Mark Your Calendars: The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is Coming!

Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays. And unfortunately it often gets overlooked between the excitement of Halloween and all the festivities of Christmas. But this holiday is one where families and friends come together to celebrate, reflect, reconnect, and, most importantly, give thanks to God for all the blessings of the year.

Thanksgiving 1Thanksgiving shouldn’t be spent alone which is why we have hosted a community Thanksgiving feast since our beginning. When The Hope Center first started in 1955 we were just a small facility on Jail Alley where alcoholic men could find refuge and safety and a chance to start anew. But Jim & Ellen Resh, our founders, didn’t just want it to be a rehabilitation facility. They wanted the men who were struggling with their addiction to feel like they were valued and were a part of a family.

So naturally, the holidays became an important part of The Hope Center. And as the years passed we welcomed the community to join us as we host a Thanksgiving buffet for anyone and everyone in the community who just wants some great food and good company on Thanksgiving.

We never want anyone to go hungry or feel lonely. God has blessed our ministry since the beginning and we continue to show His love to our neighbors each and every day in as many ways as we can. We are so thankful to still be able to host The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast again this year – continuing a tradition since the 1950’s and hosting one of, if not the oldest and continually operational Thanksgiving meals in the community.

So we are extending the invitation to anyone in the community this year who is looking for a wonderful place to celebrate and give thanks. The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast starts at 11:30 am at the Trinity Center (located on Walnut Street next to our Thrift Store in Hagerstown). And since this is an activity for everyone, even kids, we’re hosting activities for your children that day as well starting at 11am. All are welcome to come and we hope that you spread the word to your friends and family!

If you already have plans for Thanksgiving but want to still be a part of this tradition then why not donate some food for the event? We plan to serve around 300 guests that day so you can imagine all the bread, corn, potatoes, butter, cranberry sauce and turkey that’s needed to keep our buffet stocked. And on top of that we’ll still serve breakfast and dinner to others so we’ll go through a lot of food that week. Any donation of food or other resources can make a big impact. If you’d like more information about donating then please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can also check out more info on our food programs at http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. Thank you for helping us keep our Thanksgiving tradition going year after year! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving is Almost Here!

The busy holiday season is upon us! In about 24 hours the Trinity Center at The Hope Center in Hagerstown will come to life with hundreds of people. Some will be guests, some will be volunteers, some will be staff, but all will be giving thanks to God together as one family!

As it is every year, we’ve been busy for weeks preparing all the final touches to our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. And now it’s time to bring it all together so that anyone and everyone in Hagerstown can have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.

We’ve been roasting 18 turkeys, peeling tons of potatoes and setting up enough tables and chairs to feed over 250. Thanksgiving Day is a major event at the Hope Center. Since 1955, we’ve been making an incredible Thanksgiving feast for the community.

So you might be wondering, how much food does it take to serve a meal like that for such a large number of people? Good question! Here’s a run-down of what our supply list is like for Thanksgiving:

Turkey – 300 lbs – 18 turkeys

Potatoes – 240 lbs

Sweet Potatoes – 12 #10 cans

Brown Sugar – 8 lbs

Butter – 48 lbs

Bread – 75 loaves

Eggs – 26 dozen

Onions – 12

Celery – 3

Corn – 6 #10 cans

Lima Beans – 6 #10 cans

Sauerkraut – 6 #10 cans

Cranberry Sauce – 6 #10 cans

Bananas – 5 lbs

Fruit Cocktail – 3 #10 cans

Pies – Over 50 pies (generally pumpkin and pecan)

Even though our Thanksgiving feast is a lot of work, we love hosting this community event each year. The holiday season wouldn’t seem complete without seeing all the happy, smiling faces that are a part of our Thanksgiving tradition.

We are so thankful for all the wonderful volunteers who will be joining us tomorrow. These fantastic people help to make Thanksgiving special for so many people in our community. We couldn’t do our Thanksgiving feast without the combined efforts of our staff, volunteers and residents. So we want to say ‘thank you’ to anyone and everyone who is a part of making this Thanksgiving special to all of our guests!

If you’re reading this and you don’t have any plans for tomorrow then why don’t you join us? There will be plenty of delicious food, but most importantly, there will be plenty of good fellowship! Each year the Trinity Center is filled with over 250 people and yet it still feels like a close family coming together to thank God. If you don’t have plans tomorrow then there is no reason that you can’t join us and enjoy Thanksgiving with your Hope Center family!

Our ‘Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast’ starts at 11:30am in the Trinity Center which is located next to our Thrift Store on Walnut Street between Franklin & Church Streets. There is plenty of parking in our central lot just off of Church Street.

And kids are welcome too! Wildside Youth Ministries will be hosting kids’ activities starting at 11am in the Trinity Center. So invite your family, friends & neighbors to come out and celebrate with us!

No matter what you’re doing tomorrow, we hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day and please remember to stop and thank God for all the wonderful blessings that He’s provided this past year. Even when times are tough, we can see God moving, working and providing.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!! We hope to see many of your smiling faces tomorrow. And if you are able to join us…make sure you come hungry!

One Week Until Thanksgiving!

We’re one week away from Thanksgiving! Can you believe how quickly this year is flying by? Neither can we!

There is still time if you’d like to be a part of our Thanksgiving celebration for the community. Volunteer spots have been filled but you can still help us feed hundreds of people this Thanksgiving by donating various food items.

Items needed are:

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

It takes a lot of food to feed our Thanksgiving crowd so any help is greatly appreciated! And the good thing is that any food that isn’t used for Thanksgiving will be used to feed hungry people in the community every other day of the year as well!

If you would like to donate food or gift cards, please drop items off at our Administrative Office M-F, 8:30am-5pm. If you have any questions about drop-off or any general questions, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Thank you for partnering with us to reach Hagerstown for Christ!

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!

Calling All Volunteers

As we celebrate the arrival of autumn, we, at The Hope Center, are beginning to prepare for our annual community Thanksgiving feast!

Each year we host a free meal for anyone in the community on Thanksgiving Day. We’ve been doing it well over 50 years and it’s become a holiday tradition in Hagerstown.

We serve a delicious buffet lunch to hundreds of people in Hagerstown. Some people join us for the food and some join us for the company. No matter what brings people to the Trinity Center, everyone leaves feeling happy and stuffed!

For us to feed so many people in such a short time period, we rely on wonderful neighbors and friends in the community, like yourself, to volunteer. We have volunteers who help to set the tables, prepare food, serve food in the buffet line, fill drinks, serve pies, clean up, play with kids and interact with our guests.

If you, your family, church group or civic club are interested in volunteering to serve the meal on Thanksgiving Day then please contact us immediately. We may be a few months away from Thanksgiving but the volunteer space is limited and fills quickly.

Our Great Thanksgiving Day Feast begins at 11:30 on Thursday, November 22, with a short service giving thanks to God for all His blessings during the year. Following the service we serve a full buffet lunch complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, succotash, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, fruit, pumpkin pies and more!

Please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to get more info about volunteering or to go ahead and get your name on the volunteer list.

We do have kids activities, hosted by Wildside Youth Ministries, that begin before 11:30am that day. If you would like more info about the kids activities that day, please contact Wildside at 301.739.1165 or info@wildsideyouth.com.