Washington County Gives is Here!

On May 2nd, we will participate in Washington County Gives for the first time!

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Washington County Gives is a 24-hour online donation event benefiting non-profits in Washington County.

And you can help us reach the top of the leaderboard! Prizes are awarded to various agencies all day as they reach various milestones. Just like your donation, the prizes will go towards all the programs and services we provide for free to our community.

But we are currently looking at some major upgrades to our facilities along with some big changes coming in the future to helping more people. Right now we are in the beginning stages of preparing to update and modernize our food services ministry including expanding our dining area and creating a new kitchen to serve the thousands of guests we host each year. But beyond that we are also planning on expanding our ministry to house women and children who are in need. We understand the desperate need in our community to help these women so we are working on a plan to bring this new ministry to life.

Your giving during Washington County Gives and your continued support of The Hope Center year-round helps to make sure that our current programs and services continue operating for free for our guests and also helps to lay the groundwork for new services and ministries where we see the incredible need.

God has given us a great responsibility to help those in need in our community and He’s also provided us with such a great support system in our area that has always provided for our needs as we provide for others.

So please join us tomorrow in Washington County Gives. Help us raise money to fund our current programs and also help us as we look to the future to help change lives and bring HOPE to Hagerstown.

To give to the Hope Center during Washington County Gives, just simply click on this link: https://washingtoncountygives.org/npo/the-hope-center-at-hagerstown-rescue-mission

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We Thank You for a Great 2016!

A message from our Executive Director, Sonny Shank:
sonny-shank-executive-director“As we close out this year and look forward to the challenges of 2017, I look back with awe and thanksgiving for the provision of God’s hand. And as I reflect on this year, one thought stands out in my mind … 2016 was a year of caring and giving by many of the most generous people in the world – friends like you who support God’s work here at The Hope Center. So, on behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and those we serve, I want to thank you for giving the gift of love and compassion in such a personal and caring way. You are a blessing to so many!
Although 2016 was not without its difficulties and struggles, we rejoice in the good things that happened here at The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. As of the end of November, 82 different families were given free groceries (171 bags given thus far); 44,326 meals were served; 11,637 were given safe shelter; 381 different men were provided overnight lodging. Throughout 2016 hundreds of kids attended our Wildside Kids events, including four weeks of Camp Wild. And just recently on Thanksgiving Day we served a traditional turkey dinner to approximately 200 people!
But the greatest joy of 2016 is the transformation that has taken place in the lives of many of the men enrolled in our long-term recovery program. I wish you could meet each one of the men and see the change that God is making in their lives. In case you have ever wondered just how important your support is, I want you to read a few notes that the men recently wrote for our donors:
~I’m thankful for a place to get myself clean and sober. Great people here. Coming closer to God.
~I’m blessed that The Hope Center has this program.
~Being here at The Hope Center has helped me get my life back in order. I’ve gotten my driver’s license, a bank account, a full-time job and a car. My relationship with God is strong which above all is most important.
~I’m thankful that these doors were open to me when I felt like all doors were closed. God healed my heart!
~I’m thankful for the goodness of God’s people to inspire me and give me hope for my own life.
~Thankful for a place to sleep and food to eat. I would be out in the cold if it weren’t for The Hope Center.
God is working in the hearts of men like Raymond, Frank, Nathan, Gus, Donald, Louis, Darrell, Larry, Stephen, Justin, William and so many others. These men have been blessed through you! That’s why we need your continued help to meet the rising needs before us.
It is always a challenge to try to keep our commitment to caring for everyone who comes to us seeking assistance, while at the same time being concerned about our ability to keep
up financially. As we close out 2016 will you consider making a generous end-ofyear gift to help those in need? The Hope Center needs your help, and we pledge to you that we will use your money wisely. Thank you! May God bless you and grant you a prosperous and Happy New Year!”
Gratefully yours,
Bruce L. “Sonny” Shank
Executive Director

Volunteers Are the Heart of The Hope Center

In 2015 we celebrated 60 years of hope at The Hope Center. And a major part of what makes it possible for us to continue to provide services to men, women & children for free are all the hours of service given by faithful, caring friends in our community who serve as volunteers at The Hope Center.

Since 1955, The Hope Center has been a lighthouse to the needy in our community. Whether it was a man addicted to alcohol, a mother in need of clothing for her children, or a family who needs some food assistance, our doors have been open everyday to help those in need without asking a dime from any of our guests…or the tax-payer.

Friends, businesses, churches and other groups in the area have financially supported us from the very beginning allowing us to help so many people without being a burden on the tax payer.

But volunteers help supplement all of our finances by providing hours upon hours of compassion and hard work in many different ways at The Hope Center.

As we celebrated our 60th Anniversary in 2015, we had some special events taking place in the community which gave us some new opportunities for volunteers to get involved and make an impact in our city. But many of the areas that volunteers gave so many hours were activities and events that happen on a regular basis at The Hope Center.

In total, we had 719 different volunteers work more than 13,394 hours! That’s incredible! This is exactly why we think that our volunteers are the best!

These volunteers worked throughout the year in one or more of the following areas of service:

  1. Sorting room
  2. Wildside Youth events (www.wildsideyouth.com)
  3. Camp Wild (www.campwildusa.com)
  4. Chapel services
  5. Men’s ministry check-in desk and teaching classes
  6. Off site: baking cakes, making sandwiches, providing food for after chapel (these are on a regular basis)
  7. Outreach: 60th anniversary events (Rock the Run 5K; Party-in-the-Park; Ladies’ Tea; Anniversary banquet); Thanksgiving Day and more.

Our volunteers gave in so many different ways throughout the year. And we’re so thankful for each and every one of them!

But our volunteer opportunities didn’t stop in 2015. We are always looking for volunteers to join the ranks of our volunteer program all the time. We have so many different areas for volunteers to get involved.

In fact, our 2016 Party-in-the-Park will be held on Saturday, October 22 at Wheaton Park in Hagerstown. We are currently looking for volunteers for this fantastic outreach opportunity. This is a great service project for youth groups to get involved with in their own community.  We will need volunteers to help with food, games, music, face and nail painting, crowd control, popcorn machine, cotton candy, set up and tear down, etc.

If you, your family & friends, church group, civic club or more would like to volunteer at our upcoming Party-in-the-Park then give us a call today at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. We welcome you to help us reach our city and provide hope for those in need!

For more information about all the various volunteer opportunities at The Hope Center go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

 

Congrats Graduates!

Earlier this summer we were able to celebrate with our residents as three of them graduated from our Foundations Life Recovery program.

Our Foundations Life Recovery program is a free 13-month addiction and life rehabilitation program that helps men conquer the sins that destroy their bodies, relationships and lives. During the 13-months in the program, the men attend classes, Bible studies, and participate in work programs. These classes and programs help to educate the men about their true identity and purpose that God has for them in this life.

Some of the men who join the program have been raised in the church or Christian homes while others are brand new to the life-changing message of Christ. All of the men are dealing with addictions of some sort whether they are alcohol, drugs and pornography. The majority of the guys who come seeking help are trying desperately to stop the destruction of themselves, having already lost jobs, houses, and most importantly, relationships with family & friends.

While in our program, the guys live in our dorm and are fed, clothed and counseled for free, thanks to the generous support of our neighbors, friends, churches and other organizations in the community who fund The Hope Center. Many of the men have nothing left when they walk in the door. But they leave having gained so much for so little!

We are so thankful for the staff, volunteers and churches who help to bring the message of God’s love into the hearts of these men who Satan has enjoyed destroying. For the staff at The Hope Center, to be able to watch our residents graduate is a deeply emotional and incredibly exciting moment. Knowing how dark their lives once were and to see them glowing with the happiness of Christ, it’s a feeling that words can barely describe. Each one of these men was once a forgotten soul that Satan had thought he devoured. But God saw them for their potential in all of their sin and He had something great planned for them.

The men in our Foundations Life Recovery program have a lot of obstacles to conquer. From breaking the addictions, to learning who they can trust, to rebuilding their self value, to dealing with personal demons, there are many roadblocks in the path to recovery but these men who graduated fought the good fight and gave the other guys in the program the courage to continue their own fight to sobriety and salvation.

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So join us in congratulating the three men who got the victory this summer. Frank Shortt, Troy Robinson and Bill Rice all completed the Foundations Life Recovery program and were honored at a moving ceremony for them. Staff, family, friends and volunteers were invited to join in the celebratory ceremony where guest speaker, Matt Sargent, spoke. Following the ceremony, graduates, residents, staff and guests all gathered together for a time of fellowship in our dining room.

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We’ve asked each of the three men to give us a brief testimony of their journey towards recovery. Here is what they said:

Frank Shortt

Frank Shortt 2015I came to The Hope Center in September of 2013 out of desperation and loss of hope. Since coming here, God has done something in my life that I, and my loved ones, would never had thought possible.

God has, and is, changing this heart that was hardened and broken. Among many other things, He has given hope where there was no hope.

For now, my future plans consist of building my relationship with God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, along with my two biological sons.

Troy Robinson

Troy RobinsonWhen I came to The Hope Center in January of 2013 I was lost, scrambling to gain meaningful sobriety. Not just drinking and drugging, which I had succumbed to, but being able to live purposefully.

While in the program, God taught me that Jesus is the only way. He is the truth. He is the life. The hopeless can find hope in the Almighty. There is victory in Jesus.

My future plans are to finish well, rejoicing in the Lord always. “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Bill Rice

William Rice 2015I am 55 years old and I have struggled with alcoholism both as an unbeliever and a believer. Before coming to The Hope Center I attended Bible College but I succumbed to my addiction and fell away from the Lord. So in 2007 I enrolled in the Foundations Life Recovery program and progressed well until I blew it and was released from the program. I attribute my failure to spiritual pride because I had a knowledge of the Word that other members of the program did not.

In 2014 I knew I had to get help and asked to return to the program at The Hope Center. I finished the program and remained sober the whole time. God has dealt a lot with me in the spiritual pride area but He is still working on me.

It is my desire someday to be in ministry, but I find as a graduate that I struggle with handling freedom. I would appreciate your prayers that I would give God total control of every area of my life.

 

Please continue to pray for these men as they venture out on their own, back into the world where Satan has plenty of temptations waiting for them. Pray that they continue to fight the fight and stay strong in the Lord.

And thank you, to each of you who has invested in the lives of these men and everyone else who has come to The Hope Center seeking help in some form. From prayers, to volunteering, to hosting a chapel service, to donating food, shopping in our Thrift Stores and financially supporting us so we can continue to provide this ministry for free, God has used you to help change a life. You may not realize it or even think about it but these three men, and the countless other individuals and families helped at The Hope Center, are because of faithful friends like you who God has called to help change this city and win it for Christ.

Thank you for partnering with us as we celebrate 60 years and thousands upon thousands of lives changed in Hagerstown!

Where is Your Hope?

One of my favorite hymns, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, states in the first verse, “My HOPE is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It states in the third verse, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my HOPE and stay.”

The ministry of the HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission is reaching out to the many who have nowhere else to turn. They are not aware of the blessed HOPE that is Jesus Christ until they find their way to the Rescue Mission. Lives have been changed through the sharing of the HOPE of the Gospel. (Romans 8:24 & 25)

Hebrews 11:1 states: Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things to come. As this message of HOPE is given to so many who are down and out and have no place else to turn, the love of God through His Son Jesus gives a whole new perspective. Not only are our sins forgiven, but Titus 2:13 tells us, Looking for that blessed HOPE and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We now know where we will spend eternity, and His return could happen today.

But are believers sharing this HOPE, the good news of our salvation? 1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the HOPE that is in you with meekness and fear.

I praise God for the ministry of the many Rescue Missions founded by my dear Uncle Jim Resh and the HOPE they have given to thousands over the years. As we are living in the end times when the rapture could happen at any moment, believers need to be ready to share the Gospel at every opportunity. We also need to give our support to ministries like The HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission.

Lynette Brewer

Written by Lynette Brewer

Lynette Brewer lives in Westminster, Maryland, has been President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Westminster Rescue Mission and has recently become a member of their Board of Directors.

It’s Time to Rock and Run!

We are inching closer and closer to our 1st 5K, Rock the Run: A Race for Hope! Have you registered for the race yet? There’s still time, but don’t delay. It’ll be here before you know it.

Rock the run logo jpgRock the Run: A Race for Hope is a 5K race/walk at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown on April 25th, 2015. There will also be a kids race prior to the main event. This is a wonderful opportunity for your whole family to get involved and help reach the less fortunate.

Our Rock the Run: A Race for Hope is an important opportunity for us to expose the community to the struggles of homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown. The Hope Center has been open everyday for people in need since our beginning 60 years ago.

We are still dedicated, as we were at the beginning, to helping those in physical, emotional, and spiritual need in our community. Homelessness and hunger can affect anyone at any given time and it is our goal to relieve the burden and stress of the situation by not only addressing the physical needs but the spiritual ones as well.

God has called us to help each other. And for 60 years we’ve been doing exactly that. We’ve seen the demographic trend change from older to younger, from alcohol to drugs, from starving singles to desperate families. God has blessed The Hope Center and we know it’s because of our great support system of friends, volunteers, and donors.

Now, as we celebrate 60 years of helping people in our community, we want to take 60th-HiRestime to help make our community more aware of the reality that is homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown.

And that’s why we’re doing Rock the Run: A Race for Hope. This 5K helps us raise financial support through sponsors and participants, exposes the work of The Hope Center to a new group in our community who may not totally be aware of exactly what we do, and gives everyone a chance to help those in need.

In addition to the run/walk, we’re bringing our donation trucks to the race so that participants and volunteers can donate food items, toiletries, shoes, clothes, and household items. These items will be used in one way or another in our various outreach ministries. From our food bank, to our daily Soup Line, our overnight shelter, to Camp Wild, Family Assistance program, Foundations Life Recovery program, and our Thrift Stores, these donated items will help in multiple ways to provide the physical relief that so many people in our area need.

So go ahead and fill out that registration for Rock the Run: A Race for Hope. You don’t have to be a seasoned runner, you can walk it. And invite your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, Sunday School class, and more because it’s always more fun to participate in an event like this with friends.

Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to learn more and register for this event. Also, go to http://www.facebook.com/rocktherun5krace to join the community on Facebook. Spread the word and tell others to join you. This is not just an ordinary 5K. We’re coming together as a community to run homelessness out of town. And it all starts with the click of the mouse.

We’ll see you on April 25th in your running shoes!

Our Ham Sandwich Sale is Back!

Our Ladies’ Auxiliary is once again hosting a ham sandwich sale.

The ladies are taking sandwich orders from now until Saturday, October 11th. Sandwiches will be delivered by 11am on Friday, October 17th.

Ham Sandwich Fall 2014The country ham sandwiches are $3.00 each. The purchase of each sandwich helps to support the various ministries and programs at The Hope Center. Our Ladies’ Auxiliary uses funds raised through various events and sales to provide equipment, supplies, essential needs to our different ministries, and, they also sponsor special events for our residents to help make their time in our life recovery program feel more like home.

So go ahead and stock up on some of these delicious sandwiches! We don’t want to brag, but they are some of the best country ham sandwiches in the area.

Spread the word to your family, friends, coworkers, small groups, Sunday School classes, and more.

To place an order, call 301.790.3843 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. If you have any questions about the sandwiches, the programs and ministries at The Hope Center or our Ladies’ Auxiliary, please call 301.739.1165.

If you’re interested in joining our Ladies’ Auxiliary or volunteering in another way at The Hope Center, please visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.