OASIS COMPASSION AGENCY INC
January 27, 2010
I first started volunteering at Oasis Compassion Agency about a couple years ago when my college advisors recommended that I do some volunteer work because "it looks good on a resume". I chose Oasis solely because it was located 2 minutes away from my home and they were open on Saturdays. Thinking about it now, it's actually kind of interesting how my self-interest controlled my decisions for a place to volunteer, everything needed to be perfectly convenient for me. And this is the exact opposite of what volunteering is all about. When I accrued sufficient hours of volunteer work, I could have stopped, but there was something about Oasis that kept drawing me in to its doors. And of course, if I couldn't give my time, I would try my best to make a donation of some sort to help out the agency.
I actually figured out what kept me coming back to Oasis. When the clients walked in to the food pantry to collect their bread and pastries, and community food, they expressed the purest form of content and gratitude that you rarely see in society anymore. They kept thanking me as if I was the CEO, when I was just the distributor, the middleman. My greatest experience is with the kids. I love giving them candy, snacks, juice, or anything else we had in the pantry for them because they're so innocent and sweet, and it breaks my heart to know that their parents can't afford a basic necessity like food, which some of us, including me, take for granted sometimes.
Oasis Compassion Agency has helped me grow in so many ways. This is so remarkable because even though it is designed to assist clients in need, I was also someone in need who didn't know it, and who didn't enter Oasis for help. I didn't need food, clothing, or career counseling, but I needed a perspective to really become aware of what is going on this world and empathize with others, to love one another and treat one another as if we were brothers and sisters.
It was then that I decided to understand the purpose of Oasis. Oasis is built upon Biblical principles, and is focused on assisting the homeless/needy/unemployed to get back on their feet. What's great about this program is that it "teaches a man to fish instead of giving him a fish". Oasis accomplishes this by offering computer classes and workshops to train clients to become better job applicants. In addition, the thrift store is stocked with formal attire for the clients to wear on their interviews. Clients who enroll in these courses are then eligible to receive community food for a period of 6 months. As a result, Oasis attempts to transform these clients by providing them with the tools they need to succeed and boosting their confidence and self-esteem. The program is definitely a success because the Oasis Job Counselor helped placed over 20 clients in jobs last year, and the numbers continue to rise despite the economic downturn. Amazing!
It is such a privilege to be part of the Oasis team because of their loving staff, volunteers, and clients who work together for enrichment and positive growth.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
advertise more to schools for food drives.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
Oasis welcomes everyone.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
the type of people I could be surrounded by all the time. These people have genuine hearts.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
effectively open more doors to distribute food to many locations to people who need it. Keeping in line with its mission, it would also purchase the computers and training equipment/staff to help clients get back on their feet.
Ways to make it better...
I committed more time to it.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
continuing to have sufficient resources to match the growing number of clients that walk through the doors.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every month
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & I served at the food counter, I served at the computer desk to check in clients, I stocked the shelves with food, I organized and wrapped gifts for the Christmas party we held for the clients, sometimes I take out the trash and tidy the pantry, I collecte.