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!!

Thanksgiving Day Update

As Thanksgiving Day quickly approaches we’ve had to make a tough decision. Unfortunately with everything that’s currently happening with the rise of Covid-19 cases we’ve decided to serve delivery meals for Thanksgiving only.

We had originally planned on providing carry-out meals along with delivery but for the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests we’ve chosen to only provide delivery meals to the Hagerstown area. Meals will be delivered between 11:30am – 1pm on Thanksgiving Day.

The delivery meals will provide all the same delicious items that we’d serve carry-out orders. From roast turkey, to our delicious stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, fruit cocktail, and pie, each delivery meal will be packed full of amazing Thanksgiving goodness.

Reservations for delivery meals are required. To reserve a delivery meal for yourself and anuyone in your household please call 301.739.1165 by noon on Monday, November 23rd.

Our Thanksgiving Feast is free for anyone and everyone in the Hagerstown area. Call to reserve your meal and then share this with everyone you know!

We will also host our daily Soup Line on Thanksgiving. Soup Line doors will open at 12:45pm and close promptly at 1:15pm. Soup Line meets each day in the Trinity Center (215 W. Church St). MASKS MUST BE WORN and SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES ARE ENFORCED. Seating is limited for Soup Line due to social distancing regulations.

To place your delivery order or for more info please call 301.739.1165.

“The Best Gravy You’ve Ever Had!”

Another year hosting our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is in the books!

Our annual holiday celebration, which is one of the oldest and longest continually running community Thanksgiving meal in the city, was another success as people from all over the area joined us to volunteer or enjoy the feast as guests.

Our kitchen was busy days before the feast preparing various dishes for the buffet including the roast turkey and our famous (and delicious) stuffing.

But as the sun rose on Thanksgiving our kitchen crew knew exactly what to do: prepare the best Thanksgiving buffet in town!

And they sure did! The feast this year was absolutely delicious. From the amazing stuffing made by Dorcas Black to the “best gravy you’ve ever had” by Diane Ellis, our guests, staff and volunteers sure did have a great spread to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

But before the meal was served , our guests were treated to a great message by Matt Sargent who was the former director of our Foundations Life Recovery program. Matt had a little fun with the crowd by presenting them with a plated preview of the Thanksgiving feast which turned out to be the meal Snoopy served to Charlie Brown. But then he came clean and presented everyone with an actual plate of the delicious food they were about to enjoy. He brought it all together to remind each of us that God has great things for our lives and that we shouldn’t just settle for the “Snoopy meal” of life when God is busy working to provide us with an amazing “Thanksgiving feast” in life.

Once the message was concluded and the meal was prayed over, our guests were eager to hit up the buffet line! Everyone enjoyed all the wonderful food and most had no problem going back for seconds.

We are so thankful for all of our volunteers and staff who helped to make this Thanksgiving successful. There are so many people who work behind the scenes in preparation to the feast, and so many wonderful volunteers who give up their holiday to serve others. We are beyond grateful for everyone who played a role in our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. There are many names we’d like to mention – but more on that at a later time.

Our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is a chance for us to celebrate all that we’ve been given throughout the year and to come together to give thanks to God for His continued blessings and faithfulness in our lives and at The Hope Center.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to come together to collectively give thanks to our great God. But we are always in a spirit of gratitude to God for all He does at The Hope Center throughout the year. From the men in our Foundations Life Recovery program whose lives have been changed and freed from the dangerous addictions and abuses that have caused so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, to the families who receive clothing assistance, to the kids who are learning and growing spiritually at Wildside Youth, to being able to provide safe overnight housing to homeless men and feeding thousands of hungry people each year, God continues to wow us with all His blessings and continued faithfulness to this ministry and our call to reach the least, the last, and the lost for Him.

And we can see God at work each and every day because of the faithful and generous people in our community who have partnered with us to keep our doors open for almost 65 years. And not only do we keep our doors open – we don’t charge our neighbors in need a dime to receive services. And even more amazing is that we receive no tax money from the government. Each day operating is a miracle because God continues to send all the right people to help provide all of our needs. And we can’t thank Him enough for each of you.

Each of you are having a profound impact on our community and in individuals lives whether you totally realize it or not. Every time you drop off a bag of clothing, buy a can of coffee, donate financially, volunteer an evening, you are helping to fight the good fight and bring HOPE back to thousands of people.

So thank you for your compassion and dedication to The Hope Center. Each life is precious and we are using the resources that you help to give to remind each person who comes to The Hope Center that they are important, they valuable, and they are loved – by a great God and His incredible people.

This Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving, we are so genuinely thankful for you! You’re making a difference. So again, thank you. We hope God blesses you this Christmas season.

 

 

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!

Thanksgiving Day Success: Thank You, Volunteers!

There’s so much prep work, shopping, cleaning and cooking for Thanksgiving but there’s even so much more to do when you’re preparing for 300 guests!

But that didn’t slow us down at all. Each year, since our very beginning in 1955, we’ve hosted a community meal for anyone and everyone in Hagerstown who is hungry or just wants some company on Thanksgiving Day.

Our free buffet is complete with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, sauerkraut, succotash, cranberry sauce, fruit cocktail, pie and more!

And since it’s a family affair we even had kids activities for all the little ones thanks to the staff and volunteers from our kids program, Wildside Youth Ministries (www.wildsideyouth.com).

Everyone had a great time celebrating, feasting and giving thanks together. And we even had a pilgrim show up to the celebration! Enjoy this collage of pics from our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast but be sure to check out more pictures from the celebration at http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

But none of  this would’ve been possible without the support of our gracious and generous community. From the countless donations received to the hours served by staff and volunteers, this event is a success because of our incredible friends and neighbors in the  greater Hagerstown region. We feel that just saying “thank you” doesn’t quite sum up how grateful we truly are to each and every one of you who helped us in one way or another this Thanksgiving season. We thank God for each of you and your compassion and love for our community.

Listed below are all the names of our MVP’s from our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. If you are familiar with of any of these fine people then please be sure to personally thank them for helping make Thanksgiving special for all of our guests!

The 2017 Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast Staff (S) & Volunteers (V):

  • Sonny & Becky Shank (S)
  • Dorcas Black (S)
  • Sharon & Henry Hughes (V)
  • Frank Shortt (S)
  • Joe & Marianne Elliot (V)
  • Richard Quesenberry (V)
  • Michael Black (V)
  • Doug Walker (V)
  • Melanie Hughes (V)
  • Laurel Walker (V)
  • Larry Hose (V)
  • Russ & Diane Ellis (V)
  • John Borelli (V)
  • Jim & Barb Resh (V)
  • Teresa Yates & family (V)
  • Matt & Effie Tiches and family (V)
  • Angela Galvan & family (V)
  • Amanda Miles (V)
  • Dr. Sidney Chang (V)
  • Sherita Jones (V)
  • Donnie & Angie Cross and family (V)
  • Matt & Staci Sargent and family (V)
  • Paul & Stacy Mickley and family (V)
  • David & Karen Hillen (V)
  • Jeff Wine (V)
  • Chris Shank (S)
  • Adrian Black (S)
  • Stephanie Medina (V)
  • Aaron Black (V)
  • Mitcha & Al Shay (V)

 

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!