A Note of Gratitude From Our Residents

Men in our residential program, Foundations Life Recovery, wanted to start the year off right by thanking all the many donors who have helped to keep The Hope Center open and running.

Our donors play a pivotal role in the lives of the men in our residential program. Without their continued & faithful support, many of these men would be lost, alone and homeless.

The financial support provided by our friends keeps this facility open every day of the year and free of charge for men seeking help for their addictions and troubled situations.

Our residents are always extremely thankful for the assistance given to them at The Hope Center. They understand that there are hundreds to thousands of people who are rooting for them and cheering them on to make the necessary changes in their lives so they can live victorious in the future.

Recently, the men wrote down some brief notes of gratitude to our donors. Some men chose to include their names, others didn’t. But all of these quotes are genuine and from the heart! Please read through these notes and remember to pray for each of these men as they battle their addictions and life struggles.

A Note of Thank You From Our Residents!

Just want to thank you for all that you do for this program because it’s helping me to change my life around and get close to God. ~Melvin

Never before have I seen such generosity as I see here.  I am very grateful for the help given to me and the other men here. ~Frank

Thank you that you let God work through you and use you to make a difference in people’s lives.

Thank you for all your love! ~Connor

God bless you and I thank you for the donations that are continually given.  We appreciate it.  May the Lord bless you. ~Dustin

I want to thank you for giving me a place to get a relationship with God and become a better man.

I look up to, and respect, people that stand in the gap where God placed them to be able to help His people.  And an extra blessing are the ones who do it with a warm smile. ~Kevin

Thank you very much.  You truly are a life-saver!

Many thanks to the donors and volunteers and guest preachers.  Your generosity and loving kindness help us greatly and makes a difference.

Many thanks and blessings to all you guys.  God bless you all for everything you guys have done.  I’m so thankful.  My heart can’t explain the gratitude I feel.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart.  I love you all!

Again, thank you for supporting this ministry! We can’t say it any better than our residents but we appreciate your support every single day! You may not be able to see the full impact of your gift but we do, our guys do, and most importantly, God does.

If you are not a current supporter of this ministry, why not start the new year by making a resolution to partner with us to bring hope to the lives of thousands of people in the greater Hagerstown region this year?

Your financial support helps men in our Foundations Life Recovery program, provides overnight shelter for homeless men, feeds daytime guests from the community looking for a nourishing & hot meal, provides food bags for hungry families, gives at-risk children a safe after school program and free summer camp, and many other programs for people of all ages.

The Hope Center does not receive any tax money so our facilities and programs are fully funded through the generous support of our friends.

Now is the perfect time for you to join us in battling hunger, despair, addiction and hopelessness in Hagerstown.

Call 301.739.1165, email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net or visit http://www.hagerstownrescue.org for more info. You can also donate directly from our website through a secure PayPal account.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past and who is pledging to keep The Hope Center operational in the years to come!

Happy Birthday, Eddie!

The first Friday of each month is set aside to celebrate birthdays at The Hope Center, and this month we were able to celebrate another birthday with one of our residents, Eddie!

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Our friend, Stormy, provided another delicious birthday cake for our celebration!

Eddie has been at The Hope Center for a while and he is nearing the end of his program. He’s been working hard to straighten his life out and allow God to mold him into the man he was designed to be.

We asked Eddie to give us a quick testimony of what God is doing in his life. It’s great to see and hear another story of victory from one of our residents.

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“Upon my arrival to The Hope Center I can safely say that I was completely broken.  Between drug addiction and a complete disregard for my own life, I was heading to one of two places – prison or a casket.  I knew of a place called The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission where I could go and change my life with God’s help.  I now have one month left in the long-term recovery program here at The Hope Center and I can proudly say that my life is changed!  I now live for God and His glory.  Once I graduate I will be going to Philadelphia, PA where I have been accepted into an internship program through Urban Hope Ministries.  I will have the wonderful opportunity to minister to kids and young adults who have or are around the same life crisis conditions I once had.  God took my mess of a life and is now going to use it for His glory!”

Eddie, just like the other men who come through The Hope Center, was on a path of destruction and death but he allowed God to make the necessary changes in his heart and mind and now he’s a totally new man.

Eddie is fighting the good fight and he’s able to celebrate another year of life thanks to God’s help. Hope has been restored into Eddie’s life and now he’s able to spread the message of hope & change to hundreds of people in Philadelphia.

Eddie is just one of the many men who seek real help from a real God at The Hope Center. Thanks to faithful supporters like you, we are able to provide our residents with a safe environment of love and support to help conquer their addictions and other destructive habits.

When you donate financially or through gifts such as food or gently used items for our Thrift Stores, you are helping to change lives. You may not realize it at the time but it’s true. People like Eddie are made brand new in Christ because of the generosity of loving and caring people like you.

Thank you for supporting The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. We thank God for friends like you because now a person like Eddie is able to change the world for Christ.

If you aren’t familiar with The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission and want more info or would like to become a supporter of our ministry then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. Also, check out www.hagerstownrescue.org to learn more about the many programs and ministries we provide to our community.

Thank You, Volunteers!

Friday, October 18th was a night dedicated to some of the most important people we know, our wonderful and dedicated volunteers!

We hosted our 2nd annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for more than 160 of our volunteers who gave valuable time during this past year to help us reach thousands of people in Hagerstown.

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Our volunteers log hundreds of hours a year helping in many different ways at The Hope Center. From serving food, to building relationships with kids at Camp Wild, to preparing food bags, to teaching & counseling, to sorting items for our thrift stores, and helping to keep our facilities clean and up-to-date, our volunteers truly do help make a difference and keep this ministry moving forward.

We understand that everyone’s time is precious so that’s why we appreciate all the hours that our volunteers give. And this dinner is just a small way of saying “thank you” for partnering with us to bring hope to Hagerstown.

Our volunteer appreciation event was started as a way for us, and our residents, to say thank you to everyone who helps throughout the year. Our residents have a very unique opportunity to meet so many different people who help all over the place at The Hope Center. So this is a way for them to show their gratitude to all the faces that they’ve met while in the program.

The delicious meal was catered by Leiters’ Fine Catering. Our Hope Center residents were the servers for the evening. And to provide a touch of class, our residents wore tuxedo shirts loaned to us from J&B Bridals in Chambersburg. Each resident was assigned a table that he was responsible for serving food & drink as well as talking & mingling with our guests of honor.

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In addition to serving, our residents sang for our volunteers and two of our residents, Dustin & Dave, gave testimonies. Gene Ridenour, The Hope Center Board President, lead the men in singing and his wife, Holly, sang two solos.

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Ron Shank, Director of Pastoral Care at Brooklane, gave a short message to the volunteers, thanking them for their service and dedication to The Hope Center.

We were also pleased to have nine of our Board members in attendance. It’s good for our Board to see and meet some of the people who give so much to this ministry.

But we want to take a minute to thank some other very important supporters of this ministry, our Ladies’ Auxiliary. These wonderful women made all the delicious desserts for the event. In addition to that, they helped to set up the event and clean up afterwards. We can’t thank them enough for all the support that they provide The Hope Center throughout the year. We love them and are truly thankful for their faithful service to this ministry.

We thank God for all the people He has sent to partner with us to reach Hagerstown for Christ. God has sent us a very faithful group of friends to help us spread hope and love to so many who have been left behind or forgotten. We cannot even measure the eternal impact that our volunteers have had throughout the years.

We love our volunteers so incredibly much! Thank you for finding the time, energy and spirit to serve the least, the last & the lost. You’re truly making a difference in the lives of so many.

If you would like to join the ranks of the greatest volunteers in Hagerstown, call or email us immediately! There are plenty of ways to get plugged in. We can help find the right place for your talents and gifts. Call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net today.

Happy Birthday!

The first Friday of each month is birthday month at The Hope Center!

We love to celebrate another year of life each month for the residents in our Foundations Life Recovery program. And we love the delicious cake made each month by our friend, Stormy!

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In October we celebrated with Mark, John & David. Mark and John have been previously enrolled in the program and are glad to be back and hoping to finish strong this time.

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David is a newer resident. He enrolled in the program in July 2013.  He came here from Carroll County.  Unfortunately David was unable to join in the birthday celebration because he was hospitalized for a time. As soon as he returned from the hospital, we were happy to celebrate his birthday!

David Smith & Sonny Shank

Please continue to pray for the men, like Mark, John & David, who are enrolled in our Foundations Life Recovery program. As you read about Mark & John, this is not an easy fight and sometimes men leave the program to return to their destructive ways. Pray that God continues to work in their hearts and that the men allow God to make changes and are open to

Thank you for your continued support of this ministry. Each time that we celebrate birthdays is a constant reminder to all of us that God is in the business of hope & change. Your support helps to keep programs like Foundations Life Recovery operational and gives men like Mark, John & David a chance to celebrate their birthday each year.

For more info about The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission, including details about our Foundations program or learning how you can become a supporter, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Hope and Government

I’m sure by now you, like everyone else, are tired of the back-and-forth going on between the two political parties in DC. All that we hear is how our elected officials can’t seem to compromise and work out their differences and have forced our federal government to shut down causing some federal employees to lose paychecks and forcing other government operations to cease their daily activities.

Many Americans may not feel the effects of this shut down other than being inundated with the constant news coverage of this fight in our capital.

But for the Americans who work for the government or rely on the various programs sponsored by our government, this is a very stressful and troubling time.

As services and programs are getting cut, we are happy to inform you that none of the programs, services or ministries at The Hope Center will be affected in any way.

Even if our government fails to reopen in a month, our doors will remain open, beds ready and meals served for the hundreds of people each month who come to The Hope Center to meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

You ask, how can you remain open during a time when services are being cut?

It’s easy. We can remain open, operational and fully functional during these troubling times because we do not receive any funding from the government. We never have and we never will.

We are totally independent from the government. We don’t use any tax money to fund our ministry. And we’ve been doing it that way since 1955.

Our ministry is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And we do it because God has provided for our needs every single day that we’ve been open.

Thanks to God Who has given us many friends like you, we’ve been able to navigate through other government shut downs, recessions, tragedies and trials. Our supporters help us focus on what’s important: helping others.

During economic good times and bad times, homelessness, hopelessness and hunger exist. We’ve taken to heart God’s command to give to the least, the last, and the lost to heart and we’ve made it a goal to do that no matter what.

So as our country faces new sets of challenges, we can say with confidence that we will be here to help neighbors in need. We don’t rely on any government to meet our needs. We trust in God to provide – and He always has!

If you would like to be a part of the solution and would like to help us provide hope and restoration to so many broken, hurting and helpless neighbors, then get involved today. Below are the many different ways you can partner with us:

  • Financially support The Hope Center each month. We appreciate the generous donations from individuals, churches, businesses, organizations and other groups who faithfully provide the essential funds to continue providing hope.
  • Donate gently used items of furniture, clothing, shoes, toys, books, household and other various items to be sold in our Thrift Stores. The sales generated from our Thrift Stores in Hagerstown & Chambersburg help to keep our programs operational. Items sold in the Thrift Stores also give families and individuals on tight budgets the opportunity to buy “new” things needed for everyday living without doing damage to their budget.
  • Donate food items for our pantry. We use a lot of food at The Hope Center. We provide several free meals a day to our residents and daily guests. In addition to meals served, we operate a food bank where hungry neighbors can receive food for their homes at no cost. Therefore, keeping our pantry stocked is very important. Helping us by purchasing items like peanut butter, coffee, sugar, cereals, canned fruits and vegetables and other items is a huge blessing.
  • Volunteer your free time to one of our ministries. There are many ways to get involved. From helping to clean, paint, build, sort, teach, serve or entertain, there are so many interesting options available to you to help make a difference one-on-one in our community.
  • Shop in our Thrift Stores. Sometimes you just need some items at a low price. We can help. If you find yourself heading to second-hand shops, come to ours! When you purchase from our stores, you’re helping to feed the hungry or provide a hot shower to the homeless. And when you’re finished with your items, re-donate them so someone else can use them! We have two Thrift Store locations in Hagerstown and Chambersburg.
  • Pray. Pray. Pray. No matter what else you can do to help, please pray. This is the most important. God hears the cries of His people. He helps His people. But if we fail to pray, then we are failing to believe. We can’t do this alone. We need God’s help and guidance. Join us in praying for our ministry, our staff and volunteers and especially all the precious lives who will seek help at The Hope Center.

We can’t rely on the government or really any other human entity. Only God can faithfully provide. He always has and He always will.

Thank you for working with us to keep our programs running. In times of uncertainty it’s important that our community knows that we are here to help and we aren’t stopping for any reason.

For more information on how you can get involved in any way, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Former Resident Stops by for a Visit

Throughout the years many men have come and gone through the various life-recovery programs at The Hope Center. After graduating or leaving the program, the men usually move closer to their family to rebuild the bonds that were broken while addicted to drugs or alcohol.

It’s always a blessing to see these guys work so hard to rebuild the broken relationships with their wives, children and friends. During this segment of their lives, we sometimes lose contact with the guys who had become a big part of our lives.

But when a former resident comes back for a visit, it’s like being reunited with a long, lost family member!

Just recently, Earl Williams dropped by to visit the staff & residents at The Hope Center. If you’ve volunteered in the past few years at The Hope Center, then most likely you had the pleasure to meet Earl.

Earl Williams and Sonny Shank 2Earl was always a fun-loving, friendly and hard-working resident at The Hope Center. During his program and for a time after graduating, Earl had several different responsibilities at The Hope Center. But no matter what task Earl was given, he always had a smile on his face.

We were so happy to have Earl come by for a visit. Earl graduated from our life-recovery program, Foundations, in January of 2011. We asked Earl to briefly give us a quick update to share with you.

Here’s what Earl had to say: “First and foremost I would love to give God the glory for my life.  I came to The Hope Center four years ago, not fully knowing the God of this universe.  It was during the first few weeks that I got to know Jesus and accepted Him as my personal Savior and Coach.  I joined the program, graduated, and have successfully moved on.

I am now residing in Middletown, PA.  I am working and have my own place.  I am enjoying the blessings of the Lord.  I continue to be active in my church, and I also meet with a men’s study group.  I stay connected to the Word of God.

I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Shank and all the staff at The Hope Center for allowing me to be a part of their Christian family.  I met a lot of wonderful people who came to The Hope Center to worship and praise with us.  I still have contact with most of those people.  It is a blessing to have the opportunity to get to know good Christian people.

I would like to end this testimony with Proverbs 3:5-7 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding.  Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own estimation; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”

It has also been a blessing to work with the community of Hagerstown and be a blessing to those who need encouragement.  God bless you.”

We are so happy to see Earl continuing in his walk with the Lord! What an encouragement he is to the saving power of God’s love!!

And because of kind & generous people like you, Earl, and many other men, are living aEarl victorious life on earth and have an eternity of happiness guaranteed! Thank you for all the support that you’ve given The Hope Center through the years. From financial support, to donations of food & clothing, to much needed prayer support, you have helped us reach thousands of men, women, teens and kids for Christ. None of us will ever know the full impact of what God has done here at The Hope Center until we get to Heaven and see how God used all of us for His glory!

Please continue to pray for Earl as he continues each day to live for Christ.  And remember to pray for the countless other men, women & families who will stop by our facilities this year.

If you are interested in becoming a supporter of this outreach of hope or you’d like to volunteer, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can also learn more about our ministry and even give a donation online at www.hagerstownrescue.org.