Pantry Needs!

As you know, we feed hundreds upon hundreds of people a year. With that being said, we go through a lot of food. Food donations from the community play an important role in not only feeding hungry neighbors but also helping us to keep our operating expenses down so we can maximize our effectiveness to help as many people as possible in the community.

God has blessed us so much with a community who is constantly donating items and financially supporting us. We are so thankful for each of you who make it a priority to partner with us to take care of those in need.

We’ve made a list of items that we are in desperate need of for our food services programs. Any food donation is beneficial but if you’re at your favorite grocer and can think to pick up some of these items for us then you’d be helping us out in a huge way!

Once you have items to donate you can drop them by our offices Mon – Fri 8am -5pm. If you are unable drop off during that time then please call us at 301.739.1165 or send an email to hagerstownrescue@verizon.net so we can see what best works for you.

Thank you, again, for continually supporting this ministry! We value our community partners so much. Please spread the word to your family, friends, social media, church, school, workplace, civic club, scout troop, or anyone who will listen!

Pantry Needs List 2018

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Broadfording Church Delivers a New Years Surprise!

Our community has always been so supportive of our various needs at The Hope Center. And for us to continue all that we do without ever charging our guests or receiving tax funding from the government, we rely on God providing the amazing people in the greater Hagerstown area to support us through financial gifts, volunteer hours served, food donations, gently used clothing, furniture, household items and the such, and prayer.

This Christmas season was a wonderful time again as we witnessed churches, businesses, families, civic clubs, and individuals giving items that are so necessary to our everyday operation. And while little things like jars of peanut butter, pillows, and toothpaste may seem small and trivial on the grand scale, they are absolutely so incredibly important  to the continued success of our programs and services and so valuable to the guests who are in need of assistance in one way or another.

DSC_0445 (2)Recently, Ashley Burkett from Broadfording Church just outside of Hagerstown delivered a load of items collected by the church for The Hope Center. What a great way to kick off 2018!

Ashley, the Outreach Coordinator at Broadfording Church, had read our Twelve Gifts of Christmas post and encouraged her church to help get the various items on our list. And the church delivered! They provided us with new pillows, spaghetti & sauce, cold medication, pain reliever, personal care items, cleaning products, gift cards, peanut butter, laundry detergent, socks, and disinfectant spray!

We are so thankful for Ashley and the generous people of Broadfording Church! We are so happy to have so many wonderful, generous, and caring people in our community and we can’t thank God enough for all the great people He has brought our way to partner with us to keep this ministry open another year! So again, thank you Broadfording Church for the gifts you provided!

The Hope Center started as a rescue mission in an old dance hall on Jail Alley in Hagerstown in 1955. Since our doors first opened there we haven’t shut them. The Hope Center is the oldest continually operating shelter in Hagerstown. And we are able to remain open every day of the year, giving shelter, feeding families, and helping change lives, because of kind people like Ashley & Broadfording Church in our community who come together to provide for the less fortunate. If you would like to learn more about the various programs & services provided at The Hope Center then please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. If you, or someone you know, is in need of assistance then please call us at 301.739.1165.

If you’re interested in learning more about Broadfording Church please visit http://www.broadfordingchurch.com. The church is located at 13523 Broadfording Church Rd in Hagerstown.

 

The Twelve Gifts of Christmas

12 Days of ChristmasEvery year we hear one of the most widely known and, depending on the day or the version, possibly most annoying song of the Christmas season. At first, it’s fun. But by the time we hit the eight maids-a-milking we’ve generally had enough of the song and it’s constant reminder that our memory isn’t what it used to be.

No matter how bad our memory gets, the first time it comes on for the season it’s a fun challenge to try to remember each of the gifts throughout the twelve days.

But those gifts… what an interesting, yet thoughtful, series of presents they were. Nine ladies dancing. Seven swans swimming. And how about those five golden rings??

As we were singing through the song a thought came to our festive mind… how about a 12 days of Christmas list of our own? Now, the six geese-a-laying is a fine gift but not necessarily something that we can use on the regular. So we drafted a list of twelve various things that we could definitely use at The Hope Center. And these are things that we can use year round, not just the twelve days before or after Christmas.

So as you’re checking off items from your Christmas list, maybe grab one or two off of ours. This list is small and simple but incredibly necessary and a huge relief for us to get in donations due to the large amount that we use throughout the year.

So, without any further adieu, we give to you our Twelve Gifts of Christmas (the holiday tune is optional):

  • On the first day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us bottles of pain relievers (Advil or Tylenol type)
  • On the second day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us non-drowsy cold meds
  • On the third day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us coffee and creamer
  • On the fourth day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us travel-size men’s shampoo
  • On the fifth day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us jars of peanut butter*
  • On the sixth day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us brand new pillows
  • On the seventh day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us spaghetti and sauce
  • On the eighth day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us fast food gift cards**
  • On the ninth day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us candy bars
  • On the tenth day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us liquid laundry detergent (and/or dryer sheets)
  • On the eleventh day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us travel-size men’s deodorant 
  • On the twelfth day of Christmas our neighbors gave to us spray disinfectant (Lysol or similar brands)

*14 – 16 ounce jars of any brand peanut butter for our food bags

**The fast food gift cards from places like McDonald’s & Roy Rogers are used in the monthly birthday gifts given to the men who are residents and enrolled in our Foundations Life Recovery (13 month rehabilitation) program

Ok so our lyrics might not be as catchy or easy to sing to but these twelve items are a vital part of the programs and services we offer and by donating them you help us keep our costs down so that we can continue to provide shelter and all of our services free for anyone in the community who needs help. From food used for community meals and food bags, to birthday gifts for our residents like the fast food cards and candy bars, to toiletries for our homeless/transient guests, and detergent to wash all the bedding, towels and other fabrics, these everyday items can quickly put a dent in our budget for the entire operating year. But year after year God has provided and allowed us to increase services to helping hundreds of men, women, and children in our area because of faithful and generous people like yourself. And we’ve done it all since 1955 without burdening the taxpayer. Everything we do is without the assistance of tax dollars so each life that has been helped was done so out of pure love and generosity. And we thank you for providing, even if it’s just a jar of peanut butter, to help us continue to fight hunger, homelessness, and hopelessness in Hagerstown.

If you would like to donate items or funds to The Hope Center then please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. Thank you so much for giving, caring, and sharing this Christmas season. We hope God blesses you and your family this Christmas and in the new year to come!

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.

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!

 

Thanksgiving Feast Needs List

As we get close to the end of October, we will start gearing up for our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast! Preparations are already underway and our volunteer list is growing each day.

Many people have called us about serving on Thanksgiving Day but we know that being available that day is not an option for many people. Many of you would like to be a part of helping to feed the community but you’ll be tied up with family commitments, work or travel plans.

If you’re going to be busy or unavailable on Thanksgiving but would like to help us feed hundreds of people in Hagerstown, why not donate some food for the big day?

We use a lot of food for Thanksgiving Day. We provide a free buffet lunch for anyone in the community so we need to be well stocked for all of our hungry guests.

Our menu includes roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, succotash, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sauerkraut, assorted pies & more!

Donations of food for our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast are greatly appreciated.  Below is a list of items that are needed for that day.

  • #10 cans of corn and lima beans
  • Cans of sweet potatoes
  • #10 cans of fruit cocktail
  • Cans of sauerkraut
  • Frozen/fresh turkeys
  • Brown sugar
  • Jellied cranberry sauce
  • Potatoes

Any food donation that you give can really go a long way! If you are interested in helping to keep our pantry stocked for the winter months, below is a list of much needed food. If you are planning a food drive, use this list to help us keep frequently used items in stock.

For Our Pantry:

  • White rice
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Sugar
  • #10 cans of green beans, peas and corn
  • Cold cereal (not kids’ cereal)
  • 15-16 oz. jars of peanut butter
  • Quick Oats
  • Tomato products (diced, whole, stewed, sauce or paste)
  • Coffee
  • Creamer

Thank you for being a part of feeding the hungry in Hagerstown. Your donation of a can of green beans or a jar of peanut butter may not seem like much to you, but it can be a symbol of hope and love for people in desperate situations. It’s truly amazing how God can use a can of soup to change a life!

If you would like to donate food, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net for more info and instructions. If you would like to host a food drive at your church, school, workplace or civic organization then please call or email for more information also. Thank you again for caring & sharing!

Having To Do More With Less…

Times are tough.

We totally understand. We see the increase of food & energy prices and we feel the pain at the pump as well.

But we also see the pain in the faces of those who have been deeply hurt during this economic downturn. The number of women and families in need is definitely greater now than before.

We can see the evidence of the economic downturn in all the various types of people who are packing out our dining room for a free meal at our daily soup line.

Times are tough for us too. As people have been hit by the bad economy, the needs of our services have only increased. But God has been faithful in supplying our needs so that we can reach others’ needs!

We know it’s a lot to ask for your financial support but we want to give you an opportunity to give back to God in a way that will help many others that are in desperate times.

I’m sure there are plenty of other organizations and ministries that have asked for your time and money, recently or in the past. But please consider joining us in reaching your neighbors in need in Hagerstown.

Your gift will allow us to touch lives in many different ways. From homeless men, to families in need, to kids’ activities – like our free summer camp – your financial support will give us the opportunity to meet the physical needs of people while also providing us with the chance to meet their spiritual needs as well. Your gift helps us stay in business without ever accepting any tax dollars to do so!

And we want to make your giving experience as simple as possible. If you go to www.hagerstownrescue.org, you can use your credit card or PayPal account to give a donation online. On the homepage, there is a small, red box on the left side of the page with a link to ‘Give to HRM’. Just click that and you’ll go to our donation page. We use PayPal as a secure way to give online and make it easy to continue to support us. If you aren’t comfortable with giving online, please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn how you can partner with us and support the ministries of hope!

If your budget is stretched thin and you’re unable to give, we understand. But there are other ways for you to support us. We are always interested in people or groups that would like to volunteer. There are many different areas to get plugged into so just email us or call us to start the process. You can also go to www.hagerstownrescue.org and fill out a volunteer application.

If volunteering is not for you, consider donating any gently used clothing, shoes, housewares or furniture. Our thrift stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg) are a vital part of keeping our ministries financially operational. When you give your items, they may be put in our stores for purchase or they could be given for free directly to people in need of various items.

You could always help keep our pantry stocked. We go through a lot of peanut butter and it’s a staple in our food bags. When you’re at the grocery store, pick up an extra jar for a family in need. You could also organize a food drive at your church, school, work or civic organization. Check out past blogs entries (look under donations or food bank) for lists of items needed.

And of course, no matter how many ways you get involved, please remember to pray for us and all the people we work with. Pray for us in your small groups, Sunday School classes, youth groups and family prayer times. Pray for our residents as they battle addictions and fight for lasting change in their lives. Pray for the homeless. Pray for the hundreds of hungry people in the area who stop by each week in need of food. Pray for the kids who are actively involved in our Wildside programs. Pray for our staff who see the effects of pain and sin, hunger and abuse in the shattered lives of people daily. And pray that God continues to supply for our needs. As we look to expand our services, we need the prayer of God’s people to help guide us and make a way for us to reach all these people in need.

Thank you for being a part of bringing real hope and change into the lives of so many! Your prayers and donations are being used to win people to Christ and meet the physical needs of men, women and kids in the Hagerstown area.