TAMPA, Fla. – Students are back in school in Hillsborough County, and Outreach Assisting Students in Schools Network (OASIS) staff and volunteers have worked all summer to ensure that students have access to the basic necessities they need to start the year off successfully. They will continue to work throughout the school year.
More than 60 percent of HCPS students live in poverty, making it challenging for them to obtain the basic necessities they need for academic success. OASIS typically provides clothing, shoes, alarm clocks, toiletries, backpacks, books and other items to about 11,000 students annually.
“It’s important to us that students feel confident and ready for a successful school year,” said Ginger Bean, OASIS executive director.
The four OASIS locations, in east, south and north Tampa, plus Seffner, will provide free clothing, shoes and other basic necessities to students in HCPS throughout the school year. OASIS and HCPS social workers have a unique partnership that ensures students in need receive the items quickly and efficiently.
Children living in poverty face many obstacles that prevent them from attending school. The mission of OASIS is to eliminate some of these barriers. OASIS, a grassroots organization run primarily by volunteers, relies on the support of individuals, schools, churches, foundations, corporations and charitable clubs for donations and grants; the charity receives very limited local government funding, and only irregularly. OASIS collects new and gently used clothing and uses monetary donations and private grants to purchase uniforms, hygiene products, shoes, socks, undergarments, backpacks, and alarm clocks for students. Through a partnership with the YMCA, donation boxes are located at the South Tampa Family YMCA and New Tampa YMCA. Anyone interested in helping OASIS through volunteering or donating should email email@example.com. More information is available at www.oasis-network.org.