Thank You, Dorcas, For Your Lifetime of Service!

As we bid farewell to 2017 and joyfully welcomed a new year, at The Hope Center we said goodbye to a long-time employee. Dorcas Black, known to many simply as Aunt DSC_0463 (2)Dorcas, retired from 48 years of full-time ministry at The Hope Center. Dorcas, daughter of founders, Jim & Ellen Resh, has been actively involved in many different areas of ministry at The Hope Center in her 48 years of service. From singing with The Missionaires, to directing The Lighthouse Puppeteers who entertained and ministered to hundreds of people throughout the area, to directing Echoes of Hope TV broadcast, to creating Conoco Camp, Just Kids TV show, helping in our Ladies’ Auxiliary, cohosting Koffee Klatch, and supervising the Sorting Room just to name a few. Her impact and influence has been a major part of the formation of many ministries and programs at The Hope Center, most notably the long-running children’s ministry that she started, now known as Wildside Youth & Camp Wild, which to this day is still reaching kids in Hagerstown’s downtown neighborhoods.

Dorcas has been a faithful servant of the Lord in her time here at The Hope Center. So inDSC_0447 (2) December we threw her a retirement luncheon in our former “studio” building where she spent so much of her time creating Just Kids and Echoes of Hope TV shows. Our staff joined the pride of Dorcas’ life, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in celebrating her career and all of the things she’s done while serving God here.

With all she’s experienced and accomplished at The Hope Center, we asked Dorcas to give us her thoughts about the 48 years of her ministry to reaching so many for Christ. Here are her thoughts:

“48 years… sounds like a really long time, but when you think about it, it’s almost like yesterday. And after 48 years of employment here at The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission, I have retired. I never thought that I would retire but it was the right time and the right thing for me to do. I really never considered my years here at the Mission as “employment” but rather as service and I am so thankful for the opportunities that the Lord gave me to serve. Actually I was here from the very beginning which was 62 years ago. My siblings and I watched as our dad and mom followed God’s call to start a rescue mission in Hagerstown. When we moved to the apartment above the Mission on Jail Alley, we soon realized that our neighbor was the county jail. We had no yard. We could not go out on the street under any circumstances so it was quite an adjustment for all of us five kids. But there was an excitement about this as we watched miracle after miracle take place as the Lord used our parents to minister to “the least, the last, and the lost” – as Dad used to say.

At the age of eighteen, I married Carl Black. That was July 9th, 1960. In May of 1962, with our two baby boys, Carl Jr. and Curtis, we moved to York, PA where Carl directed the York Rescue Mission for seven years. Moving back to Hagerstown, Carl became assistant to my dad and I started my employment as a clerk in the Thrift Store. That was August, 1969.  It has been quite a journey as I reflect on the past 48 years. For 34 years, I directed the Conoco Day Camp for children, the Lighthouse Puppeteers, Just Kids TV, Just Kids Bible Club, as well as helping in other areas of the ministry. Then in 2004 I took over supervising the Warehouse (Sorting Room) in place of my mother who was having some serious health issues – she was 87 years old and a faithful worker.

On November 3, 2015, while working, I tripped on a box and fell, breaking my hip. Following surgery and many, many weeks of therapy, it was determined that the bone was not healing properly, so a second surgery was performed in May of 2016. Again, after months of therapy and very little progress in healing, on November 2, 2016, I was sent to Baltimore where I had total hip replacement. Then seven weeks after this surgery, a knock came to my door. It was Sonny, Becky & Laurel (my sisters). Sonny informed me that my son, Curtis, age 54, had dropped over with a massive heart attack. I was totally devastated. It was difficult. The Lord had called my husband home to Glory in December, 2007. I was blessed to have two wonderful sons who had been there  to help me with anything I needed (even though they were grieving the loss of their father). And now my youngest, sweet Curtis, is gone. I can’t express the pain as I go through this grieving process, but I can express the wonderful sweet presence and peace of my Heavenly Father.

I never cease to be amazed at the sovereignty of God, knowing that He is in control and that He makes no mistakes and that He is faithful. I draw upon the precious promises of His Word which assures me that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5. Jesus is the healer of broken hearts. He is mending my heart as I depend on Him. I have wonderful memories as a wife and mother and I am slowly learning that even death cannot rob me of the joy of all those many sweet memories.

And now that time has come to retire. It was such a hard decision to make but through much prayer and soul searching I knew it was what I needed to do. I will still be involved in many ways. But as I adjust to this new schedule I know that the Lord will direct my path as I trust in Him, lean on Him, and acknowledge Him. And, I will always look back on those many, many memories of serving here at the Mission – some heart-wrenching, some hilarious, some miraculous. I am truly blessed.”

Aunt Dorcas, thank you for your creativity and passion and being willing to do so much to reach all people, young and old, churched and unchurched, for Christ! You will never know your true impact while on earth but Heaven is most certainly keeping track of all you did – and will continue to do even in your retirement.

Please join us in thanking Dorcas for all that she’s done to further the Kingdom of God in her 48 years of service! To God be the glory!

 

 

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.

 

 

2015: Year of Celebration Part 3

It’s finally here.

Our 60th Anniversary Year of Celebration is coming to an official end.

We’ve had fun celebrating with each and every one of you this past year. In fact, it’s been so much fun that we’re gonna keep it going for just a few more hours!

Enjoy the last set of pictures from our Year of Celebration. But don’t worry, 2016 is going to be filled with various activities and events so there’s plenty to be excited about!

But for now, let’s one look back on all the fun that was 2015. Thank you 2015 for all the memories.

Happy New Year!

2015: Year of Celebration Part 2

We’re gonna keep the pictures of 2015 coming your way! Enjoy the pictures from our 60th Anniversary Year of Celebration. If you want to see more or read more about our 60th Anniversary or even learn about the history of The Hope Center, go to http://www.hopecenter60.com.

 

 

2014 Year in Pictures: Part 1

2014 has all but come & gone. Each year seems to go faster than the one before. And the end-of-year festivities wouldn’t be complete without a look back at the year that just was.

So the next few days we’re going to post some pictures from all the various events, ministries, and activities that took place at The Hope Center.

You’ll see pictures of volunteers, staff, guests, residents, donors and anyone else who helped to make 2014 another great year in Hagerstown!

And while we’re putting 2014 behind us, we’re so excited for the year that’s coming. 2015 is going to be a big year at The Hope Center as we celebrate 60 years of ministry in Hagerstown!

Very soon we’ll be bringing you some information about all the upcoming 60th Anniversary activities that are happening in 2015 so be sure to keep checking back.

We want to thank everyone who helped to make 2014 such a success. From all of our staff, to volunteers, and donors, we appreciate each one of you and your commitment to this ministry. Thank you so much for your support and prayers in 2014 and we look forward to your continued support in 2015!

And now, we bring you the first series of pictures from 2014.

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Become a Volunteer!

Do you have that feeling that you just want to make a difference in your community?

Have you been trying to figure out how to get involved?

Why not join our team of volunteers?

Since 1955, The Hope Center (formerly known as Hagerstown Rescue Mission) has been reaching the least, the last, and the lost for Christ. We’ve been successful because God has always supplied our needs, including providing the best volunteers!

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Volunteers come in many different shapes, sizes & ages! Our volunteers have many different interests but they all share the same goal: to help others.

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Depending on the gifts, talents & personality that God has given you, we can help you find the best place to fit into our ministry. If you love working with kids, we’ve got the perfect spot for you. Wanna feed the hungry? We’ve got a kitchen ready for you. Would you rather tinker, clean or do something with your hands? We’ve got jobs just for you.

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There are so many different ways to get involved that you may have a hard time deciding which you want to do. Well don’t worry about that either, you don’t have to do just one task! From photography, to food service, to painting, to donation sorting, to our Ladies’ Auxiliary, we’ve got plenty of interesting, challenging and spiritually fulfilling volunteer jobs for you.

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And the best part of volunteering, you can help as little or as much as you want! There are volunteer opportunities that take place each day or once a year. It’s up to you to decide how involved you’d like to be. And you don’t have to do it alone. We welcome volunteer groups, families or just a handful.

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Ready to take the next step? Excellent! Go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com and take a look around. Click on the ‘Opportunities’ in the top tool bar to read through the many different volunteer positions that are available. If you’re feeling frisky, click on the ‘Urgent Needs’ tab to see what volunteer positions we desperately need immediately. Even if you’re unable to help with that job, you might know someone who can. So go ahead and take a look at how you can get involved.

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Once you’re ready to get started you can click on the ‘Why’ tab and fill out the email form at the bottom. Someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Or you can always call us at 301.739.1165 or email us directly at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

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We look forward to having you join our team of fantastic volunteers! Since we don’t receive any money from the government, we rely heavily on the support from our community of friends. From prayers, to donated goods, to financial support & volunteers, our friends in the community help to make this ministry possible and have helped to reach thousands upon thousands of lives for 60 years!

We have a great legacy of ministry in Hagerstown and we’re looking forward to a great future! Why not be a part of it?

Thank You, Volunteers!

Friday, October 18th was a night dedicated to some of the most important people we know, our wonderful and dedicated volunteers!

We hosted our 2nd annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for more than 160 of our volunteers who gave valuable time during this past year to help us reach thousands of people in Hagerstown.

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Our volunteers log hundreds of hours a year helping in many different ways at The Hope Center. From serving food, to building relationships with kids at Camp Wild, to preparing food bags, to teaching & counseling, to sorting items for our thrift stores, and helping to keep our facilities clean and up-to-date, our volunteers truly do help make a difference and keep this ministry moving forward.

We understand that everyone’s time is precious so that’s why we appreciate all the hours that our volunteers give. And this dinner is just a small way of saying “thank you” for partnering with us to bring hope to Hagerstown.

Our volunteer appreciation event was started as a way for us, and our residents, to say thank you to everyone who helps throughout the year. Our residents have a very unique opportunity to meet so many different people who help all over the place at The Hope Center. So this is a way for them to show their gratitude to all the faces that they’ve met while in the program.

The delicious meal was catered by Leiters’ Fine Catering. Our Hope Center residents were the servers for the evening. And to provide a touch of class, our residents wore tuxedo shirts loaned to us from J&B Bridals in Chambersburg. Each resident was assigned a table that he was responsible for serving food & drink as well as talking & mingling with our guests of honor.

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In addition to serving, our residents sang for our volunteers and two of our residents, Dustin & Dave, gave testimonies. Gene Ridenour, The Hope Center Board President, lead the men in singing and his wife, Holly, sang two solos.

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Ron Shank, Director of Pastoral Care at Brooklane, gave a short message to the volunteers, thanking them for their service and dedication to The Hope Center.

We were also pleased to have nine of our Board members in attendance. It’s good for our Board to see and meet some of the people who give so much to this ministry.

But we want to take a minute to thank some other very important supporters of this ministry, our Ladies’ Auxiliary. These wonderful women made all the delicious desserts for the event. In addition to that, they helped to set up the event and clean up afterwards. We can’t thank them enough for all the support that they provide The Hope Center throughout the year. We love them and are truly thankful for their faithful service to this ministry.

We thank God for all the people He has sent to partner with us to reach Hagerstown for Christ. God has sent us a very faithful group of friends to help us spread hope and love to so many who have been left behind or forgotten. We cannot even measure the eternal impact that our volunteers have had throughout the years.

We love our volunteers so incredibly much! Thank you for finding the time, energy and spirit to serve the least, the last & the lost. You’re truly making a difference in the lives of so many.

If you would like to join the ranks of the greatest volunteers in Hagerstown, call or email us immediately! There are plenty of ways to get plugged in. We can help find the right place for your talents and gifts. Call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net today.