WashCo Gives: Second Reason to Give

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Since the very beginning, way back in 1955, The Hope Center opened its doors as a rescue mission for men who were being consumed and destroyed by their addiction to alcohol.

Over 60 years later we are still dedicated to helping men break the addictions that are destroying them and ruining their lives. While the average age has gotten younger and the type of substance abuse has shifted from alcohol to drugs, the need to rescue these men and give them hope has not changed.

Our 13-month life recovery program, Foundations, has helped so many men break the chains of addiction and return to society as sober men full of hope and promise. Lives have been restored, families reunited and men who once lost everything are now back to earning an honest living and building a new life.

God sees the value in each and every life and so do we. And that is why from the very beginning we’ve never charged anyone anything at The Hope Center. All of our services, including our rehabilitation program, are free of charge for our guests.

But it isn’t free because of the government. We have never received any funding through the government. Our programs, ministries and facilities all operate off of donations and support from so many generous people, churches, businesses and organizations in our community who give to make sure that everyone who needs help gets it.

So on May 2nd, please donate to The Hope Center during Washington County Gives’ 24-hour online donation drive. Simply go to https://washingtoncountygives.org/npo/the-hope-center-at-hagerstown-rescue-mission to place your donation any time during the day on May 2nd. And spread the word to your family, friends, congregation, colleagues, associates, neighbors and anyone else.

Thank you for supporting us and helping us fight to end addiction and hopelessness in Hagerstown. To learn more about all the programs at The Hope Center, including Foundations Life Recovery, go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

 

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WashCo Gives: 1st Reason to Give

With Washington County Gives right around the corner, we’re taking this opportunity to give you 5 reasons why we’re asking for your online donation that day. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting the other reasons but our ministry goes so far beyond these 5 reasons. To learn more about all of our ministries and programs in the community go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

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Please join the thousands of other people in our area who will give online on May 2nd from midnight to midnight to support the many nonprofits in Washington County. To donate on May 2nd go to https://washingtoncountygives.org/npo/the-hope-center-at-hagerstown-rescue-mission

Washington County Gives…And So Can You!

On May 2nd, 2017, The Hope Center will participate in Washington County Gives for the first time.

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Washington County Gives is a 24 hour time period of online giving to benefit nonprofits in the area.

Anyone can give online as many times as they’d like during the 24 hours. Each hour prizes are awarded to nonprofits for earning the most online donation support. So in addition to donations given to us on May 2nd, we have the opportunity to earn prize money to use for our ministries and programs!

To donate on May 2nd, simply go to  https://washingtoncountygives.org/npo/the-hope-center-at-hagerstown-rescue-mission and place your donation. Spread the word to your family, friends, Sunday School class, civic group, co-workers and social media friends to join you in giving that day. You can even arrange a specific hour for you and your contacts to give to help us win the time slot.

Thank you for your continued support of this ministry! So many lives have been changed thanks to people like you in the community that give so that we can keep our facility free for those in need. From feeding hungry families, to helping men battle addictions, to sending at-risk kids to camp, to providing a safe shelter for homeless guests, your support is valuable and truly a chance to provide hope to those who need it most. To learn more about all the various programs and ministries at The Hope Center go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Spread the word about Washington County Gives on May 2nd! Thank you again for your support of The Hope Center!

https://washingtoncountygives.org/npo/the-hope-center-at-hagerstown-rescue-mission

Making Spirits Bright…One Cookie at a Time

Do you love to bake?

Do you love spreading Christmas cheer?

Would you love helping to make someone’s Christmas magical?

This time of year can be difficult on many people who are dealing with loneliness and depression. And often times a simple gesture or small token of love can boost the spirit of another person.

The guys in our Foundations Life Recovery program will be spending this Christmas with their Hope Center family. Many times our residents have burned bridges with family, friends and other loved ones while they were consumed with whatever addiction was destroying them. Christmas at The Hope Center can be difficult on some because they are away from the people that they love while fighting hard to restore the life God created for them.

We try to make Christmas as special as possible at The Hope Center. Our Ladies’ Auxiliary hosts a special Christmas party just for our residents. We go all out decorating the facilities at The Hope Center and we bring our staff, Board of Directors and Ladies’ Auxiliary together with our residents for a special Christmas service where our residents receive Christmas gifts and celebrate with us as one big family.

So, would you like to help us make Christmas magical for our residents and guests? It’s simple and cheap but it can bring a smile that will last through the holidays.

christmas-cookies-1We are asking our friends in the community to bake cookies, candies, cakes, pies or any other Christmas treats for our men to have on Christmas day. And look, we understand if baking isn’t your thing. If that’s the case just grab a can of nuts or some of your favorite fruit for our residents and guests. We’re just hoping to show these precious people that the community stands behind them and supports them as they fight the good fight to restore their lives. It’s our goal that by next Christmas these men are reunited with their loved ones and celebrating with them.

If you’re interested in helping to make the season bright for our residents & guests then turn that oven on, grab those cookie trays and prepare the icing! You can drop off your food donation at our Administrative Office which is open M-F from 8:30am – 5pm. We do ask that when you drop off the food to please let us know that it’s for the Christmas day celebration for our residents.

We appreciate each and every one of you who will help to keep a smile on someone’s face and show God’s love, even if only through a cookie, to someone who needs to see it.

For more info or inquiries, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Join our Thanksgiving Tradition!

We are just days away from Thanksgiving! If you are planning on spending the day alone or you don’t have any plans at all then why not celebrate the holiday with our family?

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Our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is the longest running free community Thanksgiving Day meal in Hagerstown. It’s practically a Thanksgiving tradition that you might want to be a part of.

Our buffet is full of the most delicious food including roast turkey, mashed potatoes, our famous stuffing, sweet potatoes, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, fruit, pumpkin pie and more!

And did we mention it’s all for free??!!! There’s no charge and no reservation needed. Our activities for kids start at 11am and then we kick everything off at 11:30am. Come alone or bring friends, family and anyone else with you on Thursday because the Trinity Center is one of the biggest dining rooms in Hagerstown and all are welcome! We promise there will be plenty of food and you’ll have plenty of good conversation.

For more info about our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

*Just a reminder: our Thrift Stores in Hagerstown & Chambersburg will be closed on Thursday, November 24th. Both stores will reopen for normal business hours on Friday, November 25th.

**Our overnight transient shelter for homeless men will be open as usual on Thanksgiving. Our food bank, sorting room and soup line will not be open on Thanksgiving Day but all are welcome to come to the Trinity Center at 11:30am for our buffet feast.

 

Rock the Run: A Race for Hope is Coming!

In just a few short weeks, well days really, Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown will come to life with sounds of feet hitting the pavement to help improve the quality of life for the homeless and hungry in Hagerstown.

That’s right folks, it’s time for our 2nd Annual Rock the Run: A Race for Hope! Our 5K run/walk gives you, your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors a chance to come together, do something healthy & fun while also bringing hope to people who are often overlooked and forgotten about in our busy society.

For only $25, you can register to participate in our race. Proceeds from Rock the Run: A Race for Hope go towards providing shelter to the homeless and food to the hungry. At The Hope Center, all of our services are free for our guests and we do not use any tax money so everything we do is provided by the generosity and kindness of our friends in the community.

From providing a hot shower, to a warm meal, a comfortable bed or a new pair of shoes, The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission has been on the front line battling the various issues that cause people to become desperate, hopeless and homeless.

With your help, we are providing opportunities for people to change their lives around and see the value in who they are through the eyes of a God who created them and loves them more than any human can ever understand.

So when you and your family & friends register for a morning jog at Rock the Run: A Race for Hope, you’re not just getting some good cardio in or gaining a new t-shirt, you’re literally providing someone with a fresh start. You’re giving a struggling family food for the week. You’re telling the lonely that they are not fighting alone. You’re letting the hurting know that God hears their cries and is taking action on their behalf.

It’s only a commitment of a morning for you but a lifetime of change for someone else. Grab your shoes and invite your friends to join you to run for someone in need. Registration is open now and is $25 until April 22nd. Registration is $30 on race day.

For more information or to register immediately, go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com. And don’t forget to spread the word to everyone you know. The more the merrier!

We’ll see you on April 23rd at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown!

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Flashback: Camp Wild 2015

Even though the carefree days of summer are a thing of the past, our memory of the excitement of all the various summer activities lives on!

As we all start to bundle up, sip our delicious PSL and enjoy the crispness of the air, we want to take a quick trip back to one of the highlights of our summer: Camp Wild 2015.

In case you’re not familiar with what Camp Wild is, let’s get you up to speed.

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Every summer Wildside Youth Ministries at The Hope Center hosts four unbelievably fun weeks of camp for kids in Hagerstown. This camp is free for any kid between the ages of 5 -12 and we even provide complimentary transportation to kids living in certain parts of the city.

While at Camp Wild, the kids are given an assortment of activities to be a part of. From singing, to group games, hiking, art projects, interactive Bible lessons, hands-on educational activities, swimming, and more, the campers are not lacking for excitement each day.

Since Camp Wild is a free ministry to the kids of Hagerstown, we rely on the generous support of donors and volunteers to make each summer possible for our campers. We’re so thankful to say that since the 1970’s our summer camp programs, Conoco Camp/Camp Wild, have been blessed by God and He has provided the necessary funds, volunteers and resources to reach hundreds of kids for Christ! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our summer camp outreach programs in the past.

Camp Wild 2015

Camp Wild 2015 was an amazing summer of ministry. God proved Himself faithful by providing over and over again in the areas of drivers, counselors, donations, and plenty of campers. We ministered to 228 children, sharing with them the message of Jesus’ love and salvation. Churches like Tri-State Fellowship, Faith Christian Fellowship, Maranatha Brethren Church, and Grace Point Community Church came along side us in the ministry. A truly fantastic summer.

This summer’s lesson series focused on our core-value of relationships. In today’s culture there is a big need in understanding how to cultivate and maintain healthy, pure relationships. We wanted to use our lesson time to help children learn some great truths from the Bible about how we connect and bond with others.

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We began by explaining and defining a relationship. We learned through the Bible that we are to do our best to live in peace with everyone. This means that living in peace is a key to having good relationships with others. Fighting hurts relationships, but peace leads to life.

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After defining relationships we moved on to talking about the most important relationship of all, the one we have with Jesus Christ. Campers learned that we need to stop trying to live life our own way but start living life Jesus’ way. Our Bible verse for the day focused on how when we were God’s enemies He made peace with us through the death of Jesus.

Next, we moved on to talking about relationships with friends and family. Campers learned how it is necessary to have balance in relationships, to ask for forgiveness when needed, and to always forgive others as Christ forgave us. They learned the key to having good relationships with parents comes from God’s command that children are to obey their parents in all things because this pleases Him.

We spent some time talking about a negative relationship- enemies. We all have relationships that require hard work. In this lesson we talked about loving enemies and praying for those who hurt us, just like Jesus did when He sacrificed Himself for us.

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The week concluded with learning how having successful relationships will lead to having a successful life. The Bible commands us to encourage one another and give each other strength. Nothing in life is a complete solo task, we depend on others and others depend on us. Because of this, our lives and dreams need to be centered around Jesus and serving the needs of others.

Africa Park
This year saw the re-opening of our Africa park. We went back to the roots of camp and gave our African-themed area a complete facelift and overhaul. This involved both major and minor renovations, a new attraction, lots of paint, and tons of flags.

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Part of the transformation process began in 2012 by opening GPS, God’s Preaching System, in what was to become the Habari Jungle. This was the first part of a three-year strategy to consolidate our existing African attractions to one area of the campground while opening the Latin America and Asia parks. In 2013 we moved The Dig and Sanaa into their permanent spots.

This year we added new signs to the camp, new exhibits, new buildings, and lots of details to really make campers feel like they have traveled into the heart of Africa. We added lots of decorative elements to the camp, repainted some old signs, and added new cultural elements all around the African park to enhance the camper’s experience. In an effort to celebrate the diversity of God’s creation among cultures, we added in 45 flag poles. These were used to display flags from African countries.

ZULU
One area we were very excited to open was Zulu! Campers traveled to South Africa to train how to be a Zulu warrior. The word Zulu means “people of Heaven’. Here camper’s learned about the armor of God, King Shaka Zulu, and the culture of the Zulu nation. Camper’s got to shoot bow and arrow, practice dodging splash balls with a shield, and learn how to toss a spear. Each activity took place in brightly painted, African gazebos.

Our new activity center was complete with an 8-foot display of the armor of God, real spears, an authentic cowhide shield, and a six-foot tall mannequin dressed as King Shaka. We also included a life-size elephant skull replica, as well as replicas of zebra and leopard skins.

KIJIJI EXPEDITION
After being closed for two years, we re-opened the Kijiji Expedition. This summer we shortened the trail, condensed the activity centers, and refurbished some displays to give them longevity. Arnold Horst and the S.W.A.T. team (Senior Worker Attack Team) completely transformed our temple area to include nice thick plywood walls and a sheet-metal roof. We created a new meerkat mound using Styrofoam and cement, as well as covering our existing termite mound in cement. We also added a back wall to one of our bamboo huts, really giving the campers the illusion that they had stepped into someone’s house in the jungle.

SENEGAL
Kids traveled to Senegal to visit two active learning centers. First up is the return of GPS. This year we made GPS, our missionary zone, into a word scavenger hunt. Campers would work in their Small Groups to figure out clues related to each of our Senegal cultural signs. At the end of the activity, all the kids reviewed things together and learned how they could be missionaries at home.

The second active learning center is Matu. We reopened this attraction after a year hiatus and put it in the middle of the GPS trail loop. Here at Matu campers learn about the creation of the world, the anatomy of a seed, Senegal’s exotic animals, the life cycle of a plant, and even take home a plant pot of their own. The goal of this hands-on learning center is to educate and celebrate God’s marvelous creation!

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At the Sanaa Trail, camper’s got to express their creativity and reflect their Creator God by making some different forms of art. This summer campers were able to make safari ornaments and color their own tribal masks.

The Dig is one of the camper’s favorite attractions. This archaeological dig simulator teaches campers the purpose of learning other cultures and the excitement of finding buried treasures. We always teach campers that you must also dig into the Word of God to find the true treasure of Jesus Christ and eternal salvation.

Matu Base/Shed
In an effort to make the best use of space, we placed the Matu attraction inside the loop created by GPS. We wanted to have a building erected that would serve as a jungle base for the kids to play in. Here the campers can look at animal replicas, play on a chalkboard, learn about God’s creation, and take a break from the sun’s heat. After camp ends, we utilize this space as storage for displays, tables, and most of our Africa décor. Having this new storage shed greatly reduced our clean up time this year while freeing up storage space at the office. The majority of the materials were donated by Mike & Bre Black and the construction was done by Arnold Horst and his crew.

Staff
This summer we introduced two new levels of staffing into Camp Wild. The first group is called Shepherds. These counselors were the ones who led the daily small group discussions with the campers. They were available if any campers had questions of a spiritual nature or need prayer.

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The second group added was the Student Trainee. These were older campers who had been appointed by the Director or Assistant Directors to pitch in to help out with small tasks where and when needed. Although Student Trainees did not have authority over other campers they proved to be a big asset in having a successful summer of camp.

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As camp moves forward, we hope to continue finding ways to better serve our faithful counselors. Equipping them better, giving them more training and encouragement has been invaluable in improving the quality and effectiveness of camp ministry.

Thank you to everyone who has donated of their time, talent, and treasure to make Camp Wild a success. Every year I am encouraged by the generosity of God‘s people, amazed at God’s faithfulness, and grateful for all everyone who cares about the campers and has sacrificed in order to give them a summer they’ll never forget!

To learn more about Camp Wild, including seeing more pictures from 2015, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

Even though Camp Wild is over, the fun of Wildside isn’t! Our youth ministry hosts activities all year long! Go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com to learn more about our youth ministry program and all the activities Wildside has planned in the upcoming months.

Want to be a part of the action? We’re always looking for volunteers to help at Wildside and our other ministries at The Hope Center. Go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to see all the various opportunities we have for you to get involved.

Maybe you don’t have the time to commit to volunteering but you really want to become a financial partner of The Hope Center. If this is you then don’t wait any longer to get in touch with us! We’re always thankful for our donors who help to fund all of our programs to the people in our community. Since we do not receive any tax money or government funding, we operate completely on the generosity of our faithful donors and Thrift Store patrons. Call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to talk to somone about financially supporting this ministry.