Yo Ho, Matey! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Everyone loves a pirate and a lot of us would love to be one. But unless you work at Disney World, talking like a pirate on a regular basis might draw some funny looks. Fortunately for all the wannabe scallywags out there, there are two days out of the year where it’s absolutely ok to be a pirate – and one of those days is today! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

And the second pirate day, you ask? Well it’s our annual Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess! One Saturday a year Fairgrounds Park is overrun by pirates, princesses, knights, mermaids, and more running for fun and a great cause.

RTR Pirate Princess

On Saturday, April 27th, 2019, anyone and everyone can dress up, act, and run like a pirate! This is your chance to show your pirate side and raise money for a great cause – helping us combat homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown.

We’re currently in the beginning stages of renovating our kitchen, dining, and pantry areas at The Hope Center. Our kitchen feeds hundreds of men, women, and kids a year. Meals are served to anyone in the community who is hungry – no matter age or housing status. But because of how many people we serve, we need to improve and expand our food services area. With a brand new, up-to-date kitchen, larger dining room and more efficient pantry, we’ll be able to help make sure no one in Hagerstown and the surrounding area are ever without something to eat.

Our sponsors and every person who registers to participate in our Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess will be a part of helping to feed the hungry in our community.

 

And who says helping those in need can’t be fun? That’s why we encourage each participant to dress up and invite their family and friends to join them. We even have a 1 mile Kids Fun Run for the smaller buccaneers in your family! From our photo booth, to kids activities, themed music and more, Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess is a legitimate race for hope with a fun twist.

So go ahead and mark your calendars now! Saturday, April 27th, 2019, at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. For more info about our 5K please visit http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

So to all you scallywags out there surrounded by landlubbers, happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! And we’ll see you and your best Jack Sparrow inspired self at Rock the Run this April!

 

The Groundhog Has Spoken…

Punxsutawney Phil may have brought some discouraging news with his wintry prediction but we really don’t care because we’re thinking spring thoughts and getting excited for our annual Rock the Run 5k in April!

RTR Pirate PrincessBattle those winter blues by registering now for our 5k. Registration is open and is currently only $20 from now until February 27th! Go ahead and register now and start preparing for our race by visiting http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

And this year we’re making it a little more exciting by having Pirates vs Princess so grab your hook and eyepatch or that tiara and tutu and challenge your friends and family to a little friendly competition to see who can win the treasure by getting the best time!

Money raised at Rock the Run: Pirates vs Princess goes towards the programs at The Hope Center that help the hungry and homeless. And we are currently in the beginning stages of starting a renovation and expansion to our kitchen, dining, and pantry areas so that we can feed even more people and be more efficient as we do it. Every sponsor and each participant in Rock the Run is helping to feed thousands of men, women and children each year.

It’s just one race, one day, but it’s a lifetime of hope that you’re providing. So join us as we think spring and register today at http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com!

Not Your Average Birthday Girl

We live in a pretty generous area. In fact, the greater Hagerstown region has been so generous and faithful in their support of our ministry that we have never used any government tax money to fund any of our programs or services! Our facilities have remained open and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since 1955 thanks to people in the community who have shopped in our Thrift Stores, donated funds, gave gently used items and kept our pantry fully stocked.

So we know all about the great people who give so much to our ministry to make sure others who are less fortunate have what they need to help meet their needs.

But every once in a while we are taken aback by the generosity of others.

dsc_0015-2Let us introduce to you a pint-sized hero in our community: Melanie. Melanie may look like just another 7 year old but Melanie did something that most kids would not do for their birthday – she asked her family and friends to donate non-perishable food to The Hope Center. Her birthday request brought in 118 pounds of food for our pantry!

Melanie’s parents are helping her understand that there are people in her own community who are in need and struggling with hunger and homelessness. Children are never too young to teach the importance of helping others and giving to the less fortunate.

Melanie and her mom were given a tour of the kitchen and dining room where the food will be used to feed those who come for help.

Thank you, Melanie, for your generous birthday donation! We are so thankful for your heart to help others and we hope you help to inspire other young people to follow your lead.

If you would like to join Melanie in donating food or other items to The Hope Center then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn more.

If you are in need of assistance then contact us immediately. We’re here to help so give us a call!

Making Spirits Bright…One Cookie at a Time

Do you love to bake?

Do you love spreading Christmas cheer?

Would you love helping to make someone’s Christmas magical?

This time of year can be difficult on many people who are dealing with loneliness and depression. And often times a simple gesture or small token of love can boost the spirit of another person.

The guys in our Foundations Life Recovery program will be spending this Christmas with their Hope Center family. Many times our residents have burned bridges with family, friends and other loved ones while they were consumed with whatever addiction was destroying them. Christmas at The Hope Center can be difficult on some because they are away from the people that they love while fighting hard to restore the life God created for them.

We try to make Christmas as special as possible at The Hope Center. Our Ladies’ Auxiliary hosts a special Christmas party just for our residents. We go all out decorating the facilities at The Hope Center and we bring our staff, Board of Directors and Ladies’ Auxiliary together with our residents for a special Christmas service where our residents receive Christmas gifts and celebrate with us as one big family.

So, would you like to help us make Christmas magical for our residents and guests? It’s simple and cheap but it can bring a smile that will last through the holidays.

christmas-cookies-1We are asking our friends in the community to bake cookies, candies, cakes, pies or any other Christmas treats for our men to have on Christmas day. And look, we understand if baking isn’t your thing. If that’s the case just grab a can of nuts or some of your favorite fruit for our residents and guests. We’re just hoping to show these precious people that the community stands behind them and supports them as they fight the good fight to restore their lives. It’s our goal that by next Christmas these men are reunited with their loved ones and celebrating with them.

If you’re interested in helping to make the season bright for our residents & guests then turn that oven on, grab those cookie trays and prepare the icing! You can drop off your food donation at our Administrative Office which is open M-F from 8:30am – 5pm. We do ask that when you drop off the food to please let us know that it’s for the Christmas day celebration for our residents.

We appreciate each and every one of you who will help to keep a smile on someone’s face and show God’s love, even if only through a cookie, to someone who needs to see it.

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

Volunteers Are the Heart of The Hope Center

In 2015 we celebrated 60 years of hope at The Hope Center. And a major part of what makes it possible for us to continue to provide services to men, women & children for free are all the hours of service given by faithful, caring friends in our community who serve as volunteers at The Hope Center.

Since 1955, The Hope Center has been a lighthouse to the needy in our community. Whether it was a man addicted to alcohol, a mother in need of clothing for her children, or a family who needs some food assistance, our doors have been open everyday to help those in need without asking a dime from any of our guests…or the tax-payer.

Friends, businesses, churches and other groups in the area have financially supported us from the very beginning allowing us to help so many people without being a burden on the tax payer.

But volunteers help supplement all of our finances by providing hours upon hours of compassion and hard work in many different ways at The Hope Center.

As we celebrated our 60th Anniversary in 2015, we had some special events taking place in the community which gave us some new opportunities for volunteers to get involved and make an impact in our city. But many of the areas that volunteers gave so many hours were activities and events that happen on a regular basis at The Hope Center.

In total, we had 719 different volunteers work more than 13,394 hours! That’s incredible! This is exactly why we think that our volunteers are the best!

These volunteers worked throughout the year in one or more of the following areas of service:

  1. Sorting room
  2. Wildside Youth events (www.wildsideyouth.com)
  3. Camp Wild (www.campwildusa.com)
  4. Chapel services
  5. Men’s ministry check-in desk and teaching classes
  6. Off site: baking cakes, making sandwiches, providing food for after chapel (these are on a regular basis)
  7. Outreach: 60th anniversary events (Rock the Run 5K; Party-in-the-Park; Ladies’ Tea; Anniversary banquet); Thanksgiving Day and more.

Our volunteers gave in so many different ways throughout the year. And we’re so thankful for each and every one of them!

But our volunteer opportunities didn’t stop in 2015. We are always looking for volunteers to join the ranks of our volunteer program all the time. We have so many different areas for volunteers to get involved.

In fact, our 2016 Party-in-the-Park will be held on Saturday, October 22 at Wheaton Park in Hagerstown. We are currently looking for volunteers for this fantastic outreach opportunity. This is a great service project for youth groups to get involved with in their own community.  We will need volunteers to help with food, games, music, face and nail painting, crowd control, popcorn machine, cotton candy, set up and tear down, etc.

If you, your family & friends, church group, civic club or more would like to volunteer at our upcoming Party-in-the-Park then give us a call today at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. We welcome you to help us reach our city and provide hope for those in need!

For more information about all the various volunteer opportunities at The Hope Center go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

 

Oh, What a Year!

60th-HiResIt’s always amazing how quickly one year can go by. It seems like just yesterday we were finishing plans for our first 60th Anniversary event in the spring.

And now, here we are at the end of 2015 looking back at what a fantastic year of celebration it has been.

In 1955, God called Jim & Ellen Resh to take a leap of faith and move their young family from Cascade, Maryland to downtown Hagerstown to help reach people in need for Christ.

They packed up their family and belongings and started an adventure backed by faith and never looked back.

Now, 60 years later, thousands of lives have been changed thanks to the faith, dedication and hard work of those who have helped keep the vision of hope alive.

We are so thankful for being able to celebrate 60 years of hope in Hagerstown. We are able to do everything that we do without any financial help from the government. Because God has been so faithful by providing for us through the generosity of our community, we’ve been able to help reunite families, mend broken relationships, restore a life destroyed by substance abuse, provide housing for the homeless, give food to the hungry and reach the young generation with the hope of Jesus.

To everyone who has supported us, helped us, prayed with us and worked with us, we want to say a very sincere and genuine, “Thank You”. God has used you to reach people and change lives in a way that none of us will know until we get to Heaven.

These past 60 years are a testament to the people of this community who put others before themselves and share the gifts that God has provided with those in need.

We thank God for the opportunity to be the oldest, continually operational homeless facility in Hagerstown. We’re here to help the least, the last and the lost. We’ve been doing this for 60 years and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

Now as the clocks signify the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, we look forward to partnering with you in the future to continue the battle against homelessness, hunger and hopelessness.

Thank you for making 2015, and the past 60 years, so memorable!

Happy New Year! May God bless you and your family in great ways during 2016!

If you’re interested in stepping back in time once more or want to see some of the exciting things that happened during our 60th Anniversary Year of Celebration then go to http://www.hopecenter60.com. Our anniversary website has plenty of pictures, stories and information about The Hope Center and everything that we’ve done in the past 60 years.

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.

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.

What’s The Hope Center to You?

God has given us many caring friends like you who make it possible for The Hope Center to continue to touch the lives of hurting people 24 hours a day, 365 days every year! Together we share the joy of laboring for the Lord!

DSC_0505If I were to ask you, “What’s The Hope Center to you?” I believe you might say, “The Hope Center is an opportunity for me to show compassion and concern for those who have lost their way and are seeking physical and spiritual help.” As with most organizations and ministries, everybody has a different opinion. I believe The Hope Center is viewed quite differently by our friends and supporters than it is by those who know very little, or nothing at all, regarding the function and performance of the overall operation.

  • To God … The Hope Center is a place of refuge where His grace and mercy is extended to every person.
  • To our staff and volunteers … The Hope Center is their place of service to those who are lost.
  • To the men in our Foundations program … The Hope Center is a transformed life and hope for the future.
  • To the men in our emergency shelter … The Hope Center is a hot meal and a clean bed.
  • To our daily Soupline guests … The Hope Center is assurance of a hot meal every day.
  • To the children attending Wildside Youth events … The Hope Center is fun activities in a safe, nurturing environment surrounded by people who truly care about them.
  • To women and families seeking assistance … The Hope Center is the channel for spiritual, physical and material needs.
  • To mothers and fathers of children living a destructive lifestyle … The Hope Center is often their only hope for recovery for their children.

Often times people refer to The Hope Center as a “Soup Kitchen” or “Homeless Shelter.”  We do feed the hungry, and we provide shelter to the homeless.  But if that is all we do, it would just be a “Band-Aid” applied to a much more serious problem. It’s all about changed lives. It’s all about the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform lives and bring lasting change!

No matter how you view The Hope Center, the truth is that this ministry exists to help the hurting, the hungry and the lonely. Our ministries provide hope to any person in need of physical, emotional or spiritual help. We know that God has called us to reach the least, the last and the lost by providing a positive and powerful alternative to the emptiness and destructiveness of this dying world.

With your help, and the help of all of our wonderful supporters, we can continue to meet the needs of hundreds of people in Hagerstown this summer and we can begin to prepare for the winter season that will be here before we know it.

Please continue to support the ministries of hope & rescue at The Hope Center. We rely on your donations of useable items such as clothing, shoes, furniture, and household goods for our Thrift Stores and family assistance programs. And your continued financial support helps to keep our doors open every day of the year!

The impact of your compassion and investment is felt and seen by our staff, Board of Directors and by those we serve every single day! Thank you for the difference you have made, and continue to make.

For information about how you can donate financially or by giving gently used items or food products, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can give online through a secure PayPal account on our website, www.hagerstownrescue.org.

Happy Birthday!

The first Friday of every month we celebrate the birthdays of any residents born that month.

This month we’re celebrating the birthdays of Michael & Walter!

Bday June 2013 2

Michael is one of our newer residents. He came to us from Baltimore and started in our program in February of this year. Michael is hoping to head back home eventually so he can return to work and support his family.

Walter has been with us since June of 2012. Walter came to us from all the way over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When he arrived, he had just been released from prison with only a paper bag containing a few personal items. Walter had nowhere to go and no transportation.

Even though Walter has been a faithful student in our Foundations program, he will be unable to graduate this summer due to very serious health issues requiring hospitalization and several surgeries. Now that his health issues are improving, Walter has about 7 more months in the program until he can graduate.

Even though Walter has dealt with health issues and other setbacks, he has remained very positive. His positive outlook on life and the future can be attributed to one major change in his life, and he isn’t afraid to tell you all about it!

Walter has a new future and hope because loves to tell anyone who will listen about how he came to know the Lord and will tell anyone without hesitation all that the Lord has done for him!

Bday June 2013 1

Join us in wishing Michael & Walter another year of life! And remember to continue to pray for these guys and the countless others who will enter our facilities in one way or another. So many lives are being saved and eternities changed!

Thank you for partnering with us and supporting this ministry of hope. We thank God for all the faithful friends who keep our doors open and our pantry full so that we can meet the physical needs and reach the spiritual needs of thousands of our neighbors who are struggling each day.

If you would like to learn how you can support this ministry or volunteer at The Hope Center, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can learn more about this ministry at www.hagerstownrescue.org.