It Was a Very Merry Christmas at The Hope Center!

December was a huge month at The Hope Center with so many activities and parties for so many different people.

From a cantata concert, to a party for kids, a Soup Line celebration, and more, we made sure that there was plenty of fun things to do to celebrate the birth of Christ at The Hope Center.

Auxiliary Christmas Celebration

Each year our Auxiliary hosts a Christmas dinner for our residents where they bring in local talent to perform while providing delicious food and great company. And on December 2nd, the Auxiliary kicked off the Christmas celebrations at The Hope Center with a wonderfully festive Christmas evening. Our Auxiliary does a lot of work behind the scenes helping to provide different things to The Hope Center while also helping to make sure our residents feel at home at The Hope Center while they’re enrolled in Foundations Life Recovery, our 13-month program. This Christmas celebration is just another way for our Auxiliary to show love and support to the guys who are a part of our family. The Auxiliary sponsored the roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy from Leiters’ Fine Catering and cooked and baked the rest of the food and treats including the festive Christmas punch. If the good food wasn’t enough our residents were treated to a great concert by Second Chances, a local group comprised of members from various churches. We’re so thankful to our Auxiliary and all the hard work that they put into all they do to keep The Hope Center programs and ministries moving forward. If you’d like to join our volunteer Auxiliary then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Wildside Christmas Party

On December 5th, Wildside hosted their annual Christmas party for kids in Hagerstown who were ready to start celebrating the season! Local kids had a blast playing Christmas themed games, winning prizes and eating some pretty festive food! All Wildside events are free for kids ages 5-12. Wildside has so many different activities and events year round for kids to be a part of. Learn more about Wildside Youth and take a look at all the fun things coming in 2018 at http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Maranatha Christmas Dinner & Concert

On December 8th the great folks from Maranatha Brethren Church hosted their annual Christmas cantata and community dinner at the Trinity Center. Each year Maranatha Brethren sets a festive mood with their cantata and this year did not disappoint. This year our guests enjoyed the choir performing The Story of Christmas: Worship the King. Following the concert, Maranatha provided all guests with a great meal and festive desserts! Maranatha’s cantata and dinner have now become a holiday tradition at The Hope Center and an evening that is enjoyed by all who attend. Like all our community events, this dinner concert is free and open for anyone and everyone to attend. Maranatha Brethren Church is a great friend of The Hope Center and works year round in various ways helping us bring hope to Hagerstown. We’re so thankful for their commitment to this ministry and their heart to serve others! If you’d like to learn more about Maranatha please visit http://www.maranathagbc.net.

 

Bikers Christmas Party

The local chapter of Christian Motorcycle Association hosted a Christmas luncheon for our residents at the Trinity Center. They provided the men with great food, Christmas music, great conversation and even gave each man a Christmas gift. Our residents enjoy this event where they are being celebrated and have the opportunity to talk to people in the community who are supporting them in their journey of recovery. Our residents are part of Foundations Life Recovery which is a 13-month rehabilitation type of program to help them break the destructive addictions and habits that have cost them almost everything in their lives. This event is such an inspirational moment for the men as they are able to just talk to people who genuinely care for them and their success. We are so thankful for the CMA for hosting this party for our residents year-after-year. Christmas is such a busy time of year for all of us and to see people go out of their way to love and support others during this time is exactly what the season is all about. For more information about the Christian Motorcycle Association please email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net or call us at 301.739.1165.

Soup Line Christmas Celebration

On Tuesday, December 19th, we hosted a Christmas celebration with our community guests at our daily Soup Line. They were treated to a delicious holiday lunch with some great Christmas desserts and treats as well as opportunities to win prizes. And to top it all off our community guests got a chance to meet our very own Santa! Howard, one of our graduates, gladly donned the Santa outfit and interacted with our guests as the big man from the North Pole. Everyone, including Howard, had a great day eating, laughing and celebrating. Our Soup Line is free for all people, young and old, and is open every single day of the year, including all holidays and during inclement weather. For more information about our Soup Line and other food programs please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call us at 301.739.1165.

The Hope Center Christmas Service 

On Thursday, December 21 we hosted our Hope Center Christmas celebration. Each year we host a service where staff and residents come together to worship God and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Between singing Christmas carols and hearing a Christmas message, everyone is in the Christmas spirit! Then the men’s staff hand out the Christmas gifts for our residents. Each of our residents got new sweaters and sweatshirts, pillows, bath towels, socks, gloves, underwear, personal care items, and most importantly, candy. Following the Christmas service & party, everyone was treated to a special holiday dinner where residents and staff mixed, interacted and celebrated together as one big Hope Center family! This celebration is a way for us to make each of our residents feel at home and help deal with the pressures of the holidays without family and friends. And this celebration wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of all of our supporters and friends in the community. From donating financially to providing the pillows, treats and other items, each of you in the community were a part of this, and all the other celebrations year-round, at The Hope Center.

As the oldest continually operating shelter in Hagerstown, we have been combating homelessness, hunger, addiction, tragedy, and hopelessness every single day of the year since 1955. And we’ve done it all without ever asking the government for one cent. The Hope Center operates as a Christ-centered relief agency to help our local community in their darkest days and we do it through the love and support of individuals, churches, businesses and civic clubs in the area. God has always provided for The Hope Center and He uses amazing people like you to help change so many lives. From providing multiple hot meals a day, to free summer camp for at-risk kids, to our food bag program, overnight shelter for the homeless, and so much more, you’ve helped be a part of something that’s bigger than we ever imagined it would be. 2017 was another banner year for people giving of time and resources to help others. We are so thankful for each of you and your continued support of The Hope Center and each precious life who walks through our doors seeking help and love. Christmas is all about that love. Because of God’s deep love for all humanity He sent His Son just for us. And because of that Son we have the hope to provide for every person who needs it. God’s love is free for all and we are so happy to partner with you to show every man, woman, and child who comes to The Hope Center the power behind God’s love and the power of genuine hope. Thank you for allowing us to help people day-in-and-day-out. Our doors are open every single day of the year and they’ve been that way since the very beginning. And we don’t plan on changing that in the years to come. We look forward to all God is going to do in Hagerstown in 2018 and we are hopeful that you’ll continue to partner with us to provide HOPE for Hagerstown in the coming year.

For more information about all the various programs and services at The Hope Center and to also learn about how you can join us in the fight against homelessness, hunger, and hopelessness then please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Thank you for helping provide a wonderful Christmas season for our residents and guests this year! We hope each of you had a very Merry Christmas and we hope that you also have a wonderful 2018!

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.

Residents Enjoy a Special Christmas Celebration

Each year our Ladies’ Auxiliary hosts a Christmas dinner for the men who are residents in our Foundations Life Recovery program. On December 15th, our ladies hosted the event and it was another wonderful night for everyone who attended.

It’s always a special evening for our residents. They have a delicious dinner and enjoy a musical program full of Christmas music. Our ladies do a good job of trying to make this event special for our men who may not be able to visit family for Christmas or may not even be in contact with their family any longer.

In addition to our residents being invited, the Auxiliary and their families attend this holiday event. Our Board of Directors were also invited to attend. This year two Board members, Joe Elliott and Steve Barnes, and their wives attended. We’re so glad that some of our Board members were able to celebrate with our residents and talk and get to know the guys in the program.

The Auxiliary provided fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy (catered by Leiters’ Fine Catering).  Everyone brought covered dishes and delicious desserts.

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The program featured “Men In Black,” a local group from nearby West Virginia.  The highlight of the evening was when Kevin Scott was asked to join the group on the stage and help sing some favorite Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells.”

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We want to thank our Ladies’ Auxiliary for helping to make Christmas special for our residents each year! We know the men really appreciate the dinner & show.

If you’d like information on how you can be a part of our Ladies’ Auxiliary then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

For more information on our Foundations Life Recovery program please go to www.hagerstownrescue.org. If you would like to talk to someone about the program you can call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Thank You, Leiters’ Fine Catering!

On Thursday, August 16th, we had a very unexpected and extremely delightful donation!

A truckload, seriously a truckload, of food was donated by the local catering company. There were tons of veggie and fresh fruit trays and cheese cube trays. There were also trays of wonderful sandwiches like turkey, ham and roast beef. They also dropped off crackers and Chex Mix!

We are so thankful that the kind folks at Leiters’ Fine Catering thought of us and all the people that we feed each day. This food will be put to good use feeding all of our residents and guests.

Most people think that soup kitchens are busy only in the cold months but it’s not really true in our case. We’ve noticed a rise in attendance for our afternoon meal. So we are very thankful for businesses like Leiters’ Fine Catering and all of our other donors for keeping our kitchen stocked full of delicious eats!

The next time that you have an event that needs catering, please check out Leiters’ Fine Catering at www.leitersfinecatering.com