Mark Your Calendars: The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is Coming!

Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays. And unfortunately it often gets overlooked between the excitement of Halloween and all the festivities of Christmas. But this holiday is one where families and friends come together to celebrate, reflect, reconnect, and, most importantly, give thanks to God for all the blessings of the year.

Thanksgiving 1Thanksgiving shouldn’t be spent alone which is why we have hosted a community Thanksgiving feast since our beginning. When The Hope Center first started in 1955 we were just a small facility on Jail Alley where alcoholic men could find refuge and safety and a chance to start anew. But Jim & Ellen Resh, our founders, didn’t just want it to be a rehabilitation facility. They wanted the men who were struggling with their addiction to feel like they were valued and were a part of a family.

So naturally, the holidays became an important part of The Hope Center. And as the years passed we welcomed the community to join us as we host a Thanksgiving buffet for anyone and everyone in the community who just wants some great food and good company on Thanksgiving.

We never want anyone to go hungry or feel lonely. God has blessed our ministry since the beginning and we continue to show His love to our neighbors each and every day in as many ways as we can. We are so thankful to still be able to host The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast again this year – continuing a tradition since the 1950’s and hosting one of, if not the oldest and continually operational Thanksgiving meals in the community.

So we are extending the invitation to anyone in the community this year who is looking for a wonderful place to celebrate and give thanks. The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast starts at 11:30 am at the Trinity Center (located on Walnut Street next to our Thrift Store in Hagerstown). And since this is an activity for everyone, even kids, we’re hosting activities for your children that day as well starting at 11am. All are welcome to come and we hope that you spread the word to your friends and family!

If you already have plans for Thanksgiving but want to still be a part of this tradition then why not donate some food for the event? We plan to serve around 300 guests that day so you can imagine all the bread, corn, potatoes, butter, cranberry sauce and turkey that’s needed to keep our buffet stocked. And on top of that we’ll still serve breakfast and dinner to others so we’ll go through a lot of food that week. Any donation of food or other resources can make a big impact. If you’d like more information about donating then please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can also check out more info on our food programs at http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. Thank you for helping us keep our Thanksgiving tradition going year after year! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Students Use Music to Inspire Hope

Hopeful Hearts (2)On Saturday, October 21st, some very talented young people took the stage at Bridge of Life Church in downtown Hagerstown for a special fundraiser to benefit The Hope Center.

These young people are all members of Youth For Christ at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts located downtown. Organized by the students in the club, this fundraiser, a first for the group, was designed to use their musical gifts and talents to entertain and inspire the audience while also raising money to help meet the needs of people in the community. Performing various songs like Go Light Your World, Heart of Worship, and It Is Well, the vocalists and instrumentalists put on a beautiful show celebrating the hope and power of our incredible God.

For the finale of the show, our residents, who are a part of our Foundations Life DSC_0075 (2)Recovery program, joined the students on stage to perform Victory in Jesus. What a touching moment to see so many people performing together in different stages of life singing about the victory they’ve each experienced through their relationship with Christ. This is exactly what hope is all about and it was a beautiful reminder that evening.

Following the concert, refreshments were served and the audience could mix and mingle with the students who performed in the show.

We want to thank the students in the Youth For Christ Club at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts for putting together such a wonderful evening of music and hope. These young people have been given a true gift from God and it’s so exciting to see them use their talents to help others. We are so appreciative of their heart to help others and so humbled that we were able to be a part of this event. Thank you to each of these incredible students and to everyone who helped them put on such a wonderful show!

To learn more about all the various programs, services and outreach ministries to our community at The Hope Center please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Happy Fathers Day!

Celebrating our parents or being celebrated as a parent is a special thing. God gave us the miracle to bring life into the world and the huge responsibility of raising those lives.

Unfortunately sin has a way of damaging and destroying lives which often results in so many broken relationships. But throughout all of our failures and familial problems, God has the opportunity to change lives and bring people back together.

At The Hope Center, Father’s Day is a day of many feelings: sadness, fondness, thankfulness, regret, and hope. Many of the guys who are in our Foundations Life Recovery program and those who’ve been a part of it in the past have had to deal with broken relationships with their parents and even estrangement from their own children.

By the time most of the guys who come to The Hope Center to break their addictions and deadly habits they have already lost everything: their homes, their jobs, and unfortunately, their families. Some of the guys who come are fathers themselves and have lost all contact with their children. Other guys who come have been abandoned by their own fathers and left with a void in their lives. Others have fathers who care so deeply for their sons and hurt as they watch them destroy themselves.

But the purpose of Foundations, the 13-month life rehabilitation program at The Hope Center, is to help these men start a relationship with God and allow Him to create a new man out of the old.

The men who are a part of our program are not just working to break the addictions that have caused so many issues, they’re also striving towards the goal of reconciling with their families and being the father, husband and son God created them to be.

Fathers Day Pic (2)

From L-R: Sonny Shank (Executive Director), Wade, Dominic, Darrell, Justin, Howard and Louis

We talked to a few of our residents about their relationships with their fathers, and for those who are fathers themselves, about their relationships with their own children. Here’s what they had to say:

WADE

Wade joined Foundations in January of this year. He is the father of three daughters and grandfather to seven. For two years, Wade did not have any relationships with his daughters and he, himself, has no relationship with his father. At one point, Wade found himself in a depression that was so deep he became suicidal. One of his daughters, who lives in Maryland, bought him a one-way ticket to Hagerstown and he enrolled in Foundations at the beginning of the year.

Since coming to The Hope Center Wade said his depression is gone, his health is being restored and he has reconnected with his family and now has a good relationship with his daughters. At 54 years old, he feels healthier and more energetic and is able to focus his attention on his relationship with his daughters.

DOMINIC

Dominic is brand new to Foundations, having enrolled at the beginning of June. He is the father of a daughter in Carroll County and has one granddaughter. When talking about Father’s Day, Dominic recalls that he never really had a good relationship with his father who is now passed away.

Dominic came to The Hope Center because he knew he was making poor choices and wanted to get his life right with God. His hope this Father’s Day is to learn and grow so that he can be a better example to his daughter so that she will have a desire to honor him as her father.

DARRELL

Darrell joined Foundations in October of 2016. For Darrell, Father’s Day is a day of celebration and also mourning as he lost both his grandfather and father at an early age in life. His grandfather died when he was seven and then only three years later his father died when he was ten. For a young boy to lose two role models in his life wasn’t easy.

This Father’s Day it’s his desire that through all he’s learning and how he’s growing spiritually in the Foundations program that he will be the man God wants him to be to honor his late father and grandfather.

LOUIS

Louis is in the final stages of his time in our Foundations Life Recovery program. Having enrolled in May of 2016, Louis is a gold level resident and is quickly approaching completion and graduation from the program!

For Louis, Father’s Day as a kid wasn’t ideal because he had a broken relationship with his father because his mother would not allow his dad any visitation. In fact, he didn’t really know much about his dad until he was 12 or 13 years old. At the age of 16, his father was awarded custody of him because he was being physically abused by his mother.

Since then, he and his dad have built a good relationship and he’s learned a lot from his father. His dad is currently 72 years old and is recovering from a stroke but is very happy and thankful that Louis is enrolled in the Foundations program at The Hope Center.

JUSTIN

Justin enrolled in Foundations in mid-April. While his father is still a part of his life he says that he has a broken relationship with him. His father, who doesn’t know the Lord, is dealing with addictions too. Justin says, “I don’t blame my father for my addiction. My choices are my own.” And while Justin is working hard to conquer his addictions and clean up his life, he’s also hopeful that in the process he can rebuild his relationship with his dad.

Since being at The Hope Center, Justin believes that there is hope that God can bring reconciliation to his relationship with his dad because of his own relationship with God.

HOWARD

Howard is a 2013 graduate of Foundations and is now an employee at our Hagerstown Thrift Store.

Thinking back on his life, Howard recalls that his “second” father adopted him when he was 15 years old. But as he got older they went their separate ways for several years. It wasn’t until he enrolled in Foundations in 2012 that he reunited with his father.

While in the 13-month program, his father asked him to come live with him. But Howard, understanding the value of the program and having a deep desire to complete it, told him that he would stay and finish at The Hope Center instead.

Since graduating, Howard has a very close relationship with his dad. They work together in their church, and they are working together to help homeless people. Howard says, “I love my dad and I thank God that we have an excellent relationship.”

This Fathers Day we celebrate the men who were men by acknowledging their addictions and entered our program to start a life lasting change. Please join us in celebrating these guys as they fight the good fight to be the incredible men God already sees.

Continue to pray for the men who are currently enrolled, have graduated or moved on, and for those who will come in the future seeking victory and reconciliation. Your support in all ways has helped to bring these men to Christ, conquered their addictions and restored their families. Thank you for caring and sharing for each precious life who seeks help at The Hope Center

Thank You, JLG Hagerstown!

Recently we were pleasantly surprised to receive a very generous donation by the JLG Supplier Quality team from the Hagerstown office.

JLG Industries is a subsidiary of the Oshkosh Corporation headquartered in Wisconsin. In addition to JLG and the quality lifts they design & build, Oshkosh Corporation has a reputation for quality heavy-duty products that serve our defense industry, fire & rescue operations and other commercial products.

Each year, Oshkosh Corporation has a global competition where their team members compete in four categories: Delighting Our Customers, Human Development, Innovative Excellence, and Environmental Responsibility.

The JLG Supplier Quality team’s quality improvement project competed in the “Delighting Our Customers” category. Having gone through Site Level and Segment Level competition, the team eventually won second place and received the Oshkosh Excellence Award in the final Global Level competition!

 

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From L-R: Raj Kambalimath, Haibo Li, Becky Shank, Dale Baumbaugh and Sonny Shank

 

The prize for winning second place was a $7,500 donation to a local non-profit of choice. And we are so pleased and thankful to have been the recipient of that prize. JLG employees Dale Baumbaugh,  Haibo Li and Raj Kambalimath presented The Hope Center with the prize winning check on behalf of the team from JLG and the Oshkosh Corporation.

We cannot thank the JLG team enough for donating this prize to The Hope Center. This gift from their company will benefit so many people, especially as we are preparing to make major improvements to our dining room and food services programs to help feed and reach hundreds of people in our area.

Congrats to the hard-working team from JLG who excelled at the Oshkosh competition! Thank you for caring and helping your neighbors in need!

To learn more about all the programs and services at The Hope Center go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Washington County Gives…And So Can You!

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

WashCo Gives 1

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

Our Christmas Wish List

As Christmas approaches we’ve had people asking what types of items they could get for our residents, guests and neighbors in need. So we decided we’d go ahead and make our very own Christmas Wish List. Some of the items on this list are for our residents, some for our overnight homeless guests and others are for individuals or families in need in our community.

Our shelter and dormitory never close. Both overnight sleeping facilities are open everyday of the year. And when we welcome new guests we make sure that they have all the proper toiletries and items needed to have a fresh start.

And our overnight shelter isn’t the only facility that is always open. Each day of the week, all year long, our kitchen is open to provide anyone in our community a delicious, free meal. And during the week our Administrative Office hands out food bags to neighbors who need some food assistance to get through the month.

So whether someone is hungry or tired, we will be here to take care of their needs. And we thank you for helping us help them. God gave us a very supportive community who has provided for us each year since 1955 allowing us to keep our doors open but free for all of our guests while also not being a burden to the tax-payer as we receive no funding from the government.

As you hit the stores this year, please maybe pick up one or two items on our Christmas Wish List so we can help make the season brighter for our neighbors in need.

For our overnight shelter:

  • New pillows (we can only accept new pillows for sanitation reasons)
  • New or gently used blankets
  • New or gently used bath towels

For our residents and overnight guests (men only):

  • T-shirts (assorted sizes)
  • Briefs (assorted sizes)

Food for our Pantry:

  • 15 oz peanut butter (used as a staple for community food bags)
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Canned meat: tuna, chicken breast, spam, etc.
  • Cereal: please no Corn Flakes, Cheerios, Puffed Wheat or Puffed Rice
  • Boxed dinners: Hamburger Helper, Rice-A-Roni, Tuna Helper, etc.
  • Tomato soup
  • Creamer (always needed)

To donate items, please stop by our Administrative Office Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5pm. If there is a time conflict please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Thank you again for helping to make Christmas special for our community. We hope each of you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with all your friends and family!

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.