Spring is Here!

Hello Spring

Happy Spring! While it hasn’t been the harshest winter at all the arrival of spring is still a happy moment… especially with everything that’s going on around us. The thought of warmer sunshine, green grass, birds chirping and the return of color to the earth is something to celebrate!

And now that spring is here and we’re more cooped up than ever I’m sure most of you are taking this opportunity to do a little spring cleaning. While we’re currently not able to accept your donations of gently used items we will gladly take your spring cleaning surplus as soon as we can!

Once we get the all clear to reopen our sorting department we’ll let you know. Our trucks will be back out on the donation trail helping you to clear out your unwanted items. We rely heavily on proceeds from the sales generated by our Thrift Stores in Hagerstown & Chambersburg to help fund all of the programs and services at The Hope Center so your donation of items will be gladly accepted once we are back in business.

And did you know that your items could be part of our voucher program too? When people in need ask for various items like clothing or housewares we give them a voucher to use in our Hagerstown Thrift Store. That voucher allows them to pick the items they need without any cost to them. So when you donate your items they very well could end up in the hands of the most needy in our community.

And if your donated items are sold in one of our stores you can know that the money stays here in our community to help feed the hungry, provide shelter for the homeless, and provide after-school activities for at-risk kids in surrounding neighborhoods.

So happy spring – and spring cleaning! We pray for safety and good health for each of you during this COVID-19 crisis. Remember, if you are in need of food or a hot meal please stop by The Hope Center. Our essential services are still open and operating on normal schedule during this crisis. For more info please call 301.739.1165.

If you’d like to volunteer or donate food, medicine or other necessities please call 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Happy Spring!

Just a Spoonful of Sugar…

One of our favorite nannies once said that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. And while that’s very true, sugar truly helps everything go down!

We know we aren’t alone in our love of sugar. And it’s evident in the amount of sugar we use each month. From baking, to cooking, to countless cups of coffee served daily, we really enjoy sugar.

Item of the Month-001So for our Pantry Item of the Month for March we’re asking for donations of bags of granulated sugar.

If you’d like to donate sugar please drop your donation off to our Administrative Office during business hours. If you are unable to drop off during our hours please call us at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com to arrange a better time.

If you’d prefer shopping online at a retailer like Amazon then please use 125 N. Prospect Street as our shipping address. And if you do shop Amazon don’t forget to use AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is the same as Amazon but with purchases made Amazon will donate a portion to The Hope Center. Go to smile.amazon.com and log in with your Amazon account and then be sure to choose ‘The Hope Center Hagerstown’ as your charitable organization. And then shop away!!

If you have any questions or would like more info about our food services programs at The Hope Center or about donating items please contact us at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

For Our City: Bridge of Life Teens Serve God in Their Own Backyard

This summer a few teens from One Accord youth group at Bridge of Life Church in downtown Hagerstown took a missions trip. But this missions trip wasn’t to another country or even a different part of the USA – they ministered this summer in their own backyard by volunteering at Camp Wild!

During our second week of camp, 5 teens and youth pastor, Colt Shingler, helped all over the place at Camp Wild. From helping with the small groups, to serving lunches, playing games, riding hayrides, and building friendships with our campers, the teens spent their week changing lives in their own city!

We are so thankful to One Accord for coming to Camp Wild to help minister to the kids of Hagerstown. Teens are so important to connecting with kids in our Wildside Youth program so we’re thankful for each of these young people who happily served each day. And to be able to do a missions trip in your own town is such a fun opportunity and a way to connect the teens with the heart of this city.

If you are looking for a church to attend or a youth group for your teens then be sure to check out Bridge of Life Church in downtown Hagerstown. Visit http://www.bridgeoflife.org to learn more including service times and other ministries.

If your church or youth group would like to help at Camp Wild or any other events and activities at The Hope Center like our upcoming Thrift Store Day on Sept.14th then please give us a call at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

 

It’s Almost Time to Rock the Run!

We are just days away from our 5th annual (yes, it’s already been 5 years!) Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess proudly sponsored by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe!

RTR Pirate Princess

And while the rain clouds have formed over Hagerstown today and tomorrow, we’re optimistic about a gorgeous day for our race on Saturday.

Our Rock the Run 5K is this Saturday, April 27th at 9am at Fairgrounds Park (351 N. Cleveland Ave) in Hagerstown.

Registration is still open and only $25 from now through the 26th. We will have race day registration for $30.

Don’t forget to register the whole family! In addition to our 5K we’re hosting a one mile Kids Fun Run for only $5!

Our Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess is a great activity for your whole family but also a perfect team building activity for your youth group, civic club, sports team, scout troop, co-workers and more. Dressing up like pirates, princesses, knights, and mermaids just adds to the fun and whimsy. To participate you do not need to dress up.

And we’re happy to have Heidi Feight return again this year to take professional pictures of you and your family or group in our photo booth area!

Our Rock the Run 5K isn’t just to have a fun morning activity for the community. It’s also a chance for us to raise support and awareness about all the various programs and services we provide year round for free to our neighbors in need.

And this year we’re kicking off a renovation and expansion project in our food services area at The Hope Center. We’re going to be totally remodeling our kitchen, dining room and pantry to better serve the hundreds of men, women and kids who come each day for meals. We’ve outgrown the space and we desperately need to expand so participating in our Rock the Run 5K is just another way for you to invest in your community!

And we promise you’re gonna have fun doing it! Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register today. And then invite your friends on social media to join you in racing for hope this Saturday, April 27th at Fairgrounds Park! All the info you’ll need about the 5K is on our website but if you need to talk to someone please call 301.739.1165.

We look forward to seeing the areas finest scallywags and royalty this Saturday as we race for hope!! Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register and learn more!

Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Join us in wishing Dustin & Albert HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Dustin celebrated his birthday in July and Albert just celebrated his this week. Both men are in our Foundations Life Recovery Program. Each month we celebrate the birthdays of the men in our residential program – and of course we have cake! Our good friend Stormy bakes birthday cakes each month for our residents!

Dustin joined our Foundations program in January of this year. While here he made a profession of Christ in his life and is seeking to make positive changes in his life that will help him once he leaves the program. He is about halfway through the Foundations program so please continue to pray for him in his journey as he grows and faces the challenge of confronting the various things that have caused problems in his life.

Albert joined Foundations in September of 2017 after being released into our facility from prison. While in prison he made a profession of Christ which is what lead him to apply to our Foundations program at his release. He wanted a safe, Christian environment to help him grow and change his life patterns and to be in a place where he can build a positive bridge into his future. He quickly joined a local church in Hagerstown and has continued to grow spiritually which has helped him develop great relationships with others. He is very close to graduating from Foundations so continue to keep praying for Albert that he finishes strong and has the confidence to go boldly into his new life without fear. He’s excited about his opportunity to share his new life with others in the community who need to hear about the power of Christ just like he did.

Please continue to pray for all of the men who come in and out of our Foundations Life Recovery Program. It’s not easy for guys to acknowledge that they need to join the program and make necessary changes in their lives and it’s even harder for them to continue once they join. These men are facing serious challenges in their lives and they need all the prayer and support possible. Please continue to invest in their lives through prayer, volunteering, and donating to The Hope Center. Your donation of food, used clothing, shoes, housewares, furniture, etc, and your donation of time serving food, hosting a chapel service, painting or doing anything at The Hope Center are all part of helping these men rehabilitate their lives and giving them the recovery and victory they so desperately want and need. Your support truly does make a difference and God uses it to help them move forward in the face of personal issues. Thank you for helping us celebrate these men and their birthdays.

To learn more about volunteering or donating to The Hope Center or for more information about our Foundations Life Recovery Program for men please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call 301.739.1165.

“We Just Wanted to Help”

Cuteness alert: The Turner kids may just be the sweetest thing in Hagerstown – which is good because they used that sweetness to bake some delicious foods for a bake sale that they recently hosted at their house.

DSC_0922

Cassie, age 11, Mae, age 9, Bethany, age 7, and Joshua, age 5, are little entrepreneurs who sold all sorts of homemade mouth-watering treats like chocolate chip cookies, brownies, rice krispie treats, oatmeal cookies, and lemonade.

They invited church friends and neighbors to stop by and support their bake sale. They had 37 customers ranging in age 2 – 96 years old!

But the Turner kids didn’t have a bake sale for personal profit: their goal was to raise money to help others by supporting various agencies in the area, including The Hope Center. So after their bake sale the kids, escorted by their parents, Joe & Katie, stopped by to drop off a check for $22.

“We just wanted to help”, one of the kids said as their mom was saying that they drive by The Hope Center often and felt and just wanted to give to our mission.

We are so thankful for the kind and generous spirit of this family, and especially these four incredible kids. It’s so awesome to see kids getting involved and making a difference in their community by supporting The Hope Center and other organizations in the area. The donation from their bake sale will help to feed people who stop by for food bags or a daily meal, or will help to provide shelter for a homeless man who would be sleeping on the streets. God can take a simple bake sale and use it to save lives and change lives. And how exciting is it to think that when these kids reach Heaven they will see the full extent of how God used lemonade and cookies to further His kingdom and reach people for eternity!

Thank you so much Cassie, Mae, Bethany, and Joshua for your generous heart to help others for Christ! And the next time you have a bake sale we’ll be sure to stop by to taste how sweet helping others truly is!

If you’d like to learn how you can donate and help others just like the Turner kids then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. And to get a full scope of the programs and services we provide free-of-charge for our community please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

It’s Finally Time for Some Spring Cleaning!

For a time it seemed like winter would never end! But those April showers helped to bring May flowers and some warmer weather. It’s always such a joy to watch the earth come back to life and to hear all the birds singing and enjoying the warmer temperatures.

And with the arrival of spring comes the annual tradition: spring cleaning. As you start to go through your house, room by room, getting rid of unnecessary items, please keep DSC_0805us in mind! With two Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg), we always welcome your gently used clothing, shoes, furniture, jewelry, housewares, and more. Sales generated in our Thrift Stores help to underwrite the cost of all of our programs and services so that we can continue to provide for our neighbors in need at no cost to them or the taxpayer.

If you are interested in donating various items to The Hope Center, here is some info you should know:

Furniture – accepted at the rear of the Thrift Store (central parking lot off of Church St) from 9AM – 4:30PM Monday – Saturday. Please do not leave items on the dock unattended, especially after business hours.

Furniture Items Accepted– beds (frames, headboards, footboards, mattresses* & box springs), couches, upholstered* chairs, dining tables and chairs, small tables (end tables & coffee tables), desks and chairs and dressers. We also accept rugs, bicycles, exercise equipment, wheelchairs and other handicap equipment.
*We cannot accept mattresses or upholstered furniture that is torn, stained or covered in pet hair.

DSC_0888Clothing & Miscellaneous – items accepted at the rear of the parking lot Monday – Saturday from approximately 8:30AM – 4:30PM (between 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM there is no assistance to unload vehicle. You may still drop off items but if you require assistance please come before or after.) Please do not leave items unattended on the dock after business hours.

Items NOT Accepted– wet/soiled clothing, computers, floor model televisions (we do take flat screen TV’s as long as they work), floor model stereos, office telephones (multiple line phones) refrigerators and freezers, washers and dryers, dishwashers, stoves, sinks and toilets, large wooden or metal desks (office), upright pianos, large organs, cribs & car seats (due to government regulations for resale), waterbed mattresses or frames and used ceiling/electric fixtures.

We accept corrugated cardboard at our Baling Facility Monday – Friday from 8:30AM – 11:30AM and 12:30 PM-1:30PM and on Saturday from 8:30AM – 11:30AM.

If you have items to donate that are not listed or you have questions about certain items, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. We do have a truck that can pick-up your items. Each day our truck covers a specific area of town. If you’d like to schedule a pick-up, please call 301.739.1165 to get more details. You can quickly learn more about donating your gently used items here: https://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/in-kind-gifts

Also, you can get a receipt for tax purposes by making a list of items donated. Please remember to put your name & address on the list!! Your list can be turned in at the Thrift Store or you can get a form to fill out in the Thrift Store. You will receive your tax-deductible receipt by mail in two to three weeks.

Thank you so much for your generous donations to The Hope Center! These items will help families and individuals in your community in many different ways. Go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com to learn more about all the various programs and services we provide to people in need in our area.

The Groundhog Has Spoken…

Punxsutawney Phil may have brought some discouraging news with his wintry prediction but we really don’t care because we’re thinking spring thoughts and getting excited for our annual Rock the Run 5k in April!

RTR Pirate PrincessBattle those winter blues by registering now for our 5k. Registration is open and is currently only $20 from now until February 27th! Go ahead and register now and start preparing for our race by visiting http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

And this year we’re making it a little more exciting by having Pirates vs Princess so grab your hook and eyepatch or that tiara and tutu and challenge your friends and family to a little friendly competition to see who can win the treasure by getting the best time!

Money raised at Rock the Run: Pirates vs Princess goes towards the programs at The Hope Center that help the hungry and homeless. And we are currently in the beginning stages of starting a renovation and expansion to our kitchen, dining, and pantry areas so that we can feed even more people and be more efficient as we do it. Every sponsor and each participant in Rock the Run is helping to feed thousands of men, women and children each year.

It’s just one race, one day, but it’s a lifetime of hope that you’re providing. So join us as we think spring and register today at http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com!

Welcome, Aimee Izer!

At the end of 2017, we said goodbye to our Sorting Room Supervisor, Dorcas Black, as she kicked off 2018 with her retirement. Dorcas, daughter of founders, Jim & Ellen Resh, has been a constant part of the ministry at The Hope Center since it’s very beginning. She has had the role of Sorting Room Supervisor since 2009.

As Dorcas prepared for her exit, we obviously had to find someone to fill her shoes and take over the task of keeping our sorting operation running smoothly and effectively. And we needed to find someone who could be mentored by Dorcas before she retired.

After sifting through over a hundred interested applicants, Aimee Izer was chosen to fill the role as Sorting Room Supervisor. As supervisor, Aimee will manage the employees who sort through all the boxes and bags of donated items. These employees also price all items, from housewares, to shoes, clothing, coats, toys, and everything else in our Thrift Stores. Aimee also makes sure that our stores, in Hagerstown & Chambersburg, have the items they need to keep the shelves and racks fully stocked.

Aimee Izer 1We are so happy to have Aimee join the ministry team at The Hope Center and we’re excited to see how God will use her to help us minister to the thousands of people who visit The Hope Center seeking helping.

We asked Aimee to briefly tell us about herself and the journey that brought her to work at The Hope Center:

“Sometimes the Lord encourages us to take a step of faith and trust His leading. That is what happened to me on November, 27th, 2017. After many months of prayer and searching for a new job with no success, the Lord said, “do you trust Me?” I had left my current place of employment without having the security of something else lined up.

The very next day I received an application in the mail from The Hope Center. I had applied for a position online about two weeks or so prior. The application had a note asking that I please complete and return as soon as possible. I was so excited, I immediately prayed and completed the application, dropping it off the next day. 

That afternoon I received a phone call to set up an interview for the following morning. I came in Thursday to meet with Mr. Shank. After a great meeting, I was offered a job as Sorting Room Supervisor. Praise God! He is so good and His timing is always perfect. I only had one week between jobs. 

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here. I truly believe that God was working and moving to bring me to where I am. I have been given such a great opportunity to continue to bring new ideas to an amazing ministry. I cannot wait to see how the Lord leads and allows me to become a part of The Hope Center. 

Along with working, I am a wife to my amazing husband, Terry, of 25 years. I’m a mom to four awesome sons, mother-in-law to two beautiful ladies, and “Gigi” to my two grandsons.

When I’m not at work, I love being a mom and grandmother, spending as much time with my family as I can. 

I also enjoy gardening, tea, reading, and decorating. I love the warm months of the year and being outside. 

I serve and awesome God who is so faithful to us. He has been challenging me to not just fill myself up with Him, but to pour out what He has given to me. Then he can continue to fill me again.

Proverbs 11:25 says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

Want to be a part of this ministry and give Aimee and her Sorting Room team something to do? Just donate your gently used items to us! The proceeds from the sales of your items help to underwrite the operating costs of The Hope Center so we can continue to provide free services to all our guests while also never costing the tax payer a penny. And in addition to store sales, any guest who desperately needs items like shoes, coats, clothing or household items can receive vouchers to receive those much needed items for free. Your donation can help so many different people in so many ways!

To learn more about donating to The Hope Center please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call us at 301.739.1165.

Spiritual Growth

by Jerry Cooper

JerryCooper (2)God has many purposes for The Hope Center. But I believe that first and foremost God desires that we preach the Gospel for the salvation of men, women, and children. In addition, God desires the spiritual growth of all who do trust Christ as Lord and Savior.

Through Peter, the Holy Spirit commands all believers to grow in their faith.

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Spiritual growth is one of the reasons that The Hope Center offers a 13-month discipleship program for men. Sonny, Rick, Lynn, and other staff are always seeking and looking for the spiritual growth of the men in the residential program.

Sadly, not all who believe in Christ grow spiritually as God desires. Some follow poor examples as those described in Hebrews 5.

Hebrews 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

“By this time” means that these Christians had time to grow spiritually, but they were still immature. They needed “the basic principles of the oracles of God,” or spiritual “milk”. Each of them was a spiritual “child”.

This passage also teaches that the Word of God is essential for spiritual growth. Sadly these immature Christians were “unskilled in the word of righteousness.” Either they did not read the Scriptures and study them, or they did not listen when others taught the Scriptures.

Therefore, the Mission staff and churches preach and teach the Word of God at every opportunity. Men in the program memorize Scripture. They are urged to be active in a local church and study their Bibles.

Spiritual growth is also important because a Christian is useful to God when he is growing as God commands. The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter and explained who is effective and fruitful.

2 Peter 1:5-8, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God is saying that every Christian should grow in spiritual character: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. The word “increasing” means that these words are not static, they are growing. But if they are not increasing, then the Christian is “ineffective” and “unfruitful”.

Let’s always pray for ourselves, that we grow spiritually and not be “ineffective”. And let’s pray for the men in the program, that they will grow spiritually and be fruitful.

 

Jerry Cooper is the pastor at Virginia Avenue Baptist Church and an evening chaplain at The Hope Center. He and his wife, Barb, currently reside in Hagerstown. For more information on Virginia Avenue Baptist Church visit http://www.vabconline.org. To contact Jerry please email him at jtcooper51@gmail.com