There is no one better at serving its customers than , Land O' Lakes Patch readers said.
And for that, Oasis has been crowned the Land O' Lakes Patch Customer Service 2012 Champion.
“It’s a great honor,” Oasis founder and executive director Peter Castellani said. “It’s really a team effort. My staff and volunteers work so hard here.”
Client services director Nancy Davis was thrilled when she found out Oasis is the Patch Customer Service champion.
"I think it's great!," she said. "The more people who understand that we're awesome here, the better!"
She has plenty of reason to be proud. Davis is responsible for delivering that great service, Castellani said. She runs to the day-to-day operations, develops the center’s programs, and trains all the volunteers.
“Nancy runs the place, I like to say I’m the pretty face,” Castellani laughed.
The nonprofit, faith-based organization, which provides pregnancy and early parenting services to clients free of charge, is supported almost entirely by donations from individuals and businesses in the community, Castellani said.
What does it take to run an organization that depends so heavily on donations to operate?
“A lot of faith,” Castellani said.
The community support—including the backing Oasis received in the Patch competition—comes from an appreciation and understanding of what the organization does as a ministry, Castellani said.
“Women come in here distraught,” he said. “ When they leave here, they leave with hope and a future.”
Sometimes people think of primarily teen pregnancies when they think of Oasis, Castellani said. But the demand for services has increased, and a lot of clients are college age and women early into their careers, as well as middle-income families who are struggling to make ends meet already.
The economy is bad and it’s expensive to have a baby, Castellani said.
Since it opened, Oasis has served 300 families, totaling about 1300 client visits, he said.
“The number of people we’ve seen has doubled in the last year so we’re doing a lot more service for the community,” Castellani said. “We had 127 client visits in March alone.”
Oasis services are available to women “ throughout the pregnancy and until the baby is about two,” Davis said.
“We build relationships with them. They don’t just come in one time,” Castellani said.
Davis said a recent phone conversation she had with a client illustrates why Oasis earned top honors in customer service.
“She said, ‘When I come there, I feel like you love me.’”