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!

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Merry Christmas!

We hope each of you have a wonderful day full of laughter, delicious food and precious memories. Enjoy your day celebrating with all your loved ones.

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If you, or someone you know, is looking for a place to celebrate then join us for a free Christmas lunch at 1:15pm. There will be plenty of mouthwatering food and tons of sweet treats! And come back at 7pm for a Christmas evening service and free dinner as well! All of our meals are free for anyone and everyone! We don’t want anyone to be alone or hungry on Christmas so please make plans to celebrate with your Hope Center family!

The Christmas meals are served in our dining room located in our main building on Prospect St. Entrance to the building is located on our central parking lot off of Church Street between Prospect and Walnut Streets. There is plenty of free parking available in our central lot.

For more information about the location of The Hope Center go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Share-A-Haircut is Back!

Hairy Cuttery is back again hosting their annual Share-A-Haircut program. This year’s Share-A-Haircut program is from August 1-15, 2017.

What’s Share-A-Haircut? Well, it’s the community’s opportunity to give a disadvantaged kid in our area the chance to have a fresh haircut for back-to-school for free. For every kid’s (18 and under) haircut purchased at local Hair Cuttery locations a free haircut certificate will be given to kids in need. For over 18 years Hair Cuttery has been helping give free haircuts to disadvantaged kids in communities around the nation.

The Hope Center is proud to be participating again with Hair Cuttery to provide our guests’ children with the free haircut certificates. We’ve handed out hundreds of certificates to families the past several years that we have been participating.

As we are currently hosting Camp Wild, we have a unique opportunity to make strong connections and build positive relationships with hundreds of kids and their families in our area. Haircuts provided will help these families save some money and give their kids a fresh start to their new school year.

So please join us in spreading the word to your friends, family, church, civic club, coworkers, and anyone else you can think of.

Something so simple as a free haircut can make a huge difference in the life of someone else. Thank you for caring and sharing for disadvantaged kids in our community.

Hagerstown has 3 local Hair Cuttery’s:

  • CROSSPOINT SHOPPING CENTER – 17251 Cole Rd // 301.582.0296
  • HAGERSTOWN COMMONS – 1733 Dual Highway // 301.745.9726
  • SHOPPES AT HAGERSTOWN – 18035 Garland Groh Blvd // 301.714.0003

To learn more about Hair Cuttery, local shop operating hours, or Share-A-Haircut please visit http://www.haircuttery.com.

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.

 

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.

Our Sponsors Rock!

Rock the run logo jpgOrganizing our first 5K has been fun and challenging. We’re so excited for this opportunity to bring our community together for a day of physical activity while also raising awareness of the homeless and hungry in Hagerstown.

In order for this event to be successful and help people in need, we, ourselves, needed help from others.

And that’s why we love our sponsors so much!

These individuals and businesses help underwrite the expense of hosting such an event. Money raised by participant involvement can go towards the programs and ministries at The Hope Center that help the homeless, hungry, and hurting people in our community.

So please be sure to thank these businesses for their support of this ministry by using them the next time you need their services. And be sure to spread the word to your friends, families, co-workers, and others about these wonderful local businesses.

 

Platinum Sponsors

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Gold Sponsors

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Silver Sponsors

LifeSavingSolutions

 

 

 

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Mile Marker Sponsors

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And it’s not too late to become a sponsor and participant in our Rock the Run: A Race for Hope 5K on April 25th! Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register for the race and learn more about how your business can become a sponsor of our 5K for the homeless and hungry in Hagerstown.