Our Pantry Needs You!

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” Matthew 25:35

Since our beginning in 1955, one of our missions was to make sure that the hungry in Hagerstown had a welcomed place to eat. As our society has changed and economic troubles have hurt families, our mission to feed the less fortunate has changed from not just serving a hot plate of food but also making sure that families had food in their own cupboards to help them get through the month.

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Our pantry is looking a little too similar to Old Mother Hubbard’s these days. To be honest, it’s becoming a little difficult to keep our food bags filled with a nice variety of food.

Please consider helping us keep our pantry full for all of our daily guests, our residents and all our neighbors who need food bags for their homes.

The next time you’re at the grocery store, why not pick up a few of these items and drop them off? Or your church, Sunday School class, workplace, school, civic club, Boy/Girl scout troop or neighborhood could host a food drive to collect some of these much needed items.

Please help us fight hunger and hopelessness in Hagerstown!

PANTRY ITEMS NEEDED:
  • Macaroni & cheese boxed dinners
  • Hamburger Helper or similar boxed dinners
  • Spaghettios, Ravioli, or similar heat & serve pasta
  • Creamy peanut butter (15-16 oz. jars please)
  • Cans of soup (all varieties and sizes – except no cream soup please)
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Tuna (5 oz. cans please)
  • Any canned meat (Spam, chicken, potted meat, etc.)
  • Rice A Roni (all varieties)
  • Pork ‘n Beans
  • Spaghetti (1 lb. pkg)
  • Spaghetti sauce (cans or jars 24-26 oz.)

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Thank you for helping us feed our city! We appreciate your commitment to following God’s call to help take care of the poor and less fortunate in our community. For more information about our food program or to talk to someone about food drives or other ways you can help, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Congrats Graduates!

Earlier this summer we were able to celebrate with our residents as three of them graduated from our Foundations Life Recovery program.

Our Foundations Life Recovery program is a free 13-month addiction and life rehabilitation program that helps men conquer the sins that destroy their bodies, relationships and lives. During the 13-months in the program, the men attend classes, Bible studies, and participate in work programs. These classes and programs help to educate the men about their true identity and purpose that God has for them in this life.

Some of the men who join the program have been raised in the church or Christian homes while others are brand new to the life-changing message of Christ. All of the men are dealing with addictions of some sort whether they are alcohol, drugs and pornography. The majority of the guys who come seeking help are trying desperately to stop the destruction of themselves, having already lost jobs, houses, and most importantly, relationships with family & friends.

While in our program, the guys live in our dorm and are fed, clothed and counseled for free, thanks to the generous support of our neighbors, friends, churches and other organizations in the community who fund The Hope Center. Many of the men have nothing left when they walk in the door. But they leave having gained so much for so little!

We are so thankful for the staff, volunteers and churches who help to bring the message of God’s love into the hearts of these men who Satan has enjoyed destroying. For the staff at The Hope Center, to be able to watch our residents graduate is a deeply emotional and incredibly exciting moment. Knowing how dark their lives once were and to see them glowing with the happiness of Christ, it’s a feeling that words can barely describe. Each one of these men was once a forgotten soul that Satan had thought he devoured. But God saw them for their potential in all of their sin and He had something great planned for them.

The men in our Foundations Life Recovery program have a lot of obstacles to conquer. From breaking the addictions, to learning who they can trust, to rebuilding their self value, to dealing with personal demons, there are many roadblocks in the path to recovery but these men who graduated fought the good fight and gave the other guys in the program the courage to continue their own fight to sobriety and salvation.

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So join us in congratulating the three men who got the victory this summer. Frank Shortt, Troy Robinson and Bill Rice all completed the Foundations Life Recovery program and were honored at a moving ceremony for them. Staff, family, friends and volunteers were invited to join in the celebratory ceremony where guest speaker, Matt Sargent, spoke. Following the ceremony, graduates, residents, staff and guests all gathered together for a time of fellowship in our dining room.

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We’ve asked each of the three men to give us a brief testimony of their journey towards recovery. Here is what they said:

Frank Shortt

Frank Shortt 2015I came to The Hope Center in September of 2013 out of desperation and loss of hope. Since coming here, God has done something in my life that I, and my loved ones, would never had thought possible.

God has, and is, changing this heart that was hardened and broken. Among many other things, He has given hope where there was no hope.

For now, my future plans consist of building my relationship with God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, along with my two biological sons.

Troy Robinson

Troy RobinsonWhen I came to The Hope Center in January of 2013 I was lost, scrambling to gain meaningful sobriety. Not just drinking and drugging, which I had succumbed to, but being able to live purposefully.

While in the program, God taught me that Jesus is the only way. He is the truth. He is the life. The hopeless can find hope in the Almighty. There is victory in Jesus.

My future plans are to finish well, rejoicing in the Lord always. “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Bill Rice

William Rice 2015I am 55 years old and I have struggled with alcoholism both as an unbeliever and a believer. Before coming to The Hope Center I attended Bible College but I succumbed to my addiction and fell away from the Lord. So in 2007 I enrolled in the Foundations Life Recovery program and progressed well until I blew it and was released from the program. I attribute my failure to spiritual pride because I had a knowledge of the Word that other members of the program did not.

In 2014 I knew I had to get help and asked to return to the program at The Hope Center. I finished the program and remained sober the whole time. God has dealt a lot with me in the spiritual pride area but He is still working on me.

It is my desire someday to be in ministry, but I find as a graduate that I struggle with handling freedom. I would appreciate your prayers that I would give God total control of every area of my life.

 

Please continue to pray for these men as they venture out on their own, back into the world where Satan has plenty of temptations waiting for them. Pray that they continue to fight the fight and stay strong in the Lord.

And thank you, to each of you who has invested in the lives of these men and everyone else who has come to The Hope Center seeking help in some form. From prayers, to volunteering, to hosting a chapel service, to donating food, shopping in our Thrift Stores and financially supporting us so we can continue to provide this ministry for free, God has used you to help change a life. You may not realize it or even think about it but these three men, and the countless other individuals and families helped at The Hope Center, are because of faithful friends like you who God has called to help change this city and win it for Christ.

Thank you for partnering with us as we celebrate 60 years and thousands upon thousands of lives changed in Hagerstown!

Celebrating Thanksgiving!

Our annual Thanksgiving celebration was a homerun with our guests! The food was delicious, the service was spectacular and the energy was exciting.

If you missed out on our big celebration, we have the pics here for you to enjoy!

Keep checking back for new pics and to learn of new ways to get involved at The Hope Center!

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DSC_0496DSC_0523DSC_0498DSC_0531DSC_0549To keep up-to-date on all things at The Hope Center, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. For Facebook go to https://www.facebook.com/hopecenterhagerstown. For Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/HopeCenterHtown.

It was Another Wonderful Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone already!

All the work and preparation for our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast was worth it! We had a fantastic day with all of our guests and volunteers!

We want to thank anyone and everyone who helped in one way or another with this event. It takes a lot of people and a lot of food to make this event as spectacular as it is so we appreciate all those involved with the giving of food or time to help us provide such a wonderful holiday event to our community guests.

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This year we served over 300 guests! We had approximately 60 volunteers working in many different areas making sure that we kept our guests happy. Our volunteers helped us by covering & setting tables, food prep like slicing bananas for the fruit cocktail, slicing pies and more, greeting guests, transporting food from our kitchen to the Trinity Center, and serving the buffet lunch to our guests. Our volunteers also helped with beverage service and dessert distribution, while others interacted with guests by mingling and talking. We also had a wonderful crew of volunteers who helped to clean up the mess afterwards!

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We were also thankful to have Robert Smith, a graduate of our Foundations Life Recovery program, join us as a special guest for Thanksgiving. Robert sang a beautiful solo for all of our guests and volunteers. We are so happy to see all the great things that God is doing in Robert’s life and we are so proud of Robert and the success that he’s had in his personal life.

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Thanks again to all of our volunteers who gave of their time on Thanksgiving! We couldn’t serve so many without you! And we want to give a special shout-out to Christy Hartt for managing all the volunteers during the event. It’s a lot of work making sure everyone is where they need to be so we’re thankful that she was able to help us keep the event flowing so easily.

If you were unable to volunteer on Thanksgiving day but are interested in joining our winning group of volunteers, then go ahead and call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net for more info. There are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in one way or another throughout the year at The Hope Center.

If you don’t have the time but would like to support this ministry then why not become a monthly donor. Your donation helps to keep the many programs of hope running throughout the year. From providing housing to homeless men, to warm lunches for needy neighbors, to after-school programs to disadvantaged kids, to food bags for hungry families, and substance abuse rehabilitation for addicted men, your tax-deductible financial support helps thousands of people each year with their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. For info about supporting this ministry, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Also, please visit www.hagerstownrescue.org to learn more about the various ministries and programs at The Hope Center. You can also make a secure donation through PayPal on our website.

Let the Christmas Celebrations Begin!

On Sunday, December 9th, Maranatha Brethren Church will perform their Christmas cantata in the Trinity Center.

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In addition to the cantata, the kind people of Maranatha are serving a delicious holiday meal! And the best part is that this event is free for anyone in the community!

If you are looking for Christmas activities or have friends & family who could use a little holiday cheer, then please join us for this wonderful night of music and food!

For more info, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Maranatha Easter Cantata

On Saturday, April 7, the Trinity Center came alive with music!

Maranatha Brethren Church performed their beautiful Easter cantata, “Hallelujah, Praise the Lamb”. The cantata, directed by Pastor Dan Thornton, featured several solos, was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Tim (L), along with sidekick Derrick (r), worked hard to prepare all the food for the evening meal

Following the cantata, Maranatha served a delicious spaghetti dinner. Everyone performing in the cantata also served the meal.

This event was definitely a crowd pleaser! In addition to our residents, this event was open to anyone who wanted a great show and a wonderful dinner. We were so happy to have many people in the community join us. We are so thankful that Maranatha performed their cantata and served a delicious dinner for everyone. It was a fantastic evening and a wonderful way to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

*Quick Fact: Three Board members and two staff members were a part of this Easter Cantata! We are so thankful to see Hope Center Board members & staff serving the Lord in the local church as well!

Maranatha Brethren has been a very faithful partner of The Hope Center. Maranatha is one of the area churches that hosts a monthly evening chapel service. They’ve also been faithful by financially supporting the ministry as well as hosting several food drives.

Maranatha Brethren Church is located at 19835 Scott Hill Dr (off of Jefferson Blvd in Hagerstown). Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:45am followed by the morning worship service at 10:55am. For more info about Maranatha Brethren and their ministries, call 301.733.1717 or check them out online at www.maranathagbc.net.

For more pictures of the event, check out our facebook page. www.facebook.com/hopecenterhagerstown

Antrim BIC Youth Serve the Community

On Wednesday evening, March 28th, the youth group at Antrim Brethren in Christ Church hosted the chapel service for our residents and community. Former staff member of The Hope Center, Matt Sargent, is now serving as Family and Youth Pastor at Antrim.

The youth group praise band lead the worship songs and then  Matt Sargent brought the message. Hosting the evening chapel service was a first time experience for Antrim’s youth group, but the teens were enthusiastic and seemed to enjoy the opportunity to serve.

Following the service, the residents and community were served a delicious spaghetti dinner. The students helped to serve and interact with our dinner guests.

Antrim Brethren in Christ Church is located at 24 Kauffman Road East. It’s located just north of Greencastle, PA across from Mrs Gibble’s restaurant on Route 11.

It’s great to see our youth get involved in the community. We look forward to having Antrim’s youth group work with us for an entire week this summer! If your youth group, school group or club would like to get involved with The Hope Center in one way or another, please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

If you’re looking for a church for yourself or your family or a youth program for your children or grandchildren and would like to know more about Antrim Brethren in Christ Church, please visit their website at www.antrimbic.net or call them at 717.375.4658.