A Picture’s Worth

The holidays kicked off with another great Thanksgiving celebration at The Hope Center. And as soon as we polished off that last piece of pumpkin pie it was as if we were ringing in the New Year!

The holiday season goes by so quickly and there’s so many activities and things to do that it sometimes feels like you can’t even catch a breath. But we love the holiday season because it gives us a chance to really see how incredible our community is. Each year we’re reminded that God has given us a support system of volunteers, donors and friends who continually give their time, energy and resources to help others in need.

From Thanksgiving morning until the last Christmas cookie was eaten, we had so many volunteers and supporters making the season bright. We cannot thank each of you enough for all you did this season. From the homemade treats, to the food donations, to all the gifts given and time invested, our residents and guests were able to see God’s love through each of you. And a time of year that can be very difficult and lonely for so many wasn’t at The Hope Center because of kind people like yourselves who did so much to make it so memorable for everyone.

Enjoy some pictures of the some of the different faces who volunteered, donated items or were guests of honor this holiday season. From our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, to Wildside’s Christmas party, our Ladies’ Auxiliary party, Maranatha Cantata, Kingdom Heirs party and more, these pictures give a quick snapshot of the festive celebrations hosted at The Hope Center.

If you would like to volunteer at The Hope Center, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more or call 301.739.1165.

 

Community Works Together to Create Christmas Magic

It’s already been a month since Christmas has come and gone and we are well into the midst of a relatively mild winter (praise!!) but that doesn’t mean that we can’t look back at the wonderful people in our community who helped to make Christmas 2016 so enjoyable for our residents and guests.

As we’ve posted in the past, there were many groups who made food, hosted special events and gave gifts to our residents and guests. We are so thankful for the dozens of friends who baked cookies and other Christmas treats for our residents and guests for the Christmas weekend. Everyone enjoyed being able to help themselves to as much of the sugary goodness they could handle!

In addition to all the baked goods donated, there were people in the area who helped to provide specific things to give our residents and guests during our Christmas celebration. For both our residents and guests, Christmas is only spent at The Hope Center. Many don’t have places to go or people to celebrate the season with so our facilities become their home for the holidays. We try to make it as special as we can for everyone who stays with us during Christmas so we are very thankful to people in the community who help us provide some happiness and smiles on Christmas for these special guys.

So we want to thank these various groups who helped to make our Christmas celebration with our residents and guests so special.

  • Tractor Supply Company Distribution Center in Hagerstown donated 113 pair of socks, 45 NFL blankets and personal care items. This project was coordinated by their leadership team Christmas giving event. All items donated to The Hope Center were given by employees of Tractor Supply Company Distribution Center.
  • The Visual and Performing Arts Dept. of Washington County Public Schools provided Christmas cards designed by their students.
  • Art students at the Cumberland Valley Christian School also designed Christmas cards for our residents and guests.
  • James and Doris Thrailkill donated 50 bags of Christmas candy. James & Doris have been providing these bags of candy for several years each Christmas. Their grandchildren are now helping to fill the bags!
  • Valley Grace Brethren Church donated 53 “Blessing Bags” filled with personal care items, candy, socks, water, hats, gloves, granola bars and other items. For more information about Valley Grace Brethren please visit http://www.valleygrace.net or call 301.582.0155.
  • Hagerstown Latino Church of the Nazarene gave 50 “Bags of Love” which included hats, gloves, snacks and personal care items. To learn more about Hagerstown Latino Church of the Nazarene go to http://www.hagerstownlatinochurch.org or call 301.992.8156.

Each year we are reminded of how blessed we are to have such a supportive community who gives so much to keep our facilities open and provide so much happiness for people in need.

Thank you to each and every one of you who gave in one way or another in 2016! We couldn’t do all that we do without your support. We appreciate you and value your commitment to this ministry.

For more information on how to become a partner of The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission and help us continue the fight to end homelessness, hunger and hopelessness in Hagerstown then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. If you’re interested in volunteering then check out http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com for more info.

 

Wildside 2017 Spring Events

wildside youth bear logoThis spring Wildside Youth has a great lineup of activities for kids in the Hagerstown area. From several big party events to Sunday Night Wild, Wildside provides the fun in a safe, Christian environment where kids can be themselves, create new friendships, build relationships with our youth staff and learn positive, Biblical values in an exciting way. Wanna check it out for yourself? Go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com and see pics and videos from past events.

All Wildside Youth activities are free for kids ages 5-12. Complimentary transportation is provided for events but it is on a first-come-first-served basis. If you are unable to provide transportation then please be sure to register your kids early for each event and request complimentary transportation.

Go ahead and grab your calendar because here’s the spring schedule for Wildside events*:

JANUARY

  • 24th – Football & Cheerleading Party (5-7pm at the Trinity Center)

February

  • 7th – Valentine’s Party (5-7pm at the Trinity Center)
  • 19th – Sunday Night Wild (7-8 at the Trinity Center)

March

  • 5th – Sunday Night Wild (7-8 at the Trinity Center)
  • 14th – St. Patrick’s Party (5-7pm at the Trinity Center)
  • 19th – Sunday Night Wild (7-8 at the Trinity Center)

April

  • 2nd – Sunday Night Wild (7-8 at the Trinity Center)
  • 11th – Easter Party (5-7pm at the Trinity Center)

May

  • 7th – Sunday Night Wild (7-8 at the Trinity Center)
  • 16th – Camp Wild Kick-Off Party (5-7pm at the Trinity Center)

In addition to these awesome afterschool events, Wildside hosts Camp Wild during the summer months. Camp Wild is a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. It runs for four weeks during the summer and space is limited each week.

  • Campers are invited to attend one week out of the summer.
  • If you need transportation for your kids, please register them for the week where transportation is provided to your part of Hagerstown.
  • Unfortunately at this time, we can only provide complimentary transportation to certain areas inside of Hagerstown city limits.
  • Transportation space is limited so please register early and request transportation.
  • If you can provide transportation each day (drop-off and pick-up) then you are free to choose any week that suits you but space is limited for each week so we suggest calling as soon as registration opens.
  • Camp Wild 2017 registration will open in March.

Listed below is the Camp Wild transportation schedule. If you live in the areas listed for the corresponding week then you are eligible for complimentary transportation each day for your campers. But you must register and request transportation! Camp Wild 2017 schedule:

  • July 10-14: North End
  • July 17-21: West End
  • July 31-August 4: South End
  • August 7-11: East End

If you have any questions or concerns about Camp Wild or the transportation schedule please call Wildside at 301.739.1165 or email them at info@wildsideyouth.com.

If you would like to learn more information about becoming a volunteer to help at Wildside events or Camp Wild, please  visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com or call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net and ask about volunteer opportunities.

*All Wildside events are subject to change in case of school closings or inclement weather.

 

Not Your Average Birthday Girl

We live in a pretty generous area. In fact, the greater Hagerstown region has been so generous and faithful in their support of our ministry that we have never used any government tax money to fund any of our programs or services! Our facilities have remained open and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since 1955 thanks to people in the community who have shopped in our Thrift Stores, donated funds, gave gently used items and kept our pantry fully stocked.

So we know all about the great people who give so much to our ministry to make sure others who are less fortunate have what they need to help meet their needs.

But every once in a while we are taken aback by the generosity of others.

dsc_0015-2Let us introduce to you a pint-sized hero in our community: Melanie. Melanie may look like just another 7 year old but Melanie did something that most kids would not do for their birthday – she asked her family and friends to donate non-perishable food to The Hope Center. Her birthday request brought in 118 pounds of food for our pantry!

Melanie’s parents are helping her understand that there are people in her own community who are in need and struggling with hunger and homelessness. Children are never too young to teach the importance of helping others and giving to the less fortunate.

Melanie and her mom were given a tour of the kitchen and dining room where the food will be used to feed those who come for help.

Thank you, Melanie, for your generous birthday donation! We are so thankful for your heart to help others and we hope you help to inspire other young people to follow your lead.

If you would like to join Melanie in donating food or other items to The Hope Center then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn more.

If you are in need of assistance then contact us immediately. We’re here to help so give us a call!

Our Residents Party with the Kingdom Heirs

On Saturday, December 17th our residents were treated to a special Christmas event just for them!

The Kingdom Heirs Chapter #459 of the Christian Motorcyclists Association spent Saturday afternoon feeding and fellowshipping with our residents.

dsc_0089-2

The local motorcycle club prepared a delicious meal, brought Christmas gifts and spent time talking with our men and even singing Christmas songs together.

Everyone had a great time…especially Derek who borrowed a tambourine to accompany his well-known smile during the Christmas songs.

We want to thank The Kingdom Heirs for investing time in our residents this Christmas. For most people Christmas is a time of celebration with family and friends but for others it’s a hard reminder of the harsh reality of life. The Kingdom Heirs took time out of their busy holiday season to make sure that our men had a great time and were reminded that the entire point of Christmas is that God proved how much He loves each of us no matter what.

Our men enjoyed this Christmas party and many didn’t want it to end!

Thank you, Kingdom Heirs, for showing our guys exactly what Christmas is truly about. We want to make sure that our residents and guests feel God’s love during this season instead of emptiness, loneliness and hopelessness. The Kingdom Heirs definitely helped to make our residents feel special and we can’t thank them enough for all they did!

 

 

We Thank You for a Great 2016!

A message from our Executive Director, Sonny Shank:
sonny-shank-executive-director“As we close out this year and look forward to the challenges of 2017, I look back with awe and thanksgiving for the provision of God’s hand. And as I reflect on this year, one thought stands out in my mind … 2016 was a year of caring and giving by many of the most generous people in the world – friends like you who support God’s work here at The Hope Center. So, on behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and those we serve, I want to thank you for giving the gift of love and compassion in such a personal and caring way. You are a blessing to so many!
Although 2016 was not without its difficulties and struggles, we rejoice in the good things that happened here at The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. As of the end of November, 82 different families were given free groceries (171 bags given thus far); 44,326 meals were served; 11,637 were given safe shelter; 381 different men were provided overnight lodging. Throughout 2016 hundreds of kids attended our Wildside Kids events, including four weeks of Camp Wild. And just recently on Thanksgiving Day we served a traditional turkey dinner to approximately 200 people!
But the greatest joy of 2016 is the transformation that has taken place in the lives of many of the men enrolled in our long-term recovery program. I wish you could meet each one of the men and see the change that God is making in their lives. In case you have ever wondered just how important your support is, I want you to read a few notes that the men recently wrote for our donors:
~I’m thankful for a place to get myself clean and sober. Great people here. Coming closer to God.
~I’m blessed that The Hope Center has this program.
~Being here at The Hope Center has helped me get my life back in order. I’ve gotten my driver’s license, a bank account, a full-time job and a car. My relationship with God is strong which above all is most important.
~I’m thankful that these doors were open to me when I felt like all doors were closed. God healed my heart!
~I’m thankful for the goodness of God’s people to inspire me and give me hope for my own life.
~Thankful for a place to sleep and food to eat. I would be out in the cold if it weren’t for The Hope Center.
God is working in the hearts of men like Raymond, Frank, Nathan, Gus, Donald, Louis, Darrell, Larry, Stephen, Justin, William and so many others. These men have been blessed through you! That’s why we need your continued help to meet the rising needs before us.
It is always a challenge to try to keep our commitment to caring for everyone who comes to us seeking assistance, while at the same time being concerned about our ability to keep
up financially. As we close out 2016 will you consider making a generous end-ofyear gift to help those in need? The Hope Center needs your help, and we pledge to you that we will use your money wisely. Thank you! May God bless you and grant you a prosperous and Happy New Year!”
Gratefully yours,
Bruce L. “Sonny” Shank
Executive Director

Updated Holiday Schedule

As we enter the holiday week, please be advised of the various schedule changes for the week:

DECEMBER 23rd:

  • Recycling Center: Closing at 10am

DECEMBER 24th:

  • Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg): Closed
  • Recycling Center: Closed
  • Donation Dock: Closed
  • SoupLine: 12:45pm
  • Chapel Service w/meal: 7pm

DECEMBER 25th:

  • Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg):  Closed
  • Recycling Center: Closed
  • Donation Dock: Closed
  • SoupLine: 1:15pm
  • Chapel Service w/meal: 7pm

DECEMBER 26th:

  • Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg): Open regular hours
  • Recycling Center: Closed
  • Donation Dock: Closed
  • SoupLine: 12:45pm
  • Chapel Service w/meal: 7pm

DECEMBER 29th:

  • Koffee Klatch: Cancelled

DECEMBER 31st:

  • Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg): Open until 3pm
  • Donation Dock: Open until 3pm
  • SoupLine: 12:45pm
  • Chapel Service w/meal: 7pm

JANUARY 1st:

  • Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg): Closed
  • Recycling Center: Closed
  • Donation Dock: Closed
  • SoupLine: 1:15pm
  • Chapel Service w/meal: 7pm

JANUARY 2nd:

  • Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg): Closed
  • Donation Dock: Closed
  • SoupLine: 1:15pm
  • Chapel Service w/meal: 7pm

For any questions about any services or programs during this week, please call 301.739.1165 or email Hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can also message The Hope Center on Facebook.

We wish each of you a safe & happy holiday season. Merry Christmas!