Another Successful Thanksgiving Feast!

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already a week ago! We hope each of you had as great a day as we did at The Hope Center celebrating our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast.

It was a bitter cold day in Hagerstown but inside the Trinity Center it was full of warmth, happiness, gratitude and love! We weren’t sure if the extremely cold temperatures would keep people away but, in fact, they may have brought even more people to our feast. The Trinity Center was packed and people kept coming even as we were ending the meal. We had so many guests joining us that we even started to run out of some of our food like the delicious sweet potatoes!

And speaking of sweet potatoes did you know that we use 18 #10 cans of sweet potatoes? Guess we’re gonna have to up that number next year. It takes a lot of food to feed everyone on Thanksgiving Day. We roasted 18 turkeys for about 300 pounds of the meat to serve. Along with the turkey and sweet potatoes we used 48 pounds of butter, 75 loaves of bread, 275 pounds of potatoes, 26 dozen eggs, and 24 pounds of brown sugar. That’s just a basic glimpse into our grocery list for the day!

But to have a feast the size that we did we cannot underestimate the importance of all the staff, volunteers, and donors who helped make it all possible. From days before Thanksgiving we had volunteers at The Hope Center helping with the turkeys, stuffing, delivering pies, and other activities. And our staff worked hard keeping all the day-to-day activities at The Hope Center running smoothly while also doing so much extra work to prepare for our celebration. And then Thanksgiving Day so many volunteers and staff showed up to make sure this year was the best yet. And they did a fantastic job!

We even had a rare opportunity to celebrate the birthday of Sharon Hughes on Thanksgiving. Sharon is the oldest child of Jim & Ellen Resh, the founders of The Hope Center. Sharon and her family are still actively involved in our ministry and you can often see her and her husband, Henry, volunteering at various activities. In fact, Sharon and Henry were at The Hope Center first thing in the morning to help in the kitchen. And it was Sharon’s sweet potatoes that quickly disappeared during the feast. But on Thanksgiving we were able to share in the birthday celebration of Sharon who was celebrating her 78th year on earth! We are so thankful to be able to celebrate Sharon and her family for all they do and have done throughout the years at The Hope Center. What an incredible testament to Jim & Ellen that their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are still involved in helping their neighbors in Hagerstown. Thank you, Sharon and all of the members of the Resh family who were on hand to help at Thanksgiving!

Again, we couldn’t have done this day without all of our fabulous volunteers who gave of their holiday with their families to be a part of our family for the day. Our Thanksgiving volunteers are always so friendly, happy, and hardworking and we appreciate each of them tremendously. While we did have first time volunteers, we were also excited to see all the returning volunteers who’ve made serving at Thanksgiving a holiday tradition for themselves! It’s always nice to see volunteers who’ve become more like family each year.

And lastly, none of this celebration would be possible without the generous support of our community. Through financial giving and food donations, each of you who gave this holiday and throughout the year are helping to feed thousands of hungry men, women, and children, provide essential necessities like medicine, baby products, groceries, blankets, clothing, and more, and giving housing to at-risk men in the area who are homeless or transient. Your support doesn’t just make Thanksgiving happen. It’s so much bigger than that one day. Your support makes sure that our facility is open every day of the year, during holidays and inclement weather, to help meet the most basic physical and emotional needs of people while also providing spiritual support to help people see the value in themselves exactly the way that God sees them. From providing a free summer camp to city kids, to food bags for families, to hot showers for men who have no where to go, your support makes each day Thanksgiving to thousands upon thousands of people who are often lost or forgotten in our society. And through your generous support we can do all we do without relying on any government money. No tax money is used at The Hope Center so our programs and services are 100% for the community paid for by loving people in the community. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for caring and sharing for the least, last and the lost in our community.

Thanksgiving is such a special time because we see the good in our world and we can thank God for His continued support each year. We hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we hope this holiday season is a true blessing to you and your family. Thank you to everyone who helps make HOPE possible in the heart of Hagerstown! Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and may God give you a Happy New Year!

Rock the Run 5K: Run For a Cause

As you know our annual Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess is approaching. On Saturday, April 28th, Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown will play host to a bunch of scallywags, buccaneers, princesses, princes, mermaids, knights and all sorts of interesting folk.

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We’re so excited for the upcoming race and the fun changes that we’ve made to the 5K this year. But all of the changes that have been made are to give us a fun event that draws people together to run/walk for a good cause. The point of Rock the Run 5K is not just to run around Hagerstown – it’s to raise support and awareness for the community programs that we do at The Hope Center.

We’ve been using the 5K as a way to get people participating who may not actually know much about what we do for the community. And our sponsors help to underwrite the cost of the 5K so the money raised by the participants goes towards the very programs we’re promoting.

As in the past years of Rock the Run, we’ve focused on the programs and services to the hungry and homeless in Hagerstown. And we’re focusing on those same programs again this year, but now we’re taking it up a notch.

We are currently moving forward with a refurbishment and expansion project of our current dining room and kitchen/pantry. The kitchen/pantry is basically the heart of our entire ministry as so many people visit us each day of the year for fresh meals or groceries for their homes. We serve thousands of people a year from a kitchen that has seen better days. We are so thankful for the kitchen that we have because God has allowed us to feed so many. But now we see the need growing and we want to keep up with that need and be able to provide even more. By redesigning the layout and adding an expansion of the current building we will open up so much more space to accommodate more people in our dining room while also creating a kitchen workspace that allows our staff and volunteers to cook and serve more efficiently. And our pantry is going to get expanded too as it serves not only the hot meals served daily but also houses all the food that will go into food bags and boxes for needy families in the community.

So each person who registers to run/walk in our upcoming 5K is helping to create a new experience to feed and help so many more needy people in our community. The money raised here stays here. And since we take no money from the government, all of the programs and services at The Hope Center are truly a community partnership from the hearts of our generous and kind neighbors.

So why not register now to be a part of something huge! And invite your family, friends, neighbors, Sunday School class, coworkers, and anyone else to join you at Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess. And did you know you can even get your kids involved? That’s right! We have a Kids Fun Run at 8:30am just before the 5K itself. For only $5 your kid can be a part of the experience to help those in need. And we’ll have activities for them to participate in while you hit the pavement for the 5K. Just go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register and learn more. And be sure to spread the word!

2017: A Year to Remember

I don’t know about you but it just seems that each year gets a little shorter and goes by a little faster. 2017 is quickly coming to an end but it literally feels like it just started. It’s definitely been one interesting year.

2017 had it’s ups & downs, good times  & bad, high points & low points but with everything going on in our nation and in the world in general, we’ve seen God working and doing things at The Hope Center more than ever. God has been blessing this ministry and He has given us so many wonderful people in the community who have helped us make 2017 one of the best years ever!

From hosting another successful Rock the Run 5K in April, to Camp Wild in the summer, The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, and all the other activities in between, it truly has been a great year and we’re thankful to each one of you who volunteered, donated, supported, and prayed for us in 2017.

But we’re excited and looking forward to all the incredible and amazing things God will do in the upcoming year. And once again we will be hosting our Rock the Run 5K in April except we’ve got a pretty big (and fun) twist on it this year! You and your friends & family will definitely want to be a part of that. And along with our 5K we have so many other activities, events, and opportunities for you to get involved in bringing hope to Hagerstown.

And as we’re on the cusp of a brand new year we want to give one final salute to 2017. And there’s no better way to do that than posting pics from all the various things that happened at The Hope Center this year. And if these pics aren’t enough and you just need to see a few more then jump over to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com and click on the ‘More’ tab in the upper tool bar. There you can click on the Year In Pictures gallery. Enjoy the look back at 2017! And Happy New Year!

Our Residents Party with the Kingdom Heirs

On Saturday, December 17th our residents were treated to a special Christmas event just for them!

The Kingdom Heirs Chapter #459 of the Christian Motorcyclists Association spent Saturday afternoon feeding and fellowshipping with our residents.

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The local motorcycle club prepared a delicious meal, brought Christmas gifts and spent time talking with our men and even singing Christmas songs together.

Everyone had a great time…especially Derek who borrowed a tambourine to accompany his well-known smile during the Christmas songs.

We want to thank The Kingdom Heirs for investing time in our residents this Christmas. For most people Christmas is a time of celebration with family and friends but for others it’s a hard reminder of the harsh reality of life. The Kingdom Heirs took time out of their busy holiday season to make sure that our men had a great time and were reminded that the entire point of Christmas is that God proved how much He loves each of us no matter what.

Our men enjoyed this Christmas party and many didn’t want it to end!

Thank you, Kingdom Heirs, for showing our guys exactly what Christmas is truly about. We want to make sure that our residents and guests feel God’s love during this season instead of emptiness, loneliness and hopelessness. The Kingdom Heirs definitely helped to make our residents feel special and we can’t thank them enough for all they did!

 

 

Ladies’ Auxiliary Dessert Concert

On February 15th, the Ladies’ Auxiliary at The Hope Center hosted a wonderful evening of music and delicious desserts.

This was the first such dessert concert ever hosted by The Ladies’ Auxiliary. Approximately 120 people attended the event. The event was an opportunity for the Auxiliary to raise awareness of the group to begin recruiting new members.

The Jacobs Brothers, a gospel singing group out of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, performed for the crowd. The Jacobs Brothers are well known in the Hagerstown area. They’ve been traveling as a group since 1962 and have produced more than 50 albums. During the concert, the members of the group shared their testimonies and encouraged the audience spiritually.

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In addition to the Jacobs Brothers concert, those in attendance enjoyed a buffet of delicious desserts. Colette Barnett created a wonderful assortment and selection of decadent treats like cream and fresh fruit tarts, mint chocolate mousse, sour cherry tarts, cream puffs decorated with dark chocolate filigree and mandarine, lemon meringue tarts, pecan tarts and salted chocolate caramel tarts. And yes, the desserts were as delicious as they sound!

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Everyone in attendance had a wonderful evening of music, spiritual encouragement and delicious treats.

We want to thank Colette Barnett and her staff for preparing the desserts. A lot of work and preparation went into this evening and we appreciate all that she and her faithful volunteers did to make the night special for all who attended.

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Our Ladies’ Auxiliary always has something going on! Upcoming events and fundraisers include the Easter bake sale on Saturday, March 30th from 8:30am-1pm at our Thrift Store in Hagerstown. And our ladies will be having a country ham sandwich sale on April 26th.

More information will be coming soon about both of these fundraisers so continue to check back or subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box on the right side of the screen.

If you would like more information about our Ladies’ Auxiliary or any upcoming fundraisers and events, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can also learn more about the Auxiliary by visiting www.hagerstownrescue.org.

Another Wonderful Maranatha Cantata

Earlier in December, the choir from Maranatha Brethren Church presented their Christmas cantata, “Come See the Lamb” in the Trinity Center during the evening chapel time.

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This cantata was free for anyone in the community to attend. A delicious dinner was served with the cantata by the wonderful people of Maranatha.

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Approximately 40-50 volunteers came from Maranatha to perform in the cantata and serve the hot meal to our guests. The meal was baked ham, green beans, potatoes and corn, and dessert.

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Around 100 people from the community joined in the Christmas celebration that evening!

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We want to thank Maranatha Brethren Church for organizing such an excellent night for our residents & guests! The night was perfect. The choir performed beautifully and the food was delicious!! The Maranatha choir is under the direction of Pastor Dan Thornton. We want to say a special “thank you” to Krista Bloom who organized & coordinated the event.

Maranatha Brethren Church is located at 19835 Scott Hill Dr (off of Jefferson Blvd) in Hagerstown. For more info about this great church, please go to www.maranathagbc.net.

A Wonderful Hope Center Thanksgiving!

On Thursday, November 22nd, the Trinity Center at The Hope Center was filled with the sounds & smells of family & friends coming together to give thanks and celebrate with a delicious buffet lunch.

We had close to 300 guests join us for our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. As one of the longest running community Thanksgiving meals in the area, our family-friendly event has become a holiday tradition for so many people!

We had over 40 volunteers that gave up their day off to help us serve the people of Hagerstown. Many volunteers have made our annual feast a tradition of service for their family. One volunteer even came from Corpus Christi, TX to serve along with a friend.

We want to thank all the staff & volunteers that worked so hard to make this day special for our guests. From helping to set tables, to cooking, baking, serving, cleaning, interacting with guests and playing with kids, our volunteers helped to keep the meal running smoothly and provided our guests with plenty of smiles.

And we want to say a special “thank you” to Christy White & Sue Hosler for organizing and directing all the volunteers before & during the event. These ladies really helped to keep the event running smoothly.

Enjoy some pictures of our Thanksgiving feast!

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We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

If you missed our Thanksgiving meal then be sure to join us next year! Our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast starts at 11:30am each Thanksgiving at the Trinity Center located on Walnut Street in Hagerstown.

The Smiling Faces of Hope

As we approach the end of the year, we want to take a look back at the many people who have been a part of The Hope Center. We value each guest, volunteer, staff person, Auxiliary lady & Board member. Keep checking back as we continue to post pictures of all of our friends & visitors at The Hope Center. Please continue to pray for this ministry as we bring the hope of Christ to Hagerstown!