Mark Your Calendars: The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is Coming!

Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays. And unfortunately it often gets overlooked between the excitement of Halloween and all the festivities of Christmas. But this holiday is one where families and friends come together to celebrate, reflect, reconnect, and, most importantly, give thanks to God for all the blessings of the year.

Thanksgiving 1Thanksgiving shouldn’t be spent alone which is why we have hosted a community Thanksgiving feast since our beginning. When The Hope Center first started in 1955 we were just a small facility on Jail Alley where alcoholic men could find refuge and safety and a chance to start anew. But Jim & Ellen Resh, our founders, didn’t just want it to be a rehabilitation facility. They wanted the men who were struggling with their addiction to feel like they were valued and were a part of a family.

So naturally, the holidays became an important part of The Hope Center. And as the years passed we welcomed the community to join us as we host a Thanksgiving buffet for anyone and everyone in the community who just wants some great food and good company on Thanksgiving.

We never want anyone to go hungry or feel lonely. God has blessed our ministry since the beginning and we continue to show His love to our neighbors each and every day in as many ways as we can. We are so thankful to still be able to host The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast again this year – continuing a tradition since the 1950’s and hosting one of, if not the oldest and continually operational Thanksgiving meals in the community.

So we are extending the invitation to anyone in the community this year who is looking for a wonderful place to celebrate and give thanks. The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast starts at 11:30 am at the Trinity Center (located on Walnut Street next to our Thrift Store in Hagerstown). And since this is an activity for everyone, even kids, we’re hosting activities for your children that day as well starting at 11am. All are welcome to come and we hope that you spread the word to your friends and family!

If you already have plans for Thanksgiving but want to still be a part of this tradition then why not donate some food for the event? We plan to serve around 300 guests that day so you can imagine all the bread, corn, potatoes, butter, cranberry sauce and turkey that’s needed to keep our buffet stocked. And on top of that we’ll still serve breakfast and dinner to others so we’ll go through a lot of food that week. Any donation of food or other resources can make a big impact. If you’d like more information about donating then please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can also check out more info on our food programs at http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. Thank you for helping us keep our Thanksgiving tradition going year after year! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Yo Ho! It’s A Pirates Life!

On Tuesday, September 19th, we celebrated one of America’s most important holidays, Talk Like A Pirate Day!

That’s right, all guests who came to our daily Soup Line were a part of a pirate party! In addition to the delicious meal prepared by our fantastic kitchen staff, our guests were given pirate treats, prizes, candy, and even got a little free piratical entertainment thanks to our in-house pirate, Lynn Harney, who works in our residential men’s program, Foundations Life Recovery.

It was a fun day for everyone as we ate, laughed, and enjoyed great food & company.

Our Soup Line is a free lunch program that we host every day of the year, including holidays and during inclement weather. Anyone of any age is welcome to join us for a warm meal and the occasional random celebration like our Pirate Party this week. For more information on our Soup Line or other food services programs at The Hope Center please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call us at 301.739.1165.

Want to help fight hunger in Hagerstown? You can easily help us in our daily fight against hunger in our community by donating food to our food services program. Between the several fresh meals we serve daily to our food bank program and various large community events like our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, there’s a lot of food that we need to keep our pantry stocked and to make sure that no one in the greater Hagerstown area has to worry about their next meal.

If you’d like to donate food, host a food drive or just learn more about all of our various food programs then get click here: http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/food-programs

Winter Storm Closures – 3/14/17

Winter has made a triumphant return to the Northeast with winter storm Stella.

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While it may not be the amount of snow initially predicted, we still have enough on the ground to give us a reason to have a good old fashioned snow day!

Below we will list the various programs and ministries at The Hope Center which will be closed today, March 14th, 2017. But please be aware that our overnight shelter and our kitchen for community meals will remain open like normal. If you are able to arrive to our facility then we will have meals at 12:45pm and 7pm like a normal day. If you have questions or concerns please call 301.739.1165 and follow the prompts to talk to someone on duty.

The following are closed today:

  • ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES
  • FOOD BAG DISTRIBUTION
  • DONATION DOCK
  • DONATION PICK-UP
  • WILDSIDE YOUTH MINISTRIES (INCLUDING ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY)
  • THRIFT STORES (HAGERSTOWN & CHAMBERSBURG)
  • RECYCLING CENTER

For the most up-to-date info about closures and other program issues please follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/HopeCenterHtown or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hopecenterhagerstown.

If you have any questions or concerns please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Camp Wild is Almost Here!

In just one week Camp Wild kicks off another summer of action-packed fun!

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Camp Wild is a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 9:30am until 4:30pm each day, including rainy days.

Camp Wild is a fun adventure camp for kids who want to get out of the house and experience a week of exciting activities, outdoor fun, building new friendships, and learning about God.

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Campers start the morning at our indoor multi-purpose building at The Hope Center where they enjoy free time in our game rooms, sports areas & craft tables. After free time, campers are taken to the Wildside Sanctuary where they sing, dance, and enjoy interactive Bible lessons followed by a small group time to learn more about Biblical principles and grow closer to Jesus.

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By midday the campers are given a delicious lunch and then transported to our outdoor camp facility located just outside of Hagerstown on our property by the Conococheague Creek.

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At the outdoor facility, kids are immersed into an adventure park based on exotic lands like Asia, Africa and Central America.

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Each land has themed attractions and activities for our campers to explore and discover. From activities like archaeological digs, to art centers, to interactive hiking trails, to obstacle courses, and our 600 foot zip line, there’s plenty of things to keep your campers busy. If that isn’t enough, we also have swimming, educational experiences and an inner-tube ride down the Conococheague Creek! There’s so much for your campers to see & do at Camp Wild…and it’s all free!

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Registration is easy. Just call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com. Did you know that for just $10 you can upgrade the Camp Wild experience for your kids? For $10 per kid, you can add the Camp Wild Premium package which includes a Camp Wild t-shirt, sugar shack* (snack bar) coupons, rental shack* coupons and VIP line jumping passes!

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Camp Wild hosts four separate weeks of camp. Campers may attend one week of their choice based on availability. Complimentary transportation is provided to certain areas during designated weeks only.

Camp Wild Dates:

  • July 7-11              North End
  • July 14-18             West End
  • July 28-August 1 South End
  • August 4-8           East End

If you have any questions about which week your campers would be receiving free transportation, please call Camp Wild immediately. Contact information is located at the bottom of this post.

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Space at Camp Wild is limited so please don’t delay contacting Camp Wild. For more information about Camp Wild, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

 

If campers are in need of complimentary transportation but are not able to attend during scheduled transportation weeks, please contact Camp Wild immediately at 301.739.1165 or info@wildsideyouth.com.

*The Sugar Shack & Rental Shack are located at the outdoor camp facility. Neither one requires actual money to purchase snacks or rent items for play. Campers earn points based on various activities during the day that can be used to “buy” snacks, souvenirs and rental items like water toys, goggles and other things. Coupons given from the premium upgrade allow the camper to receive items without earning points during the daily activities.

 

 

Koffee Klatch Season Finale is Thursday!

Ladies, this Thursday is the last meeting of Koffee Klatch until the fall.

And since we’re saying goodbye for the summer, we’ve decided to make it a little special. Instead of having a time of donuts and fellowship before the Bible study, we’re serving lunch after!

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This special Koffee Klatch starts at 10am instead of 9am in the Trinity Center. Our Bible study, prayer time and worship session will take place first followed by a delicious lunch.

And like usual, this entire event is free! This is a great opportunity to invite other ladies who don’t normally take part in Bible studies or regularly fellowship with other Godly women.

Again, Koffee Klatch this Thursday starts at 10am in the Trinity Center followed by a lunch. If you have any questions please call 301.739.1165.

We hope to see you there!

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.

It’s a Tad Crowded

Every day at 1pm, 1:30pm on Sunday, our kitchen is host to our SoupLine program.

SoupLine is a free lunch experience for anyone in the community who needs a hot meal for free.

Five minutes before lunch is served, a Hope Center staff person leads a small devotional with an inspirational or motivational message followed by prayer.

As the economy continues to struggle, our numbers have been on the increase. We feed all types of people each day at SoupLine. From single men & women, to families and young adults, our kitchen has been busting at the seams.

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As this economy keeps making it more difficult for people to afford food in addition to other expenses, we believe that our numbers will continue to rise. Unfortunately, we are already hitting capacity.

Now is the time that we start looking for new solutions to our dining issues. We’re beginning to look for options to expand to allow us more opportunity to reach people’s physical needs so that we can touch their spiritual needs as well.

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As we begin to explore different options for the future of our food services ministry, please continue to support us as we feed hundreds of hungry people a week. Your continued financial support helps to keep our kitchen open for our daily guests. And any food donations help to keep our pantry stocked, not just for our residents or guests but also hungry families in desperate need of groceries.

While at the grocery store this weekend, why not pick up some extra items to donate to The Hope Center? We are always in need of these items:

  • Peanut butter (16 oz)
  • Sugar
  • Creamer
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Rice
  • Egg Noodles

If you are interested in donating items for our pantry or organizing a food drive, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net for detailed info.