Washington County Gives Returns May 11th!

It’s almost time for Washington County Gives 2021! Washington County Gives is a 24-hour day of online giving benefitting non-profits in Washington County.

From midnight until 11:59pm on Tuesday, May 11th, you can join other generous neighbors in supporting The Hope Center by giving online at washingtoncountygives.org.

This year we’re asking the community to support our major food services expansion and renovation project.

The expansion and renovation of our food services area is in full swing. In fact, at the end of April we were able to move into our brand new kitchen! The new kitchen will provide our food services staff and volunteers a much larger and more efficient space to prepare and serve multiple meals a day to our residents and community guests.

Now that the new kitchen is completed, the construction project has moved into the dining room where our old kitchen has been torn out and will become a part of a much larger dining room. This expanded dining room will allow us to seat twice the amount of people per meal.

In addition to the new kitchen and dining room, we’ve been able to have a brand new pantry which is 3x’s bigger than the previous pantry. This huge pantry will provide ample room for all the food we need to create meals and allow us more storage for our food bank program and community food giveaway events.

This is a much needed project as we have not made any major changes or improvements to our kitchen since moving into our building in the late 1950’s. This construction project will allow us to meet the current needs and also be prepared to better reach people in need in the future.

Please consider partnering with us to feed our community by donating a gift to us during Wsahington County Gives. To give during the event is quick and easy and will make a huge impact in our goal to end hunger and food insecurity.

You can donate to our cause any time on May 11th. We’ll provide a link from our Facebook page and also our website which will lead you directly to our WCG page to help make donating even quicker for you.

And please encourage your family, friends, church, coworkers, and social media followers to join you in giving to our construction project.

To learn more please click here: WCG | hagerstownhopecenter or call 301.739.1165.

March Pantry Item of the Month

We’re a few days into a new month – and the arrival of a new month means a new Pantry Item of the Month!

This month we’re not asking for a specific food donation. Instead we need heavy duty paper plates and/or 8oz cups for hot beverages.

We’re still serving all meals in the Trinity Center due to social distancing guidelines from the pandemic and also because of the kitchen expansion construction project. And because of all that we are still using disposable serving items for all of our daily meals for our residents and guests.

Earlier in the pandemic we asked for donations of products like plates, cups, and plastic serveware and the community came through in a tremendous way! Now we’re at the point where we desperately need more disposable plates and cups.

If you would like to donate heavy duty paper plates and/or 8oz cups (for hot beverages) please drop them off to our Administrative Offices during business hours (M-F 8:15am-11:30am and 12:15pm-4pm). If our office times don’t work for you then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com to arrange a time that suits.

If you’d prefer shopping online at your favorite vendor like AmazonSmile* then please use 125 N. Prospect St, Hagerstown, MD 21740 as our delivery address.

We truly appreciate any donation of these items! Thank you for helping to make a difference in our community! If you’d like more info on our food services programs or any of the other programs we provide the community please visit hagerstownhopecenter.com.

*AmazonSmile is a way for you to shop Amazon while also making a donation to your community! When you shop AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate a portion of the proceeds from your order to The Hope Center. Go to smile.amazon.com and log into your Amazon account. When prompted to select a non-profit search for The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission and choose us as your beneficiary. Now you’re ready to shop! It’s that easy. For more info go to hagerstownhopecenter.com and scroll down our homepage for the AmazonSmile info.

Thanksgiving Happiness Delivered

Thanksgiving 2020 is in the books… and is one for the books!

Our tradition of hosting a large group celebration in the Trinity Center was thwarted this year by COVID-19. We had originally planned to provide meals to-go and delivery but with the quick increase in cases in the area and a few positive cases at The Hope Center we decided to provide delivery only as an option for our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast.

Since we’ve never done delivery as an option we were basically working the unknown. But once the delivery reservation date came and went we were better able to see how it would all go down.

Our volunteers started trickling in the week of Thanksgiving to start preparing some of the foods for the delivery feast. From Dorcas creating the delicious stuffing, to Becky roasting all the turkeys (19 in total), to Laurel, Melanie, and Keith taking the meat off the bones, our pre-Thanksgiving crew worked hard to make sure our feast was ready for the big day. Then came the arrival of all the pies provided by Germantown Church of God and delivered by our wonderful friends, Mark & Sue Hosler.

Then bright and early on Thanksgiving – actually earlier than the sun – staff and volunteers descended on the kitchen to start preparing all the different elements for our feast. From Michelle and Melanie making the sweet potatoes and Doug carving the turkey breast, our kitchen came to life like it would on any Thanksgiving Day. Our faithful friend, Amanda, showed up like she does every Thanksgiving to help all over the kitchen, and good friends of The Hope Center Sue & Dan Thornton arrived to provide a huge help to the day. And then our mashed potato man, Larry, dropped by to make sure we provided the best mashed potatoes as he does every Thanksgiving.

Once the pies were cut, the cranberry sauce in individualized containers, and all the food prepared, our dining room became a food delivery factory! We had volunteers dipping the food, volunteers filling delivery boxes, and volunteers driving the food all over the Hagerstown area for our community friends to enjoy!

It was a long day but it was a huge success! While we absolutely missed seeing all our volunteers, guests, family, and friends, we are still so happy we were able to continue the tradition of providing Thanksgiving for our community! We’ve been providing this Thanksgiving Feast since the very beginning when the Rescue Mission was founded by Jim & Ellen Resh all the way back in 1955. Coronavirus may have caused a few hiccups but it didn’t keep us from being able to celebrate all the blessings God has provided during this unconventional year.

And speaking of God’s blessings – what a year of blessings it’s been! God has provided for us repeatedly this year in so many awesome ways!! And this Thanksgiving celebration was just another visible way of God showing His faithfulness to our ministry. Every time things looked more difficult than we expected, God sent someone or something to give us hope. Our volunteers on Thanksgiving were absolutely amazing. From Sue Thornton working her magic in the kitchen to all the food servers filling the delivery orders, to all of our happy drivers who dropped off meals to families and came back to deliver more! In the midst of this challenging year God has continually showed up for this ministry and provided in miraculous ways.

We hope each of you had a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving this year! And while we enjoyed seeing our delivery feast make everyone happy we can’t wait to host everyone in person next year!

Thanks to all of our donors, volunteers, and staff for going above and beyond for our unprecedented Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast! We honestly thank God for each and every one of you who helped to make it a success. Thank you so much!!

Washington County Gives is Finally Here!

After being postponed in May due to COVID-19, we’re excited to announce that Washington County Gives is officially happening!

On Tuesday, September 22nd the internet will come alive with a 24-hour online giving event! Washington County Gives is a chance for local non-profits to raise valuable funding for the year to come.

And this is a big year for us. Not only is it our 65th anniversary but we’re also beginning a huge expansion and renovation of our food services area at The Hope Center!

Our kitchen, dining room, and pantry are all in desperate need of an update and expansion as the need to feed people in our area has grown significantly over time.

Our expanded food services area will feature a new, updated kitchen so our staff and volunteers can better prepare and serve food for a larger crowd. Our dining room will increase in size and layout to allow more people to dine and do so in a much more efficient manor. And our pantry will double in size to allow us more space to store food that is used for daily meals and our food bag program for people in need.

This expansion and renovation is a huge undertaking. And we need your help. Not only do we ask for you to give as you can to this project, we are also asking that you help us spread the word to your social media followers, friends, family, coworkers, church, civic clubs, neighbors and anyone else who will listen! The more people involved the faster we can get this project completed and paid for.

And this is where Washington County Gives is a huge benefit. We are asking you to donate during this special online giving event but also encouraging others to join you in giving. We’ll be posting on Facebook about Washington County Gives and we’re asking you to share our posts with your Facebook friends and inspire them to give as well.

Giving during WCG is simple and we’re helping to make it as easy as possible. To learn more about giving during the 24-hour event please visit https://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/wcg

This designated page on our website will give you the quick link you need to find our giving page for donation. We’ll include links on our Facebook and other media posts to help make it easy for you and your friends to navigate and donate with ease.

Please mark your calendar for WCG on September 22nd and make a plan to help us promote our food services expansion project to the community. Together we are fighting to end hunger in Hagerstown and surrounding communities.

We’re here to provide help for today… hope for tomorrow!

Faith Chapel of Johnstown Serves a Heaping Dose of Happy

We were so happy to have some of our friends from Faith Chapel in Johnstown, Pennsylvania serve lunch to our residents and Soup Line guests!

The group of 8 made the two hour trip from Johnstown last Saturday. While they came prepared to cook and serve meals for the community, they also brought donations of diapers, peanut butter, creamer, and clothing for our Thrift Stores!

The group, organized by Larry & Cindy Lazer, also lead singing and an inspirational message for our Soup Line guests before the meal.

This is not the first time that the group has made the trek from Johnstown and we certainly hope it’s not the last. We appreciate their commitment to helping the least, the last, and the lost in the community.

If your church, Scout Troop, youth group, or business would like to prepare and serve a meal just like our friends from Faith Chapel then please contact us. We are always looking for groups to help on the weekend. Please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at The Hope Center! We celebrated today with our Soup Line guests who got special themed treats and a few of our lucky guests went home with some Valentine’s prizes!

Soup Line is our daily free lunch for anyone and everyone in the community. We serve our community meals, like Soup Line, every day of the year including all holidays and during inclement weather.

Soup Line is one of the important parts of our food ministry and a huge part of our goal to end hunger in Hagerstown and surrounding areas and to make sure no one is food insecure – ever.

And thanks to generous people like you who financially sponsor us and donate food all year long, we are able to feed more people than ever. Which is why we are moving ahead with a refurbishment and expansion of our food services area at The Hope Center. In the next coming months we’ll be revealing the plans for an expanded dining room and kitchen to help accommodate the growing number of guests for meals, and a much larger pantry to house all the food that is donated and used for daily meals and our food bag program.

So as we celebrate this day of love, we want to express our love to you for supporting us and partnering with us to feed the hungry in our community! Thank you so much and we love each of you for your kind, caring spirit! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Santa Surprises our Soup Line Guests!

Christmas came and went in a flurry of activity. There’s always so much going on during the holiday season but it’s always worth it all.

Even though Christmas is now a thing of the past, that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about all the fun we had – like when Santa made a surprise visit to our Soup Line!

On December 20th, our Soup Line guests were a part of our surprise Christmas celebration. In addition to delicious holiday themed food and treats, our Soup Line guests were randomly chosen for Christmas prizes. But the favorite part for everyone was when our friend, Santa, stopped by to help spread Christmas cheer.

We love celebrating with our community guests who come to our Soup Line each day. Occasionally we host parties celebrating various holidays and other themed events.

Our Soup Line is free for anyone and everyone and takes place every day of the year including holidays and during inclement weather. Our Soup Line is a very important part of our ministry as we are dedicated to combating hunger and making sure everyone in our community has food to eat.

In fact, we are in the beginning stages of a total expansion and refurbishment of our kitchen, dining room, and food pantry. We’ll be moving forward in 2019 to raise funds and begin the expansion project so that we can have enough room to meet the rising numbers of guests coming for meals.

You can be a part of making sure we end hunger in Hagerstown. By hosting food drives, donating meals, and sponsoring our food services campaign, you will help us continue to make sure no one, young or old, is ever food insecure.

Learn more about Soup Line and our food services programs by visiting http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/food-programs

 

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!

New to Hagerstown, BJ’s Restaurant is Making Their Mark in our Community

Earlier this year a new restaurant opened at The Valley Mall and has been the talk of the town – and you can tell by the constant wait times just to dine there.

BJ’s, located at 17318 Valley Mall Rd, has only been opened for a few months but is already making an impact in the community that they serve.

On October 29th, 11 employees from BJ’s in Hagerstown volunteered to serve lunchtime meals to our residents and Soup Line guests as a part of their TASC FORCE (Team Action to Support Communities).

But they didn’t just come to serve the food – they also brought the food. They served our residents and guests food from their own menu at the restaurant and prepared by their own chefs which included salad, pizza, chicken quinoa bowl, grilled chicken alfredo, and chocolate chip cookies! We’re hungry just thinking about all the great food they served!

We had a full house eating lunch that day and we can confidently say that all of our residents and guests enjoyed their lunch from BJ’s! We were so thankful for the crew from BJ’s, not just that they prepared and served lunch, but that they also mingled and interacted with our residents and guests and made their time with us feel like one big family meal.

So we want to say ‘thank you’ to BJ’s for all they did for our residents & guests and we will welcome them back any time they want to help out in the community again!

And if you haven’t been to BJ’s yet then you definitely need to go! If you’ve never heard of BJ’s before then check out http://www.bjsrestaurants.com to see their menu and get business hours.

Our guests and residents can openly attest to their delicious food but in addition to their incredible menu, including everyone’s favorite treat, Pizookie, they also have wonderful, kind employees and are an organization that is committed to giving back to their community and being involved by helping others.

Has BJ’s inspired you or your organization to get involved? If so call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to talk to someone about how you can partner with us to help those in need. You can also learn more about our food services and other community programs by visiting http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

 

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.

RTR Pirate Princess

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!