The Oasis Project: A Deeper Look
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“The Oasis Projekt”
Definition of ‘OASIS:’
1) A fertile spot in a desert where water is found.
2) A pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation.
3) Any place or thing offering welcome relief from difficulty.
The mission statement for the non-profit I’m currently putting together can be found right in the definition of it’s main word: oasis.
The Oasis Projekt will be about providing funds for a place of peace, restoration, renewal, and regeneration from one of the most turbulent, twisted and torturous nightmares that is going on worldwide even as you read this. That nightmare is human trafficking, otherwise known as ‘modern day slavery.’ the buying and selling of humans for another persons profit or personal gain. More often than not this means forced prostitution (both adults AND children) and forced child labor.
The Oasis Projekt will exist to raise awareness of this evil, as well as raise funds to make sure that those currently trapped inside (as well as those freed from it) will be cared for properly. I will go into some of those methods of care in another post, but for now I want to share how The Oasis Projekt will function.
Realizing “FUN” is in “FUNdraising!”
Im just going to start out by saying that I am no expert in raising funds. I’m just a guy who saw with his own two eyes what was happening in one city regarding human trafficking. I wanted to do something about it, so I decided to resurrect a motorcycle tour company that I had started to help raise funds for human trafficking. It was a failure! A beautiful, complete, brilliantly epic fail. OK…back to the drawing board.
So I was out hiking one day last year, and I realized: I was going to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail to help raise awareness and funds for the cause…and I did! I planned for 10 months, prepared myself, and hiked 2,000 miles from Mexico in to Oregon. I was almost to Canada…but i felt i needed to stop my hike. I had been barraged with thoughts, dreams and visions while on the trail of ways I could continue helping after this hike was over. I came to realize: I needed to get off the trail & get back home to start this project that had no name, no financial backing, and was just a speck of dream-dust in my eyes! I couldn’t wait another month. I had to get back, get settled at home, and dive in. Oh, and find a name for it. Along with a million other details, it seemed.
One huge priority, though, was to let everyone who has been following this journey know what was going on. As I’ve been hiking, and at home now as well, the vision was crystallizing. I wanted to share it here. Apologies for a long post, but it’s an important one…grab a donut, a cookie, some milk or coffee, put your feet up & keep reading…
I decided right off that The Oasis Projekt would be fun for those giving, and provide crucial relief for those trapped in the grip of human trafficking. I want it to be not only rewarding for you if you give, but fun as well. It’s a very serious, grim subject, but I didn’t want to have us lose sight of the fact that there is much to celebrate here. People are being freed from bondage…healed…cared for…sometimes reunited with loved ones…given a new life! Amazing!! You and I can be a direct part of this incredible process!
The way I see The Oasis Projekt looking going forward is through these 5 arms:
 Thru-Hike For Freedom
 Freedom Riders
 Local fundraisers
 Worldwide donations by individuals like you!
 Grants (local, state and national)
Thru-Hike For Freedom:
Thru-Hike For Freedom (THF2) will be a very special group made up of individual hikers doing what I just did: Hike a trail for a cause. They will raise funds in any way they (legally!) can, while keeping an online blog about their preparation and their hike. They’ll get the support of the non-profit through fundraising help, as well as very valuable gear sponsorships provided through the non-profit.
This will be similar to what the hikers will do with THF2…only instead of hiking trails, these amazing people will be riding motorcycles on a guided tour across the highways and byways of the United States. For some, this would not be a possibility if they had to pay for an expensive tour from an established touring company. In fact, while I was on a cross country motorcycle trip in 2005, I lost count of how many times someone would approach me and tell me that riding across the country was a dream they wanted to fulfill…someday. I want to be able to help others make it happen, while helping them help others along the way! (Say that 5 times fast!)
They will raise funds, and through their efforts of blogging and using social media available today, they’ll raise awareness at the same time.
We’ll start out small: one West Coast tour, and one Cross Country tour. On both of these tours, we will make stops at special rehabilitation centers for rescued victims of human trafficking, and provide needed items or services, while sharing stories and rejoicing in the fact that they have found their personal ‘oasis.’ We will enjoy guest speakers, and wonderful motorcycling roads, while doing something amazing and needed for others. A motorcycle tour with meaning, that doesn’t cost an arm or a leg…just some effort raising funds and awareness. Thats it. Along the way, tour riders (Freedom Riders), will take turns writing a journal entry for the blog each day, and updating their own blogs or Facebook pages as they wish.
Hopefully integrating the help of local students, I’m excited about the possibilities of putting together an annual silent auction.
It would be an evening to remember that would include a dining opportunity, a silent auction, a special guest and live performances by known recording artists.
I have a very good friend, like a brother, who has employed this model with great success. The amazing part? His role is that of a teacher/advisor, and the entire project is student led. Planned, conceived and executed solely by high school seniors, with no direct adult help aside from their advisor, they raise over $100,000 each year…with one event. (Check out Kids Helping Kids…incredible, inspiring, impressive).
This is what I would hope to replicate. It’s a wonderful model, and gets more and more people involved.
This is the least fun, but necessary aspects of the non-profit world: tracking down and obtaining grants. It just comes with the territory.
Grant writing…something I have never done. But am about to embark on! I envision very few fun moments here, but hey, you never know, right? Right…? 🙂
One aspect of raising funds will be that of the individual kind. Someone like you who reads this, or comes across the website, or meets me in person and says, “I’d like to do something to help!” Maybe This person has little available time or energy to give in another way, but they can spare a few dollars, a few hundred, or a few thousand. Maybe they have needed equipment…a vehicle to donate…or goods and services. But when it all comes down to it, their best option is to just simply hit the “DONATE” button on the website and give financially. By doing so, they’re immediately invested and on the team!
To make this work, and to be effective, The Oasis Projekt will need the help and prayers of a lot of people like you. This is an exciting and scary time for me personally. I care so much about this cause and helping the victims of human trafficking, I don’t want this to fail. Please join me by either donating, or praying for this mission.
With your help, in one of these areas, I’m sure a huge difference will be made.
I will be unleashing the official Oasis Projekt website soon, and will keep you up to date here in this spot as the website launch time approaches.
Meanwhile, if you would like to donate to the Oasis Projekt, you can send a payment via PayPal for now. (via firstname.lastname@example.org). All donations are hugely appreciated, and will help get the Projekt off the ground and running!
Blessings, and thanks for making it all the way through this post!
The Oasis Projekt