Wildside’s Birthday Bash Kicks Off the Party Season!

Imagine one giant party to celebrate everyone’s birthday. Sounds kinda wild, doesn’t it? Well Wildside Youth Ministries likes to do things a little different so they kicked off their school year party season with a huge birthday party celebration!

All the kids who attended the Birthday Bash on September 25th were able to celebrate their birthday. Each month was given a celebration and no one was left out of the fun! 52 kids ages 5-12 attended the first Wildside party of the season where they played birthday themed carnival games, painted faces, made crafts and enjoyed some great food.

But the most important part of the evening was learning about having the most important birthday: a spiritual birthday. The kids in attendance learned all about the importance of being born again and following Jesus.

Wildside is the youth ministry at The Hope Center. In addition to monthly large event parties during the school year, Wildside hosts Sunday Night Wild on select Sunday evenings during the school year as well as The Crew which is the student leadership development program for older kids in the program. And each summer Wildside hosts Camp Wild, a free day camp for kids in July & August. All Wildside activities are free for kids ages 5-12. Learn more about Wildside and upcoming events by visiting http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Your financial donations to The Hope Center help fund these important activities for kids in Hagerstown. We are able to keep Wildside and our other programs and services for free for our guests because of generous and faithful supporters in our community. Thank you for your support of The Hope Center as we continue to reach everyone in our community – even kids – for Christ!

Want to learn more about donating or volunteering at The Hope Center? Go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com to get all the info you need on how to become a partner with us.

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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!