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

 

Chick-Fil-A Brings the Happy (and, of course, some Chicken)

Who wouldn’t love a lunch provided by Chick-Fil-A for free? It’s basically everyone’s dream. And for our residents and Soup Line guests that dream became a reality last weekend when staff from Chick-Fil-A in Hagerstown stopped by The Hope Center to host lunch!

Thirteen Chick-Fil-A team members helped prepare, serve, and interact with all of the men, women and children who joined us for lunch. Lead by Mary Teal Medina, the Marketing Director, and Matt Roach, Operations Director, the crew served a delicious meal of BBQ chicken sandwiches, chicken noodle soup over a hot biscuit, and a cookie. And to wash it all down our guests enjoyed some of that delicious southern style sweet tea that is wildly popular at Chick-Fil-A!

It was another full house during Soup Line and our guests enjoyed the great food and good company.

We are so thankful for the team from Chick-Fil-A for volunteering and being involved in helping us feed those in need in Hagerstown. We would gladly welcome Chick-Fil-A back any time, and we know our guests would too!

Thank you so much, Chick-Fil-A of Hagerstown, for taking time out of your schedule to share with our residents and guests!

If you’re reading this and craving some great fast food then swing by Chick-Fil-A on Wesel Blvd in Hagerstown for a sandwich, grilled nuggets, waffle fries, and Chick-Fil-A sauce…or just get whatever makes your heart happy on that menu because you know it’s gonna taste great!

If you, your business, scout troop, church, or civic group would like to join Chick-Fil-A and other local restaurants in serving our lunch guests then please give us a call at 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. There’s a genuine need for food assistance in our community and we’re so thrilled to have restaurants in the area team up with us and our other donors and volunteers to combat hunger and hopelessness in Hagerstown. You can join the fight! Go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com to learn more about who we are, what we do, and how you can be a part of helping neighbors in need in Hagerstown and the surrounding communities!

Day To Serve Prompts Local Food Drive

Americans are probably the most generous group of people on earth. This is being said without any actual statistics or facts to back it up but we’re just going on a hunch that we’re right about that claim.

But getting people to give or give back is not always easy since Americans are also probably the busiest group of people on earth. Getting involved and helping in the community is high on most people’s “must do” list but often times it is difficult because of all the demands of daily living. And that’s why the Governor created the Day To Serve.

The Day To Serve is an annual program to encourage volunteerism in the State of Maryland. The Governor of Maryland established this day andgo asked Marylanders to get involved in their communities between September 10th and October 10th.

dsc_0074A group of Maryland state employees consisting of Roberta Barkley, Barbara Allen, Amy Miller and Tracy Leb decided to host a food drive at a local grocery store. After contacting several stores, Save-A-Lot allowed the ladies to set up their food drive in front of their store. So on September 23rd, these woman hosted a food drive to benefit The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission at the Save-A-Lot store in the South End Shopping Center.

This was the first food drive that they’ve hosted and were very pleased with the amount of food given and support from the community in helping others. In fact, the ladies were able to collect 350 pounds of food for The Hope Center pantry! Roberta, the food drive organizer, chose The Hope Center because she said she liked knowing exactly where the donation would be going and who it would be helping.

At The Hope Center, we feed thousands upon thousands of people a year. We don’t just feed the men who are in our residential rehabilitation program. We feed the homeless. We feed families. We feed anyone who needs a meal. Whether it’s a hot meal served at our daily Soup Line or it’s a bag of groceries given to a needy family, our kitchen and pantry is constantly busy making sure no one in our community misses a meal.

But with all the food that we serve or give out, our panty is in constant need of replenishment. And that’s why food drives like the one that Roberta, Barbara, Amy & Tracy hosted are so important to us at The Hope Center. Food can get costly and feeding thousands could easily break the budget but the generous support of people in our community helps to make sure that we can continue to feed and help people without costing them a cent or using tax money.

In addition to asking for food donations, Roberta contacted local dentist offices asking for donations of toothbrushes and paste. Two generous offices, Robinwood Dental Center & Dr. Toothman’s, gave the toothbrushes and toothpaste for the food drive. Personal care items such as toothpaste, brushes, deodorant and soaps are very important too as we give these items to our residents, overnight homeless guests and anyone who may need them. As simple as these items may seem, they can quickly help restore a persons value.

We want to give a huge thank you to Roberta, Barbara, Amy & Tracy for putting together this food drive and taking time out of their busy schedules to get the community involved in helping others. And we want to thank the Save-A-Lot store for allowing these ladies to host their food drive at that location. Another big thank you to Robinwood Dental & Dr. Toothman for donating the toothbrushes & paste for our guests.

Have you been inspired to host a food drive? Maybe you just want to get your family involved with giving food. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help feed your neighbors in Hagerstown then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Please consider frequenting these generous local businesses:

  • Robinwood Dental Center is located at 11110 Medical Campus Rd. Suite 148 in Hagerstown. Learn more about their services at http://www.robinwooddentalcenter.com.
  • Toothman Orthodontics is located at 81 N. Edgewood Dr in Hagerstown and 5100 Buckeystown Pike Suite 196 in Frederick. Go to http://www.toothmanorthodontics.com to learn more about their services.
  • Save-A-Lot store is located at 1161 Maryland Ave in Hagerstown. If you’re unfamiliar with Save-A-Lot stores then visit their website at http://www.save-a-lot.com

 

 

 

 

The Good Shepherd Ministries: Joining the Fight Against Hunger

We’d like to say a big “thank you” to the awesome people from The Good Shepherd Ministries in Hagerstown!

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Recently, The Good Shepherd Ministries hosted a church-wide food drive to benefit The Hope Center.

Andrea Reaves, wife of Assistant Pastor Brad, and grand-daughter of The Hope Center founders Jim & Ellen Resh, organized the food drive for the church.

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The church provided approximately 460 pounds of non-perishable food for our food ministry! We are so thankful for their generous donation to help feed the needy in Hagerstown.

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Our food program is one of the most vital parts of our entire ministry for our guests. From food bags to multiple free meals throughout the day, our kitchen and pantry is always busy, and sometimes short on necessary items.

Food drives, like the one hosted by The Good Shepherd Ministries, are an important resource for our ministry. When you feed hundreds of people a week while also providing families with bags of groceries to supplement their own pantries, you can go through a lot of food. Food drives ensure that our pantry is always stocked and ready to meet the needs of our community.

Since everything we do at The Hope Center is free, and free from any tax money, we rely heavily on the generous support from churches, individuals, civic clubs, Scout programs and more to help keep our facility open, operational and free for anyone who is in need.

Thank you again to The Good Shepherd Ministries for partnering with us to help combat hunger in Hagerstown. If you’re currently looking for a church to attend, visit The Good Shepherd Ministries. For more info about this great body of Believers, go to http://www.mytgsm.com.

If you would like to host a food drive to benefit The Hope Center but just aren’t quite sure how to do so, contact us and we’ll gladly help you out. Call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

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And don’t forget that in April our 2nd Annual Rock the Run: A Race for Hope is taking place at Fairgrounds Park. On Saturday April 23rd, join fellow runners, joggers & walkers as we hit the streets to raise support and awareness for homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown. It’s a simple and fun way to make a difference in the community and help neighbors in need. Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to learn more.

You Ready to Rock the Run?

It won’t be long until we host our first 5K Race/Walk in Hagerstown!

Our Rock the Run: A Race for Hope will take place on Saturday, April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.

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We are dedicated to helping our neighbors who are homeless & hungry get the shelter, food, and support they need during tough times. This race is just another way for all of our friends in the area to come together and show support and love for those who are struggling.

Money raised through this race will help to fund our homeless (transient) shelter which operates every day of the year. We provide hot showers, toiletries, food, and a warm bed for thousands of homeless people each year.

And we’ve been providing these same services to people since 1955 at no cost to our guests or the tax payer! 

Participating in this race helps to make sure that the less fortunate have a safe, comfortable and loving place to rest, relax, and refresh all in the name of Christ.

You ready to help? Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register. And be sure to spread the word to your family, friends, coworkers, church, civic clubs, and more!

We’ll also have our donation trucks available at the race if you have gently used items for our Thrift Stores and Family Assistance ministry as well as food items for our food bank.

If you would like to talk to someone about Rock the Run: A Race for Hope, please call 301.739.1165.

Maranatha Choir Celebrates the Christmas Season

On December 19th, the joint Christmas choir from Maranatha Brethren Church and Valley Grace Brethren hosted their Christmas Cantata, A Christmas Prayer, for our residents and community guests.

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The show was full of Christmas spirit as the choir celebrated the birth of Jesus with beautiful songs and a story about restoring family bonds through the power of prayer.

In addition to a narrator, the show featured several solos as well as a quartet.

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Following the concert, the choir became dinner servers for all the guests in attendance. A full dinner along with an assortment of Christmas cookies was provided.

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It was a beautiful night of Christmas celebration for all of our guests. We’re so thankful that the Christmas choir from Maranatha Brethren and Valley Grace Brethren Churches perform their Christmas cantata every year for our guests. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the season and remind each of us of why we really celebrate Christmas.

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To learn more about Maranatha Brethren Church go to http://www.maranathagbc.net or call 301.733.1717. Maranatha Brethren is located at 19835 Scott Hill Drive in Hagerstown.

For more info about Valley Grace Brethren visit valleygrace.net or call 301.582.0155. Valley Grace Brethren is located at 17310 Gay Street in Hagerstown.

2014 Year in Pictures: Part 2

This is the second part of a series of pictures celebrating all the people that God brought into The Hope Center in one way or another in 2014.

We appreciate, love, and value each of our guests, staff, donors, and volunteers so much! Thank you to each and every one of you who have partnered with us in 2014. Thank you for your prayers, financial support, volunteer hours, and all the food and gently used goods donated to help us fight against homelessness, hunger, addiction and hopelessness in the name of Christ.

Thank you for helping to make Hagerstown a better place!

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Another Perfect Thanksgiving With Friends!

We hope that you’re Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours!

Thanksgiving has been a community tradition at The Hope Center since our beginning nearly 60 years ago.

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We love continuing the tradition started so long ago. Seeing the Trinity Center filled with the smiling faces of our volunteers, staff, and guests is why we love the holiday so much. We had approximately 275 guests for Thanksgiving this year!

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Our staff, residents, and volunteers worked hard in the days leading up to Thanksgiving preparing enough food to feed 300 people. We roasted eighteen 20lb turkeys and used seventy-five loaves of bread for the stuffing!

On Thanksgiving Day, over 40 volunteers helped to make the day special for our guests. From helping to set the tables, to cutting pies, preparing foods, serving drinks and greeting guests, our volunteers helped to make the day run smoothly and helped to provide a welcoming atmosphere for our guests.

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We want to thank all of our volunteers for giving of their Thanksgiving to serve others. Each year we have so many who are willing to give up their holiday to help and we greatly appreciate their giving spirit.

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We also want to thank Sharon Kaufman who was our volunteer coordinator for the day. Sharon made sure all the volunteers were organized and doing all the various jobs necessary that day. Sharon did a fantastic job of keeping everything running smoothly and efficiently.

Each year we look forward to hosting our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. This year was another successful holiday celebration!

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Thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, prayed, and participated in any way in our Thanksgiving feast. We are so thankful for this community and all the generous, caring people who help in so many ways!

If you’re interested in volunteering at The Hope Center, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn about all the different ways you can get involved!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

The turkeys have been roasted, carved and are ready to take center stage tomorrow at our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast!

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We want to say thank you to Sharon Hughes, daughter of The Hope Center founders Jim & Ellen Resh, her husband Henry, daughter Melanie, Board of Directors member Joe Elliott and his wife Maryann for volunteering over 6 hours the past two days to carve the 18 turkeys for Thanksgiving. They resisted the temptation to dig into the roast turkey so there’s plenty of it for tomorrow!
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In addition to the turkeys, the generous folks from Germantown Bethel Church of God donated 30 pumpkin pies for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. They’ve been supplying pies for our Thanksgiving buffet for years upon years! Thank you to everyone from Germantown Bethel Church of God for baking these pies each year for our guests.
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The 2014 Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast begins at 11:30am tomorrow at the Trinity Center with kids activities beginning at 11. Our free buffet features turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, fruit, assorted pies, beverages and so much more!
The Trinity Center is located next to our Thrift Store on Walnut Street between Franklin & Church Streets in Hagerstown. There’s plenty of parking located in our central parking lot on Church Street.
 
Don’t spend Thanksgiving alone! Come out and enjoy some great food & fellowship!

 

Superheroes Come in All Sizes

Captain America. Iron Man. Black Widow. Spider-man. We all have our favorite superheroes, whether they wield a hammer, are faster than a speeding bullet, or protect humans with their mutant powers, superheroes make for great stories, spectacular movies, and can teach kids great lessons about helping others.

But what exactly is a superhero? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a superhero is, ” a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also :  an exceptionally skillful or successful person.”

Do superheroes truly exist? Obviously they do. From the men & women of our Armed Forces, to firemen & women, police, and more, there are so many people who give above and beyond the call of human duty to make a difference.

It’s refreshing when a superhero comes in the form of a little boy.

DSC_0161Our superhero, Carson, is quite the little guy. For his birthday, like most little boys, Carson wanted a superhero theme. But his superhero birthday proves just how much of a hero Carson and his family is.

Instead of gifts for Carson, he and his family decided to help others by having party guests donate items to The Hope Center.

Included in the party invitation was a list of the items that are always needed in our pantry. From peanut butter, to sugar, coffee, creamer, cans of vegetables, box dinners, and more, Carson’s family wanted to make sure that they could help keep the hungry in Hagerstown fed.

In addition to items for our pantry, the family asked for other necessary items like paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins. They also gave party attendees the option of donating personal care items like soap, deodorant, shampoo, disposable razors, and shave gel for our overnight homeless guests.

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And in the grand tradition of superheroes, every kid who brought a donation received their official superhero cape!

It’s not everyday that a superhero celebrates his birthday in a way that it helps so many people in the community. Carson and his family may never know the full impact of their donation but God sees their generous spirit and we know that He will bless them as much as they blessed us.

We are thankful for parents who teach their kids the importance of giving to others, helping the less fortunate, and showing God’s love to all people.

Happy birthday and thank you, Carson, for being a real superhero! We thank God for you and your family and all the people who helped to make your birthday so special for us!