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!

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2015 is a Year of Celebration!

In 1955, God called and a family answered.

Jim & Ellen Resh took a leap of faith and followed God into the dark world of homelessness, alcoholism, and hopelessness in the heart of Hagerstown.

And now, 60 years later, The Hope Center is standing firm and helping thousands of people each year in Hagerstown.

60th-HiResThe Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission is celebrating 60 years of hope this year and it’s going to be a year-long party!

 

We’re hosting events to get everyone in the community involved in our celebration. We have parties lined up, musical shows, dinner concerts, a 5k run/walk, and so much more!

To keep up with all the activities, go to http://www.hopecenter60.com and get familiar with our calendar of events for 2015. You can be a part of the celebration by attending, sponsoring, or volunteering at one or all of our activities.

We’re beyond excited to celebrate all that God has done at The Hope Center in the past 60 years and we’re thrilled to celebrate with you!

You’ve been a part of the impact, now be a part of the party! Check out our 60th Anniversary website, mark your calendars, and spread the word. It’s just not a party without you!

Visit http://www.hopecenter60.com to get the scoop on all the anniversary activities. Also, go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register to run or walk in our 5k in Hagerstown.

To learn about how you can volunteer at The Hope Center, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

Happy Birthday!

We love celebrating birthdays!

One of our residents, Mark, celebrated his birthday in October, along with our Executive Director, Sonny Shank.

Mark first came to The Hope Center in March 2012. He has tried two previous times to defeat his alcohol addictions.He is a man of quiet demeanor and very intelligent. Unfortunately, his quietness has led to a quiet self-destruction. This is how he came to The Hope Center with the added plea of his parents, “please help our son.”
Mark ZieglerMark has been doing a great job in our Foundations Life Recovery program this time. He’s much more focused and determined to get the victory. He is easy to get along with and causes no problems whatsoever. Yet even here his quietness can harm him if he focuses on outward behavior and not inward transformation. He is proud to profess Christ as his Savior and is currently working hard to honor God with his life.
In about seven months Mark will graduate from the program. Today, he has made it farther than the previous two times he was in the program. Pray that he walks out of here a truly changed man who never needs to return for help, but instead may offer help and bring much glory to God.
We asked Mark to give us a brief testimony about what brought him to The Hope Center. These are his words:
“I came to The Hope Center in March of 2012 at the urging of my friends and family because my drinking was ruining my life.  I would drink to fill a void in my life that was created because of introvert tendencies.  I would rather “hide behind a bottle” than find other activities with people.  The Hope Center has given me opportunities to socialize with others and learn God’s Word.  After hearing other people’s experiences and testimonies it has made me realize I’m not alone and I can overcome alcoholism.  I can get involved in church activities and increase my social circle.  I have been saved, but I want to practice in my life what I have heard preached from God’s Word.  I keep many verses close at hand to use when I need them. Hopefully, this third time in the program will be my last, although I would love to visit The Hope Center after I graduate.”
Please pray for Mark as he nears completion of his recovery in our Foundations Life Recovery program. These next few months are important because many men feel that they are as good as can be and leave early only to fall back into the same traps and lifestyles that ruined them in the first place. Pray that Mark will stay focused on God and the goal of total transformation and recovery. And pray that Mark will use his life experiences to help reach others for Christ. He’s truly an amazing man who has a lot to offer. Pray that he allows God to fully use him for His glory.
Mark’s festive birthday cake was provided by our good friend, Stormy. Thank you so much Stormy for another delicious cake!
DSC_0150Mark wasn’t the only one celebrating his birthday last month at The Hope Center. Our Executive Director, Sonny Shank, also celebrated his birthday.
The staff and residents hosted a special birthday lunch for Mr. Shank in the dining room at The Hope Center. Everyone had a great time coming together to celebrate the man that God has chosen to lead this ministry.
We’re so thankful for Mr. Shank and all he does for this ministry. Please continue to pray for him as he works tirelessly to lead this ministry.

 

 

Superheroes Come in All Sizes

Captain America. Iron Man. Black Widow. Spider-man. We all have our favorite superheroes, whether they wield a hammer, are faster than a speeding bullet, or protect humans with their mutant powers, superheroes make for great stories, spectacular movies, and can teach kids great lessons about helping others.

But what exactly is a superhero? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a superhero is, ” a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also :  an exceptionally skillful or successful person.”

Do superheroes truly exist? Obviously they do. From the men & women of our Armed Forces, to firemen & women, police, and more, there are so many people who give above and beyond the call of human duty to make a difference.

It’s refreshing when a superhero comes in the form of a little boy.

DSC_0161Our superhero, Carson, is quite the little guy. For his birthday, like most little boys, Carson wanted a superhero theme. But his superhero birthday proves just how much of a hero Carson and his family is.

Instead of gifts for Carson, he and his family decided to help others by having party guests donate items to The Hope Center.

Included in the party invitation was a list of the items that are always needed in our pantry. From peanut butter, to sugar, coffee, creamer, cans of vegetables, box dinners, and more, Carson’s family wanted to make sure that they could help keep the hungry in Hagerstown fed.

In addition to items for our pantry, the family asked for other necessary items like paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins. They also gave party attendees the option of donating personal care items like soap, deodorant, shampoo, disposable razors, and shave gel for our overnight homeless guests.

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And in the grand tradition of superheroes, every kid who brought a donation received their official superhero cape!

It’s not everyday that a superhero celebrates his birthday in a way that it helps so many people in the community. Carson and his family may never know the full impact of their donation but God sees their generous spirit and we know that He will bless them as much as they blessed us.

We are thankful for parents who teach their kids the importance of giving to others, helping the less fortunate, and showing God’s love to all people.

Happy birthday and thank you, Carson, for being a real superhero! We thank God for you and your family and all the people who helped to make your birthday so special for us!

 

Happy Independence Day, America!

There’s just something about Independence Day that just makes you feel down right good.

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Whether it’s the cookouts with the family, basking in the warm summer sun, jumping into a refreshing pool, or gazing into a sky glittered with dazzling fireworks, the Fourth of July is the crown jewel of the summer break.

statue of liberty

And while it’s a great day to celebrate all that is summer, Independence Day is one to be remembered as a the day that God sparked a fire inside the hearts of brave men & women to stand up and chart their own destiny.

The Fourth of July is a celebration of rebellion against tyranny, oppression and a victory of the rights of man. Our founding fathers put their lives on the line so that their children and future generations of Americans would be able to live free and successfully without an oppressive government controlling every detail of their lives.

Today we celebrate all that it means to be free, to be American. We have been given the opportunity, within reason, to choose our own path and be whomever we want to be.

But on this day of celebration against tyranny, we can’t forget that the real fight is not yet over. This is not the fight against man, it’s the fight against spiritual tyranny.

So many of our fellow Americans are not free because of various opportunities or choices made. They are bound by seriously destructive sins. They are being controlled by a tyrant of epic proportions whose whole goal is their destruction.

And that’s why we’re here. The Hope Center values freedom. We want people to be free spiritually to be all that God intended them to be. Whether their choices left them addicted, homeless, broke, hungry, angry, alone, scared, desperate or confused, we’re here to tell them about true freedom, freedom in Christ.

We want them to know that God has written, for them, a Declaration of Independence and signed it in the blood of Christ. They’re already free from sin. God already fought the enemy and won the victory. All they need to do is choose.

At The Hope Center we help them understand that they are not alone. We want them to know that mistakes, bad choices, unfortunate circumstances don’t dictate their spiritual freedom for eternity. We don’t force anyone to choose, but we don’t hide the truth from them. Just like our Founding Fathers wanted, they are free to make their own decisions, and we are here to help them choose wisely.

As you join with your family & friends to celebrate America’s independence, remember to pray for those who are still battling for their own independence from sin. Pray that Satan will lose his grip on their hearts and minds. Pray that our staff & volunteers will show them the love, compassion and understanding that is needed to win this fight.

Thank you for helping us help others. Through your prayers, donations, financial support, and volunteer hours you have helped us continue to fight the good fight and encourage, help and heal those who are hopeless and lost. We appreciate and value your contributions to The Hope Center and all the various ways that your generous heart has helped us change lives for Christ!

July-4th

Enjoy your holiday with those who are important to you! Thank God for your freedom! And pray for those still searching for their own day of independence!

Happy Birthday, Eddie!

The first Friday of each month is set aside to celebrate birthdays at The Hope Center, and this month we were able to celebrate another birthday with one of our residents, Eddie!

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Our friend, Stormy, provided another delicious birthday cake for our celebration!

Eddie has been at The Hope Center for a while and he is nearing the end of his program. He’s been working hard to straighten his life out and allow God to mold him into the man he was designed to be.

We asked Eddie to give us a quick testimony of what God is doing in his life. It’s great to see and hear another story of victory from one of our residents.

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“Upon my arrival to The Hope Center I can safely say that I was completely broken.  Between drug addiction and a complete disregard for my own life, I was heading to one of two places – prison or a casket.  I knew of a place called The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission where I could go and change my life with God’s help.  I now have one month left in the long-term recovery program here at The Hope Center and I can proudly say that my life is changed!  I now live for God and His glory.  Once I graduate I will be going to Philadelphia, PA where I have been accepted into an internship program through Urban Hope Ministries.  I will have the wonderful opportunity to minister to kids and young adults who have or are around the same life crisis conditions I once had.  God took my mess of a life and is now going to use it for His glory!”

Eddie, just like the other men who come through The Hope Center, was on a path of destruction and death but he allowed God to make the necessary changes in his heart and mind and now he’s a totally new man.

Eddie is fighting the good fight and he’s able to celebrate another year of life thanks to God’s help. Hope has been restored into Eddie’s life and now he’s able to spread the message of hope & change to hundreds of people in Philadelphia.

Eddie is just one of the many men who seek real help from a real God at The Hope Center. Thanks to faithful supporters like you, we are able to provide our residents with a safe environment of love and support to help conquer their addictions and other destructive habits.

When you donate financially or through gifts such as food or gently used items for our Thrift Stores, you are helping to change lives. You may not realize it at the time but it’s true. People like Eddie are made brand new in Christ because of the generosity of loving and caring people like you.

Thank you for supporting The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. We thank God for friends like you because now a person like Eddie is able to change the world for Christ.

If you aren’t familiar with The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission and want more info or would like to become a supporter of our ministry then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. Also, check out www.hagerstownrescue.org to learn more about the many programs and ministries we provide to our community.

Happy Birthday!

The first Friday of each month is birthday month at The Hope Center!

We love to celebrate another year of life each month for the residents in our Foundations Life Recovery program. And we love the delicious cake made each month by our friend, Stormy!

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In October we celebrated with Mark, John & David. Mark and John have been previously enrolled in the program and are glad to be back and hoping to finish strong this time.

Shank, Zeigler, Beach

David is a newer resident. He enrolled in the program in July 2013.  He came here from Carroll County.  Unfortunately David was unable to join in the birthday celebration because he was hospitalized for a time. As soon as he returned from the hospital, we were happy to celebrate his birthday!

David Smith & Sonny Shank

Please continue to pray for the men, like Mark, John & David, who are enrolled in our Foundations Life Recovery program. As you read about Mark & John, this is not an easy fight and sometimes men leave the program to return to their destructive ways. Pray that God continues to work in their hearts and that the men allow God to make changes and are open to

Thank you for your continued support of this ministry. Each time that we celebrate birthdays is a constant reminder to all of us that God is in the business of hope & change. Your support helps to keep programs like Foundations Life Recovery operational and gives men like Mark, John & David a chance to celebrate their birthday each year.

For more info about The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission, including details about our Foundations program or learning how you can become a supporter, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.