Church offers an OASIS to caregivers

Published 5:10 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

Dawn Burleigh/The Orange Leader
Linda Renfor talks about what participants of OASIS Respite Ministries do for Service Projects such as clip coupons for those in the military.

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Orange Church of God, 1911 16th Street in Orange, hosted an Open House for OASIS Respite Ministries. Older Adults Sharing In Service (OASIS) on Wednesday to show residents, caregivers and others what the program is all about.

Older adults participate in community service projects, exercise, music, puzzles, devotions, games, intergenerational fellowship, and cognitive stimulation during the four-hour sessions.

Currently, the church is accepting registration from those interested and will start the sessions in the near future.

Getting to this point has been a long journey.

Director Melanie Hall said the process began two years ago and hopes to see it flourish here in Orange.

“It is a place where volunteers become participants and participants become volunteers,” Hall said.

Once a month, a schedule of activities and a theme is provided to the participants. For May, the theme is Mother’s Day. Activities such as singalongs will include songs about mothers.

“We will use songs from their younger days and some hymnals as well,” Hall said.

There is also an Ice Cream Social section, where, while enjoying some ice cream, the participants are encouraged to reminisce.

“In April, the theme was wind,” Hall said. “So, one day we talked about the movie Gone with the Wind.”

There are also games and puzzles.

A volunteer will take a puzzle home and put it together. Then divide the puzzle into sections and placing so many pieces into a small baggie. Participants will put the puzzle together one baggie at a time over the course of the month so they can have small victories along the way.

“For some, a 300-piece puzzle would become too challenging,” Hall said.

There is also an exercise period with all the workout conducted from a chair to avoid tumbles and injuries yet keep the individual active.

“They get to choose the game for the day,” hall said. “We have some gentlemen who prefer to pitch washers or horseshoes and others prefer word searches.”

Participants also give back to the community by doing things such as clipping coupons for the military or stuffing Easter eggs for a school or the church hosting the program.

“It is a nondenominational program,” Hall said. “You don’t have to be a member of the church to come or to volunteer.”

For more information or to register, contact Orange Church of God at 409-883-8631 or email