We may not always notice it, but there are people in need all around us. As students, we don’t always think about this because after all, who could be in more need than a struggling, Top Ramen eating college student? Well the truth is there are scores of hungry families and underprivileged children all throughout Tacoma. One of our very own alumni, Joe Davis, knows this all too well. As president of Tacoma’s Oasis of Hope Foundation, Davis sees the struggle first hand. Freshly appointed since January, Davis stated that he has much to give to his foundation and his community. He and his Executive Director Jessica Hatley expressed their desire for the expansion of their many programs which includes clothing the homeless and underprivileged, and partnering with Popeye’s Chicken to feed the hungry.
At their most recent event, Feed the Need, Oasis of Hope fed more than 500 people and gave presents to 450 children in need. While Davis expressed great pride in this achievement, he also stressed the need for growth.
“More than anything we need money…” stated Executive Director Hatley, “We also need grant writers and volunteers to help us grow.” On the bright side, Hatley and Davis praised UWT for its involvement, stating that they receive loads of help from students and Dr. Marian Harris, an associate professor at UWT with her Ph.D. in Social Work. However, there is always room for improvement. A tour of the facility revealed a large spacious building with huge potential for growth and community development.
According to the City of Tacoma’s Community Data Report, as of 2012 there were more than 2,000 homeless men, women and children roaming the streets of Tacoma. Davis and his foundation are seeking to lessen that number by providing warm meals and a place to sleep for families and individuals in need. In order to expand their outreach, Davis and Hatley need more volunteers and donations. Davis stated, “If anyone is interested, please don’t hesitate to ask, or just stop by to learn more!”