Happy, Happy Halloween!

Today may be Halloween but Wildside Youth started celebrating a little early!

Last Tuesday around 60 kids from Hagerstown enjoyed an evening of costumes, games, spooks, stories, and plenty of great food at our annual Fall-O-Ween party. The Trinity Center was transformed into a Halloween-themed carnival where kids were able to play all sorts of different games where they could win various Halloween prizes. In addition to the carnival games, the kids braved a spooky tunnel that delivered them into a “spooky room” with more Halloween fun!

The night wasn’t all games and prizes. Nothing is more exciting on Halloween than a good story which is exactly what Wildside delivered. The kids heard the tale of Tartan the Werewolf who helped to tell a valuable tale to the kids about how God loves us and welcomes us into His family even though He is perfect and we are not. Based off the verse, “even if my father and mother abandoned me, the Lord would take me in”, the story is helping to remind these kids that they are so important and valuable to God and they are never alone or forgotten.

But is it really a party without some great food? Volunteers cooked up some scary good food for the kids who came and provided Halloween treats for everyone. Everyone had a great time at Fall-O-Ween but we couldn’t have done it without all of the staff and volunteers who put so much time and work into making these events so much fun for all of the kids who attend. And we can’t forget to thank each of you who help to support The Hope Center through prayer, financial support, and other means to help us continue to keep all activities, programs and services free for everyone, including kids, in our community! Thank you for helping provide such a wonderfully frightening night for these kids!

Every year Fall-O-Ween is a fun evening of Halloween fun where kids can be themselves and enjoy this holiday in a safe environment. But the Wildside fun is just getting started! There are plenty more parties and events coming up including Wildside’s Thanksgiving party in a few short weeks as well as hosting some games and other activities during our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, starting at 11am in the Trinity Center. For more information please call 301.739.1165 and visit http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

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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.

 

 

Tons of Smiles at our Downtown Block Party

On Saturday, September 20th, Walnut Street in Hagerstown came to life with the sights & sounds of laughter, excitement and people having a great time!

Our youth ministry, Wildside Youth, hosted the Downtown Block Party along with Maranatha Brethren and Valley Grace Brethren Churches.

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The churches came with games, prizes, food, and plenty of volunteers ready to create a fun afternoon for all of our guests.

The Trinity Center was open and housed various food stands like snow cones, hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy along with cold beverages. There was an area set up for our guests to play some basketball and wow everyone with their skills.

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We were also pleased to have a short show by “Bam the Liquid Robot”. Peter Arizmendi, aka Bam, stopped by to entertain our guests with a dance sequence. Peter uses hip hop and his gift of dance to share the Gospel. He’s currently in the process of opening a dance studio in Hagerstown. Bam the Liquid Robot has stopped by Sunday Night Wild in the past and he’s making another appearance in October.

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Outside on the Walnut Street side of our property were all the games and amusements. From a bounce house, to ring toss, to finger nail painting, to street bowling, face painting, carnival games and a waterslide, there were plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained for hours!

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In addition to volunteers from Maranatha Brethren and Valley Grace, our good friends from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene in Severn, Maryland drove up for the day to volunteer at this event. We were so happy to see their faces again and we’re thankful for their ongoing support of this ministry and their heart for Hagerstown!

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God provided a beautiful day for our block party as well. The nice warm sun gave people a good reason to come outside and enjoy the festival in the street.

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We estimate that around 250 guests flooded our property to enjoy the free block party together. And the best part was watching kids and parents alike take part in all the various activities!

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We are so thankful for all the resources and hard work that the people of Maranatha and Valley Grace did for this event. We know everyone, from guests of all ages, to volunteers, and even some of our residents, had a great time interacting, socializing, playing, eating and celebrating together. We look forward to hosting this event again in the future.

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If you’re looking for a ministry to get involved with or would like an after-school program for your kids or grandkids to get involved with, check out Wildside Youth Ministries. Go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com for information as well as upcoming activities. All of Wildside’s events are free for kids ages 5-12. If you’d like to talk to someone please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com.

If you’re currently looking for a church to attend and would like to be a part of a group of people who not only love the Lord but have a heart for service, then check out Maranatha Brethren or Valley Grace Brethren Churches.

For information about Maranatha Brethren Church visit http://www.maranathagbc.net or call 301.733.1717. Maranatha Brethren is located at 19835 Scott Hill Drive just off of Jefferson Boulevard in Hagerstown.

For information about Valley Grace Brethren Church visit http://www.valleygrace.net or call 301.582.0155. Valley Grace Brethren is located at 17310 Gay Street just off of Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown.

If you are interested in volunteering with Wildside Youth Ministries or any other ministry at The Hope Center, including our upcoming Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, please visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

Wildside’s Football & Cheerleading Party is Coming!

Wildside Youth is starting the year off big with a party themed around America’s favorite sport, football!

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Join us at the Trinity Center on Tuesday, January 28th, from 4:30pm-6:30pm for an action-packed night with all your Wildside pals. This event is free so be sure to invite all your friends.

All kids ages 5-12 are invited to wear a jersey or shirt from their favorite team. There will be football-themed carnival games, cheer competitions, prizes, great food, and learning about Jesus!

Don’t wait to sign-up. Call or email today! For more info about this event or other Wildside Youth activities, go to www.wildsideyouth.com.