By Kathy Chouteau
The charitable spirit of Oshiana Unique Thompkins – a 19-year-old North Richmond native who lost her life to gun violence at a party in Orinda on Halloween 2019 – will be celebrated on Easter weekend during the “ Grand opening” of a youth recreation center founded in his honor.
The grand opening of the Oshiana Unique Thompkins Foundation’s Reach OUT Fashion Center (ROM Center), the aforementioned youth recreation center, is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 from 1 to 5 p.m. at 435 Valley View Rd. in El Sobrante . The foundation and recreation center were founded to carry on the legacy of their inspiration and namesake, Thompkins – whose initials stand for “OUT” – according to her mother, Sparkle Davis, who is also the foundation’s president and founder.
“She had a dream of helping underserved youth and giving back to her community and that is a mission we will pursue through this foundation,” officials said in correspondence with the Standard. April 14 was Thompkins’ birthday, making Easter weekend the perfect time to launch both the recreation center and the foundation.
The grand opening will be on Easter Eve, so the Easter Bunny will come for a visit and there will be an Easter egg hunt and a giveaway of little Easter baskets, according to Davis. Other activities will include raffles, games, prizes, a games room, face painting, two jumpers and a dance competition. Sandwiches, fruit, snow cones, cupcakes and a taco truck will round out the food options, and tours of the new ROM Center will also be available during the event.
As a bonus for attendees, a backpack will be donated by Donor Network West in honor of Thompkins, who helped save five lives, including that of a child, as an organ donor after her death.
This kind of natural gift was typical of Thompkins, who did community service work for the North Richmond Seniors’ Neighborhood Home, the Green Team Farm Garden Program and as a youth leader at the park. Shields Reid.
Davis remembers her daughter often coming home excited about the work she was doing for others. Thompkins would burst in the door elated to share her adventures in community service and the joy she felt from her day meeting new people and helping them, Davis recalled in documents shared with the Standard.
The recreation center and foundation are appropriate manifestations of Thompkins’ legacy. According to Davis, the ROM Center will primarily serve young people between the ages of 12 and 21, but she stressed that “the doors are open to all children.”
Some of the ROM Youth Center activities and resources include: The Oshi Mode Pantry, a safe space for youngsters to grab after-school snacks, homework help, and free Wi-Fi for research and study; the Oshi Mode Closet, free new and like-new fashionable clothes for young people that will include outerwear, underwear, backpacks and other school supplies; the Creation Room, where young people can explore creation in visual arts and digital music using software and sound recording equipment; and the recreation area, where youngsters can “relax and be kids without the pressure of the outside world,” according to the foundation. It will be equipped with modern gaming systems, board games, game table, art supplies and more.
Davis’ message to the young people she hopes to see soon at the ROM Center? “Sky is the limit.”
According to the Oshiana Unique Thompkins Foundation, also known as the OUT Foundation, its mission is “to improve and save the lives of at-risk youth and disadvantaged families by providing needed resources and organizing community outreach events.”
The foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, hopes to raise $20,000 at its grand opening, which will be applied to computer and digital studio equipment, recreational game systems, to food/pantry essentials and school/art supplies. , by civil servants. To support the association with a donation, click here.
Oshiana Unique Thompkins was born and raised in North Richmond, attended De Anza High School, eventually moving to Hercules and graduating from Vallejo High. At the time of her death, she was attending Laney College and had entrepreneurial aspirations, according to her mother. Read it Standards previous article about it here.
To learn more about the foundation and its action, click here. Questions? Email Sparkle Davis at [email protected] or call 510-417-2624.