We’ve REOPENED… Again!

Our Hagerstown Thrift Store and Donation Center were briefly shut down due to COVID-19 but we’re happy to announce that both are open and operating on normal schedule!

And to celebrate the reopening, our Hagerstown Thrift Store is having a DOUBLE SALE! From now through November 25th enjoy 50% OFF WOMEN’S CLOTHING and JEWELRY! This is an incredible sale that’s perfect for that special someone on your Christmas list. And with new merch hitting the shelves daily you never know what interesting item you might find each visit.

Our Hagerstown Thrift Store is open M-Sat from 9am – 4:30pm. The current sale is only good through Wednesday, November 25th so don’t wait too long to take advantage of these great sales! For more info about our sales or Thrift Store please call 301.739.1114.

Our Donation Center has reopened too! We’re happy to accept your gently used items. Our Donation Center hours are M-Sat from 9am – 4pm. For a list of items we accept/cannont accept please visit https://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/in-kind-gifts

Please note that our Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg) and our Donation Center will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday November 26th.

If you or anyone you know would like a free Thanksgiving meal delivered please call us at 301.739.1165 by noon on Monday, November 23rd to reserve a delivery!

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.

Who’s Ready for Turkey?

Halloween is just a week away which means the holiday season is upon us!

We’re kicking off Thanksgiving month with our second Community Grocery Giveaway! We’re opening the doors of the Trinity Center on Friday, November 13th from 9-11am (or while supplies last) for anyone in the community who needs food assistance. Our first Community Grocery Giveaway in the summer was a hit so we’re happy to give out more food to those in need in November. Reservations/tickets are not required for this event but masks must be worn. Each person will be able to choose from a wide selection of various non-perishable items and an assortment of breads and pastries. For more info please call 301.739.1165.

And with Thanksgiving just around the corner we’re happy to announce that our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast will take place this year! With that being said, it’s going to look a little different. We will be providing meals for carry-out and delivery this year. There will not be a service nor kids activities this year.

The menu for our feast this year will be exactly as you remember it from the past. You and your family can enjoy roast turkey, mashed potatoes, our crowd-pleasing stuffing, sweet potatoes, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more!

The Trinity Center doors will open at 11:30am and each person will be able to receive a delicious meal to take home. Reservations are not required for carry-out. Doors will close at 1pm or while supplies last. Please remember to wear a mask.

Delivery will begin at 11:30am also and will be for residents inside Hagerstown city limits. Delivery reservations are required. Please call our office at 301.739.1165 by November 16th to be put on our delivery list. Delivery meals will be the same menu as carry-out.

We are in need of volunteers to help again this year at our Thanksgiving feast. We need people to help serve, prepare delivery meals, and help deliver meals around the city. If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer this year please call 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com immediately. Please help us spread the word! Thank you!

Please remember that our kitchen is open every day of the year to serve meals to anyone and everyone in the community. If you are in need of a delicious meal please join us each day. Also, if you or your family are in need of grocery assistance please call us to reserve a complimentary food bag. For more info about food bags, our daily meals, or any other programs and services at The Hope Center please call us at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com. To learn more about The Hope Center please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

11 Pipers Piping…

The eleven pipers are piping with glee because our week 11 countdown sale is 50% OFF ALL TOYS!!

Our latest 12 Weeks of Christmas Thrift Store Countdown kicked off this morning with a great sale on all the fun things for the little ones on your Christmas list. And let’s be honest, you might just find some great items for the kids at heart in your life too!

Stop by our Hagerstown Thrift Store from October 9 – 15 to enjoy this huge sale on all of our toys. And come back often because we’re always putting out new items on our shelves so you never know what perfect gift is waiting for you.

This sale is at our Hagerstown Thrift Store only. Our store is open Mon – Sat from 9am – 4:30pm. It’s located at 215 W. Church Street and we have plenty of parking on our central lot. For more info call 301.739.1114.

Happy Birthday, Fellas!

We all love a good party but there’s just something extra special celebrating the birthdays of guys enrolled in our Foundations Life Recovery program!

Many of the guys in our Foundations Life Recovery program were destroying their lives with addictions to drugs and alcohol so each birthday celebrated at The Hope Center is not just a celebration of another year but also a victory celebration!

This month we were able to celebrate with Reggie & Justin! Reggie has been a part of Foundations for 7 months and is doing great in his rehabilitation and life recovery. Justin just joined the program – in fact he’s so new that the cake was delivered just before he enrolled. But we’re still excited to celebrate Justin’s birthday along with Reggie’s.

Join us in wishing Reggie & Justin a very ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’!

Foundations Life Recovery program is our 13-month residential rehabilitation program for men battling addiction. The guys in the program attend various classes and participate in a work program at The Hope Center. The goal of Foundations is to help these guys create a new life centered on Christ so that each day is a day of victory and success against the temptations and struggles of this world. The encouragement of our staff and community really help these men to continue walking a path to life recovery which is not an easy thing to do.

Thank you for supporting our ministry by donating financially, volunteering, shopping at our Thrift Stores, donating food products and your gently used items for our Donation Center, and, most importantly, thank you for praying constantly for our men, staff and volunteers. There are thousands of people whose lives have been changed because of each of you! Thank you!!

If you’d like to learn more about how you can help us or if you’d like more info on Foundations Life Recovery please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or email us at info@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Going Wild for Juice!

Before you know it we’ll be halfway through July already!

And since it’s July that means it’s Camp Wild time!! But, just like everything else, Camp Wild 2020 is gonna be a little different. There will be special socially distant activities planned for kids who register for Camp Wild as well as occasional small group activities. To learn more about Camp Wild 2020 please visit campwildusa.com.

Even though campers won’t be in person each day of their camp week, we’re still making sure each camper has fun activities to do PLUS we’re delivering lunch each day of the week to campers who are registered!

Item of the Month-001For our July ‘Pantry Item of the Month’ we’re requesting donations of any kind of juice boxes or pouches. These juice boxes will be included in each lunch delivered to campers daily at their house. We are not at all particular in a specific brand or flavor so grab whatever you like to donate!

Also this month we’re requesting new pillows to use in our overnight homeless shelter and for the men who are residents in our Foundations Life Recovery program. These new pillows will be used solely for the purpose of our housing ministries and will not be sold in our Thrift Stores.

If you’d like to donate juice boxes or new pillows please drop them off to our Shelter Need-001Administrative Offices during business hours M-F. If you are unable to donate during business hours please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at info@hagerstownhopecenter.com to figure out a time that works for you.

If shopping online through retailers like AmazonSmile (learn more about Amazon Smile by visiting http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com) please use 125 N. Prospect St, Hagerstown, MD 21740 as the delivery address.

Thank you for caring and sharing with your community! We thank God for all of His blessings, including being surrounded and supported by such a generous community. Thank you so much for all the love and support you provide our ministry and your neighbors in need!

To learn more about all our programs and services, including kids programs and our shelter programs, please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

One Major Breakdown, Multiple Headaches & Eight Good Samaritans

In May the baler in our Recycling Program broke down and was inoperable for approximately 3 weeks. While the baler was broke down our Recycling Center got backed up with piles of cardboard that we were unable to bale and truck away.

But then God sent a few good Samaritans, or angels even, to help us get back on track. But before we get to that act of kindness, maybe we should get you up to speed on what exactly our Recycling Center does.

IMG_2882

Most of you know all about the various ministries, programs and services at The Hope Center. But one area that many of you might not be as familiar with – or never even knew existed – is our Recycling Center.

Our Recycling Center is open M-F from 9am – 2pm (closed for lunch 11:30-12:30) and Saturday 9am – 11:30am. Our Recycling Center is manned by one of our Foundations Life Recovery program residents who is assigned to the baling room area of our Recycling Center as a part of the work assignment in the rehabilitation program. The program men who work the baling room are trained to operate the baler and also gain certification to operate a forklift.

The job of the Recycling Center attendant is to receive donations of cardboard; break down boxes; fill baler with the flattened cardboard; bale the cardboard and wrap with baling wires; and finally unload and stack the bales. At 33-36 bales we schedule a truck to pick them up.

In addition to recycling cardboard we also recycle old clothing and rags. The process for baling clothing is the same as cardboard. Now, you may be wondering what clothing ends up in the Recycling Center – good question! Any clothing that we are not able to sell in our Thrift Stores or donate to locals or missions agencies is sent to the baling room to be recycled into something new.  While we do recycle clothing and rags, we recycle much more cardboard because we try to find as many uses for clothing as possible before recycling it.

The Recycling Center is an important, but generally invisible, part of our ministry. So the unfortunate break down of our baler caused quite a few headaches.

And that’s when God sent Terry Izer to help! Terry is the Maintenance Service Manager,  Hagerstown Regional Maintenance of the Maryland Department of Public Safety. But he’s also the husband of Aimee, the manager of our Thrift Stores and Sorting Department at The Hope Center.

Terry is basically a jack of all trades and a master of them all! On top of his busy work schedule and his personal hobbies and family life, Terry lends a helping hand around The Hope Center whenever there’s a need. And this time we had a desperate need that Terry was just the man for. Terry gave of his time to volunteer to help repair our baler.

Even though Terry worked his magic and repaired our baler, the backup of cardboard was already an overwhelming job for our one worker. So Terry put the word out to some of his employees that help was needed to bale up the cardboard that had piled up.

After working their 7am – 3pm shift on Thursday, June 6th, six of his men came in to help get the job done! What a huge blessing these men were to The Hope Center!

We want to thank Steve Staley & Andy Koontz, welders who helped repair the baler, Bob Stine, Randy Mills, Mark Thomas, Marty Kending, Matt Reel, and of course, Terry Izer for all their help and their volunteering spirit!

 

“Here in the Power of Christ I’ll Stand”

Good Friday 1

“There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ”
-from the song, In Christ Alone

What a powerful thought for what should be a dark day in human history. This day thousands of years ago was to be sin’s greatest triumph. Instead, it turned into our greatest hope.

As Jesus uttered the words, “It is finished”, it was. Death was finished. Evil was defeated. Hopelessness was destroyed.

The tears and fears of that day were quickly replaced by the glorious victory of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday. And from that day forward, each new sunrise is a promise of hope and love from a God who suffered tremendously so that we could know how valuable we are to Him.

We are not in this alone. We don’t suffer by ourselves. In Christ is all of our hurt, abandonment, abuse, fear, pain, and sadness. Jesus felt it all as He hung on that cross. And He paid it all as He rose from the grave.

Today, or any day, as you’re struggling with whatever pain or hardship you have please remember that you are not alone. Please remember that God suffered for you and feels your pain. And that no matter how dark today is personally, the sun will always rise again. The darkness of Hell wants you to forget that Jesus already won. Satan wants you to feel all your regret and sin. But Christ already dealt with that for you. The darkness will not last because it’s already lost. There is HOPE for today because He lives.

“No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”
– from the song, In Christ Alone

IMG_4189Join us tonight at 7pm at the Trinity Center to celebrate the HOPE of Easter as Maranatha Brethren Church presents an Easter musical and dinner. For more info or to talk to someone about what Jesus did on Easter weekend please call 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Have a safe and glorious Easter weekend!

Spring Fever Has Us Ready to Run!

Who else is loving this wonderful break from the bitter cold of winter?

This wonderful spring weather has us all excited for our upcoming Rock the Run 5K!

RTR Pirate Princess

Our 5K run/walk is on Saturday, April 27th, at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.

Registration is currently open and only $20 until the end of February.

And we’re bringing back the pirates vs princess theme for 2019 so be sure to grab your favorite eyepatch, tiara or costumes for a fun run as swashbucklers or royals. This is a perfect event for your family, coworkers, church group, and scout troop. Run for a good cause and have some silly fun as pirates and princesses as you do it! We’re also hosting a kids One Mile Fun Run so be sure to register your little runners!

Proceeds from Rock the Run 5K go to the various programs and services we provide to the homeless and hungry in our community. In fact, we are currently in the beginning stages of a huge refurb and expansion project to our entire food services program which would give us an up-to-date kitchen, large pantry, and an expanded dining room for all of our residents and community guests who come to our multiple daily meals.

Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to learn more and register. Again, registration is only $20 until February 28th and then will be $25 starting on March 1st. Spread the word and invite others to join you as you run to help end hunger in Hagerstown!

 

 

 

“Those Frightened Eyes Still Haunt Me to This Day.”

By John Miller

JohnMiller (2)It happened 25 years ago. I was in my early 20’s. My wife sat on the kitchen floor looking up at me with tears because in anger I pushed her and she tripped over our young daughter. Those frightened eyes still haunt me to this day. I ran out of our small mobile home into the woods from sheer embarrassment at having abused my young wife. Now, she and our daughter were legitimately afraid of the one who was supposed to protect them from harm.

I found in the woods a huge log, sat down and wept. You see, I was full of rage and unreconciled pain from my childhood. My drug-addicted birth mother abandoned me when I was 9 months of age. She couldn’t handle being a mom and a drug addict so she made her choice and danced her “Woodstock Flower-girl” way into the sunset searching for her next “buzz”. Dad came home from work and found me in the crib with a wet diaper and an empty bottle. Dad was fighting his own demons of alcoholism and the next 14 years turbulently unfolded. We never did see “mom” again, to this day we don’t know where she ended up. Dad went through another bad marriage before he met his third wife and today I claim her as my “mother”.

But in my early 20’s, Dad was still trapped in the bottle and I was working through my own pain of feeling worthless, abandoned, and extremely inadequate to be a father and husband. I became a father at age 16. I did not grow up in church or in a Christian environment. When I met my girlfriend, now wife, we had no Biblical guidelines in our relationship. She stepped off the school bus in our Senior year of high school with tears and told me the news. Everyone pushed abortion but in our hearts we knew that was wrong and had our firstborn 9 months later, I had turned 17.

At age 19, after 2 years of a very troubled marriage, Melissa recovered her childhood Christian Faith and rededicated her life to Jesus Christ. I followed her to church one day and after listening to the Gospel for a few months and researching the evidence for the Bible, I asked Jesus to be my personal Savior and Lord! However, though I was truly saved, I had some inner wounds that needed healing.

That day in my early 20’s, as a young Christian sitting on that log in the woods near our home, I poured my heart out to the Lord. I said: “Lord, I know I’m saved, but I’m still struggling with how to control my tongue and my temper. I need your help Lord. I can’t do this alone. You have to help me. I want to be a better man.”

I had to walk back to that mobile home where a frightened mother and daughter waited for the angry monster to return. I walked in with swollen, moist eyes and announced my apology, stating that I am going to change. Well, those are nice words, but we’ll see. What about the next time I become angry? What then? What kind of hope can I give them in that moment to show that I am allowing the Lord to heal my pain and help me recover godly, gentle manhood to lead my family with love and in a safe environment?

I began to study verses of Scripture in the book of Proverbs about anger. I memorized verses like Proverbs 29:11, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 15:18, also Galatians 2:20, Philippians 1:21, Galatians 5:22, and Philippians 4:13. These verses became lodged in my heart and mind! God’s Word was bringing about transformation. I urge you to look at these verses that will help not just in areas of uncontrolled anger but any area of weakness and sin that trips you up!

Over a period of time and “proving”, the Holy Spirit had more of me. I didn’t get more of Him, He got more of me as I surrendered areas of my life over to Him and continue to do so every day of my life! You see, this old flesh is still in me! I need these truths every day if I want Jesus to be seen in me. He has brought healing, trust, and a feeling of safety to my marriage. We still have disagreements just like every marriage but now it’s “safe” to argue. And since those early days, my dad and stepmom have given their hearts to Jesus! I baptized them myself! God broke the addictions in their lives and has given them a beautiful marriage.

I don’t know where this blog finds you today but I want you to know there is hope. Hope is found in a personal relationship with the Lord and His Word. God’s Holy Spirit can heal and fill you to overflowing. You cannot do this alone. You need the Lord to give you the strength every day. Please, surrender to Him now and be diligent, intentional, and deliberate in knowing Him and His Word. Call the Hope Center and inquire about how you can learn more about this Hope. It’s the answer! HE is the Answer!

To talk to someone at The Hope Center please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. Learn more about The Hope Center and all the programs & services we offer the community free of charge by visiting http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

John & Melissa Miller are familiar faces around The Hope Center. As former pastor at Faith Christian Fellowship, John & Melissa would help with evening chapel services and have both ministered in various ways to our residents and guests at The Hope Center in the past. Currently they are the V.P. of Operations/Missionaries for Churches in Missions. To learn more about the Millers go to http://www.johnandmelissamiller.com or visit http://www.churchesinmissions.org.