December 10, at Caldwell-Guthrie School, 951 Chelsea Ave.

Toy Ideas (really just think about what you want to buy your own child and buy two!):
– Games like: Uno cards, board games like PieFace, Monopoly, Life, Connect Four, Sorry, Twister
– Other ideas: Barbies, Monster High dolls, My Little Ponies (Pinky Pie, Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle)
– Transformers and Legos!

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares … with the poor – Proverbs 22:9

For questions contact Melissa Orr or for more information or to donate online and let us do the shopping for you, 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.

 

Oasis Appliance and Home is Back in Business! Stop by!

November 01, 2016

oasis--used-appliances-100xWow a fire is painful!

On August 28, 2016 we learned just how hard it would be to walk through the process of filing insurance claims, negotiating with our landowner about new options, keeping our employees paid while they worked through the ashes, and ultimately having to shop for new temporary and permanent locations.

Therefore, in order to be open and to be able to sell all these wonderful appliances and furniture items people have continued to donate during this challenging season (thank you donors!), we are thrilled to announce we are now open temporarily at the following location:

Northgate Shopping Center, 3154 Thomas Street, Suite 2, Frayser, TN 38127
Store Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Phone: 901/577-0013

We have four needs from you:

SHOP! We have lots of stock that has been waiting to be put on display! Come out and see what we’ve got!

2013 11 new arrivals web300 (14)DONATE! Please continue to send us your donated appliances, furniture, and decor, just in time to stock the showroom for our busiest season: December-February!

SPREAD THE WORD! Help us alert North Memphis, Frayser and beyond to our new, temporary location. Nothing is as valuable as a personal recommendation! Please tell your friends, family and neighbors through word-of-mouth or on social media (Follow us on Facebook).

PRAY! Please also be praying for direction as we continue to seek a permanent space in North Memphis to fulfill this practical need within our ministry neighborhood.

For more information, or to schedule a pick-up, visit www.oasis-of-hope.com. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following Oasis on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Fire at Oasis Appliance and Bike Shop on August 28!

October 10, 2016

oa-fire-8-28-2016-web-collaIt’s sure a great thing that God has promised us that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)! We are absolutely counting on such promises and are waiting to see God’s handiwork, because on August 28, 2016, Oasis Appliance and Home Furnishings and the Oasis Bike Shop experienced a store fire immediately following our big week partnering with Habitat for Humanity!

We are sincerely grateful to the Memphis Fire Department who arrived within about two minutes of our 911 call, & contained the fire quickly! Due to this however, they needed to bore holes through the brick exterior to get in, and there is relatively minor fire and water damage, but there is extensive smoke damage. This means that a layer of smokey soot has covered everything in the store and even things you wouldn’t imagine … every wall, every nook, and every cranny!

We also want to send a special thank you to all of our friends in North Memphis who saw the fire and were concerned and came to assist, support and provide help in any way!

We are now in the process of having our staff and volunteers work painstakingly through the damages, and having the entire building professional cleaned. All of our showroom products (appliances, furniture, bikes) have been contaminated and will need to now either be disposed of or professionally cleaned.

The good news is that we have an off-site warehouse where we store donations and overstock, and our vehicles were not damaged! Therefore, we are still picking up donations daily; so please keep them coming!! If you have a gently used appliance or home decor item to donate, we are ready and willing to pick them up! Please call us at 901.577.0013 to make arrangements, or continue to fill out our online pick-up form. Thank you for continued faithfulness in supporting us during this especially trying time!!

In the meantime, please join us in praying for the following needs:

-pray for Dana Driver, Strategic Store Manager, as he leads the ministry through this challenging time
-protection over our volunteers and employees as they clean the store amidst the smokey atmosphere
-that we would be able to open the store in a temporary format … whatever that looks like
-favorable results of the insurance settlement
-that we wouldn’t lose our customer base during our temporary closure
-that God would use something outwardly appearing negative for our good … even a devastating fire (Romans 8:28)
-that in the meantime, donations would continue to pour in daily
-that the fire won’t delay our plans for the Oasis Toy Store in December (we began buying toys in July)

We deeply cherish your prayers and support during this very difficult time as we continue to pay out salaries to local employees while only being able to bring in minimal income. We absolutely are confident that God has a bigger plan for this so will continue to be faithful in the day to day tasks before us.

Sincerely,
Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings Management

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