Congrats, Keith — and Happy Birthday!

At the beginning of February we had a graduation ceremony for four men in our Foundations Life Recovery program. Foundations Life Recovery is the 13-month rehabilitation program for men who are in desperate need of serious life change and a new start in Christ. Foundations Life Recovery is a free program where the men who enroll are given housing in our dormitory on the second floor of our main building. They attend classes, church services, and take part in a work program all while being held accountable to being clean of all drugs and alcohol. Upon completion of the program we celebrate the incredible accomplishment of recovery with a graduation service with the men, our staff & Board, and any family or friends of our graduate.

While we were excited to celebrate all four men graduating on Sunday, February 2nd, one of our graduates had a little extra celebration that day — Keith Coleman was also celebrating his birthday! We love celebrating the birthday of our residents but this one was even more special since we got to celebrate with him, his family & friends, on a day of victory and new life!

One of our February graduates is Keith Coleman. This is Keith and here is his story of HOPE:

DSC_0425Originally from Baltimore, Keith found himself in 2018 at The Hope Center for the second time. Having crashed and totaled his car after leaving a bar, Keith knew he needed help for his alcoholism. Fortunately for Keith he didn’t sustain any physical injuries from his accident but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually he knew he was hurt.

And he returned to The Hope Center to get help. Having been at The Hope Center in 1999 for cocaine abuse, Keith came back to get help for a new substance abuse.

Keith had accepted Christ as his Savior at a Baptist church in 1997 but struggled in his walk with God, including dealing with the passing of his wife.

But this time Keith knew he needed a legitimate change. And it was time to have victory in his life and be able to handle the struggles of life while also walking close to the Lord.

During his second time at The Hope Center, Keith learned in Foundations Life Recovery that there’s more to being a successful Christian than just believing in Christ. He acknowledges that continuing in a healthy spiritual walk with God involved accountability and being surrounded by other believers and actively participating in spiritual growth. He knows that the key to his sobriety and victory is staying strong in the Word of God and daily talking to God and interacting with Him. And ultimately, Keith says that his plan for spiritual success is to love Jesus with all his heart, mind, and soul.

As Keith begins his post Foundations life, he is taking a verse with him to help keep him strong on his spiritual journey. This verse is not just powerful for Keith, it’s for all of us as we go through our day dealing with the sins, disappointments, struggles, and issues of this broken world. Keith’s favorite verse is Romans 6:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

What a powerful reminder of just how amazing our God is! The past is the past but the future is Christ. The power of grace is simply astounding.

Keith is currently waiting for the VA to help him get HUD housing but beyond that he isn’t sure exactly what the future holds for him. He’s waiting for God to open the door for his next opportunity and looking forward to giving God all the glory!

Please lift Keith up in your prayers. Pray that his housing situation is taken care of and that he continues to keep his focus on God during the good times and the bad. Pray that he continues on his path of sobriety and that God provides the right people to help keep him accountable and successful in his spiritual journey.

And also pray for the many men who are currently enrolled in Foundations Life Recovery and those who will make the decision to receive help from the program this year. The road to victory for these men is difficult and many men suffer setbacks. But our God is powerful and forgiving and we pray that these men understand both of those amazing attributes of God.

God is using people like you to help change lives like Keith. Because of your prayers, financial support, in-kind gifts, volunteering, Thrift Store shopping, and even running in our 5K, you are a part of Keith’s victory story! Thank you for partnering with us to reach the least, the last, and the lost. Thank you for providing a place for the Keith’s of the world to find help and a new sober, safe, and healthy life in Christ! As our founder, Jim Resh, would say, “keep on keepin’ on!”

If you or someone you know is in need of help or rehabilitation please contact us at 301.739.1165 or email foundations@hagerstownhopecenter.com. Learn more about our Foundations Life Recovery program by visiting hagerstownhopecenter.com/rehabilitation-

Celebrate Changed Lives!

The same day that everyone was celebrating Punxsutawney Phil, we were having our own celebration. While our celebration had nothing to do with winter, spring, shadows,  or any type of burrowing animals, ours was a celebration of change, new life, hope, and a bright new future!

Our celebration was actually a graduation for four of the guys in our Foundations Life Recovery program!

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the program, Foundations Life Recovery is a 13-month rehabilitation type of program for men who are dealing with various addictions or issues that have caused them to basically lose everything of value in their lives. Foundations Life Recovery is a free program to help these men break the destructive patterns and give them hope of a new life through Christ. While in the program the men stay in our residence dormitory which is located on the second floor of the main facility building at The Hope Center. They attend classes, various church services, and also work different jobs at The Hope Center. As they progress through the program they go deeper in the Word while also going deeper into the issues that caused their life to go off-track. Once they complete the various levels of the program then they are able to graduate and move on to a new life in Christ!

DSC_0432

Graduates seated (L-R): Terry Barnes, Danny Sluss, Keith Coleman, and Ron Trenton

And that’s what we were celebrating on February 2nd. We are so proud of our four graduates for putting in the hard work to complete this program. It’s not easy to admit that you need help and even more difficult to go through the steps to make lasting change.

These four men did it and they are happy to announce that they are clean, sober and solid in the Lord!

Join us in congratulating Ron, Terry, Keith, and Danny for all their hard work and persistence in their life recovery!

The graduation ceremony & celebration was a sweet moment for these men. They were surrounded by friends, family, pastors, staff members, and members of our Board of Directors. Following the ceremony we had a time of celebration with desserts and light refreshments.

These guys, and the many other men who’ve graduated from the program, have achieved a major victory but the war for their soul is hardly over. Please continue to pray for Ron, Terry, Keith, and Danny as they start the process of starting over in society.  Pray that these four men continue to daily fight the good fight and trust God for guidance through the good times and the bad times. Pray that wherever the four guys end up that they will have a body of believers supporting them, cheering for them, and encouraging them through all the ups and downs of their journey.

And pray for the men who are currently in our Foundations Life Recovery program and pray for those who are yet to enroll. This is not an easy fight for these men so please continue to lift them up in your prayers.

Again, please join us in congratulating and celebrating Terry, Keith, Danny, and Ron for completing our life recovery program! It’s an amazing accomplishment for them and a huge celebration for Heaven as four more men have chosen Christ over everything. These four men were seen as dead to the enemy but not anymore!

If you’d like to know more about these men and their stories of victory, we’ll be following up with individual stories of each of them in the next few posts.

Thank you for being a supporter of this ministry and all the various outreach programs at The Hope Center. Your continued support, whether through prayer, in-kind gifts, financial support, or volunteering, you are a part of the victory celebration of these men and the thousands of others who’ve met God at The Hope Center! Thank you for caring & sharing!!

To learn more about our Foundations Life Recovery program please visit hagerstownhopecenter.com/rehabilitation-

Pasta for the Win!

Each month we are going to highlight an item that we need or use consistently at The Hope Center. Most items we highlight are used for food bags that we distribute to families and individuals who are in need of food assistance. Food items donated may also be used in our kitchen for one of the many daily meals served free-of-charge to our residents, overnight homeless guests, and community guests seeking a hot meal.

Whether it’s the coldest day in winter or the warmest day in summer, there’s something just perfect about a nice bowl of pasta and sauce.

Maybe it’s the comfort of the taste. Maybe it’s the bold simplicity of the meal.  Maybe it’s the ease of the process. Perhaps it’s just the happiness shared between your taste buds and your tummy. Or maybe it’s all of the above.

No matter what the reason — there’s just something wonderful about a bowl of pasta and sauce.

And that’s why spaghetti is one item on our list that is a “must have” for every food bag. It’s easy to make, is a hearty meal, and, most importantly, tastes perfect. So each food bag we distribute receives a 24 oz jar of pasta sauce and a box of spaghetti. Even if the family or individual is a novice in the kitchen, pasta is a meal that basically anyone can make.

Pasta Sauce-001

So for the month of February we are asking for donations of 24 oz jars of pasta or marinara sauce. We ask for the 24 oz size so as not to fill up too much space in a food bag so we can include other food items as well.

If you, your church, civic club, Scout troop, or business would like to donate pasta sauce please drop any jars off to our Administrative Office Mon – Fri 8:15 – 11:30am and 12:15-5pm (our office is closed daily from 11:30am – 12:15pm). If those hours do not work please contact us at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com to arrange a more suitable time.

Also, if you’re planning a food drive then be sure to add pasta sauce to the list of much needed items! If you need any other ideas of food items that are frequently used then please contact us so we can give you an idea list.

If you would like to learn more about our food program, or you are in need of food assistance, please go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/food-programs

Lace Up Those Running Shoes

Runners, walkers, pirates, princesses and everyone in between, are you ready to hit the pavement to make a difference in your community?

If your answer is yes then grab those running shoes, an eye patch or your favorite tiara because Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess is back for 2020!

RTR Pirate Princess

Registration is now open for our 5K on April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register.

Proceeds from sponsors and participants goes towards the various programs and services provided free of charge to neighbors in need at The Hope Center. And in 2020 we will be embarking on a major expansion and renovation of our food services area so that we can meet the rising demand of feeding the hungry in our community. Your participation will help to improve and increase our ability to make sure no one in the greater Hagerstown area is ever food insecure.

Invite your family, friends, coworkers, Sunday School class, civic clubs or anyone you know to register and join you at our Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess on April 25th. Registration is just $20 from now until February 27th! There’s also a Kids One Mile Fun Run prior to the 5K so don’t forget to get your kids registered too! The Kids One Mile Fun Run is only $5 and all kids registered will receive a t-shirt!

Mark your calendars and start training for our upcoming 5K. It’s a fun activity for a great cause! Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register and learn more about our 5K. Our 2020 Rock the Run 5K is proudly sponsored by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe!

 

Here’s to a Wonderful 2019!

We’re just hours away from not only a new year but a brand new decade! And with this new year comes another chance to celebrate a milestone: 65 years of The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission! We’re so excited to celebrate another year of God’s miraculous work in Hagerstown and surrounding communities. We have some exciting changes in the works and 2020 is the perfect year to kick off a major project that will bless the lives of so many in the decades to come.

But before we jump into 2020,  we want to take the opportunity to thank God for all His continued blessings and faithfulness to this ministry and all the amazing things He did and provided in 2019. Each year He continues to amaze us and reminds us that we aren’t in this fight alone. We are truly blessed to have a God who loves us and cares so deeply for this ministry and the people we help each day of the year.

God shows His faithfulness in many ways but one of those ways is with the continued support of people like you. We want to thank each of you for partnering with us to bring the hope of God’s Word to so many people in many different ways. From our daily soup line, to our overnight homeless shelter, to the men in our rehabilitation/life recovery program, to all the precious children who’ve attended a Wildside Youth event, God has done amazing things in 2019 and each of you have been a part of this story.

We look forward to all the great things that God has planned for 2020 and beyond! As we mentioned, 2020 is a big year as we celebrate 65 years of continued hope for our community. But we do have some big news coming that we’ll be sharing with you in the near future. Until then, please continue to help us as we fight the good fight to bring healing to the broken, food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and love to all of God’s people.

To learn more about our programs and services, how to get involved, how to give, or how you can get help, please go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

And don’t forget to make plans to join us in April for our annual Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess! We kicked off this race back in 2015 to celebrate our 60th anniversary and here we are still going strong! The 5K is on Saturday, April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. And we’re proud to announce that our Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess is once again sponsored by our good friends at Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg. As you plan your New Year’s parties don’t forget to pick up some of their delicious potato rolls! To learn more about our upcoming 5K please visit http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

So as we bid farewell to 2019, join us as we take a quick look back at all the beautiful faces who were a part of our amazing year. From staff, to guests, to volunteers, these smiling faces are what it’s all about! Thank you for helping us have another miraculous year of hope in Hagerstown!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 

Urgent Need: Coffee

It’s cold out and nothing really makes the cold tolerable better than a hot cup of coffee!

coffee2And that’s why we’re in desperate need of coffee donations. Any brand. Any size. Any kind. We go through a lot of coffee throughout the day and even more so during the cold months.

We will gladly accept any donations at our Administrative Office*. The office is open M-F 8:15am – 11:30am and then 12:15pm – 5pm. Our office is closed daily from 11:30am – 12:15pm. If office hours conflict with your schedule please call 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com to schedule a time that works for you.

Shopping online and having it delivered is always a convenient option too! To have it delivered please use 125 N. Prospect Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740 as our address. And if you shop through AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) you can double your impact! Amazon will donate a portion of the sale to The Hope Center! Just go to smile.amazon.com and log in with your Amazon account. When prompted to choose a non-profit type ‘The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission’. Once selected, we will receive a donation from Amazon for all your purchases that qualify from AmazonSmile!

If your church, office, athletic team, civic club, Scout troop, or anyone else would like to host a Food Drive or Coffee Drive then get in contact with us and we can get you any info you may need!

For more info please call 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com. To learn more about all of our programs and services for the community please visit hagerstownhopecenter.com.

*Our Administrative Office is located across our central parking lot from our Thrift Store. Use 215 W. Church St for navigation to our parking lot.

“The Best Gravy You’ve Ever Had!”

Another year hosting our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is in the books!

Our annual holiday celebration, which is one of the oldest and longest continually running community Thanksgiving meal in the city, was another success as people from all over the area joined us to volunteer or enjoy the feast as guests.

Our kitchen was busy days before the feast preparing various dishes for the buffet including the roast turkey and our famous (and delicious) stuffing.

But as the sun rose on Thanksgiving our kitchen crew knew exactly what to do: prepare the best Thanksgiving buffet in town!

And they sure did! The feast this year was absolutely delicious. From the amazing stuffing made by Dorcas Black to the “best gravy you’ve ever had” by Diane Ellis, our guests, staff and volunteers sure did have a great spread to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

But before the meal was served , our guests were treated to a great message by Matt Sargent who was the former director of our Foundations Life Recovery program. Matt had a little fun with the crowd by presenting them with a plated preview of the Thanksgiving feast which turned out to be the meal Snoopy served to Charlie Brown. But then he came clean and presented everyone with an actual plate of the delicious food they were about to enjoy. He brought it all together to remind each of us that God has great things for our lives and that we shouldn’t just settle for the “Snoopy meal” of life when God is busy working to provide us with an amazing “Thanksgiving feast” in life.

Once the message was concluded and the meal was prayed over, our guests were eager to hit up the buffet line! Everyone enjoyed all the wonderful food and most had no problem going back for seconds.

We are so thankful for all of our volunteers and staff who helped to make this Thanksgiving successful. There are so many people who work behind the scenes in preparation to the feast, and so many wonderful volunteers who give up their holiday to serve others. We are beyond grateful for everyone who played a role in our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. There are many names we’d like to mention – but more on that at a later time.

Our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is a chance for us to celebrate all that we’ve been given throughout the year and to come together to give thanks to God for His continued blessings and faithfulness in our lives and at The Hope Center.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to come together to collectively give thanks to our great God. But we are always in a spirit of gratitude to God for all He does at The Hope Center throughout the year. From the men in our Foundations Life Recovery program whose lives have been changed and freed from the dangerous addictions and abuses that have caused so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, to the families who receive clothing assistance, to the kids who are learning and growing spiritually at Wildside Youth, to being able to provide safe overnight housing to homeless men and feeding thousands of hungry people each year, God continues to wow us with all His blessings and continued faithfulness to this ministry and our call to reach the least, the last, and the lost for Him.

And we can see God at work each and every day because of the faithful and generous people in our community who have partnered with us to keep our doors open for almost 65 years. And not only do we keep our doors open – we don’t charge our neighbors in need a dime to receive services. And even more amazing is that we receive no tax money from the government. Each day operating is a miracle because God continues to send all the right people to help provide all of our needs. And we can’t thank Him enough for each of you.

Each of you are having a profound impact on our community and in individuals lives whether you totally realize it or not. Every time you drop off a bag of clothing, buy a can of coffee, donate financially, volunteer an evening, you are helping to fight the good fight and bring HOPE back to thousands of people.

So thank you for your compassion and dedication to The Hope Center. Each life is precious and we are using the resources that you help to give to remind each person who comes to The Hope Center that they are important, they valuable, and they are loved – by a great God and His incredible people.

This Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving, we are so genuinely thankful for you! You’re making a difference. So again, thank you. We hope God blesses you this Christmas season.