Thanksgiving Day Success: Thank You, Volunteers!

There’s so much prep work, shopping, cleaning and cooking for Thanksgiving but there’s even so much more to do when you’re preparing for 300 guests!

But that didn’t slow us down at all. Each year, since our very beginning in 1955, we’ve hosted a community meal for anyone and everyone in Hagerstown who is hungry or just wants some company on Thanksgiving Day.

Our free buffet is complete with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, sauerkraut, succotash, cranberry sauce, fruit cocktail, pie and more!

And since it’s a family affair we even had kids activities for all the little ones thanks to the staff and volunteers from our kids program, Wildside Youth Ministries (www.wildsideyouth.com).

Everyone had a great time celebrating, feasting and giving thanks together. And we even had a pilgrim show up to the celebration! Enjoy this collage of pics from our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast but be sure to check out more pictures from the celebration at http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

But none of  this would’ve been possible without the support of our gracious and generous community. From the countless donations received to the hours served by staff and volunteers, this event is a success because of our incredible friends and neighbors in the  greater Hagerstown region. We feel that just saying “thank you” doesn’t quite sum up how grateful we truly are to each and every one of you who helped us in one way or another this Thanksgiving season. We thank God for each of you and your compassion and love for our community.

Listed below are all the names of our MVP’s from our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. If you are familiar with of any of these fine people then please be sure to personally thank them for helping make Thanksgiving special for all of our guests!

The 2017 Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast Staff (S) & Volunteers (V):

  • Sonny & Becky Shank (S)
  • Dorcas Black (S)
  • Sharon & Henry Hughes (V)
  • Frank Shortt (S)
  • Joe & Marianne Elliot (V)
  • Richard Quesenberry (V)
  • Michael Black (V)
  • Doug Walker (V)
  • Melanie Hughes (V)
  • Laurel Walker (V)
  • Larry Hose (V)
  • Russ & Diane Ellis (V)
  • John Borelli (V)
  • Jim & Barb Resh (V)
  • Teresa Yates & family (V)
  • Matt & Effie Tiches and family (V)
  • Angela Galvan & family (V)
  • Amanda Miles (V)
  • Dr. Sidney Chang (V)
  • Sherita Jones (V)
  • Donnie & Angie Cross and family (V)
  • Matt & Staci Sargent and family (V)
  • Paul & Stacy Mickley and family (V)
  • David & Karen Hillen (V)
  • Jeff Wine (V)
  • Chris Shank (S)
  • Adrian Black (S)
  • Stephanie Medina (V)
  • Aaron Black (V)
  • Mitcha & Al Shay (V)

 

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We Thank You for a Great 2016!

A message from our Executive Director, Sonny Shank:
sonny-shank-executive-director“As we close out this year and look forward to the challenges of 2017, I look back with awe and thanksgiving for the provision of God’s hand. And as I reflect on this year, one thought stands out in my mind … 2016 was a year of caring and giving by many of the most generous people in the world – friends like you who support God’s work here at The Hope Center. So, on behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and those we serve, I want to thank you for giving the gift of love and compassion in such a personal and caring way. You are a blessing to so many!
Although 2016 was not without its difficulties and struggles, we rejoice in the good things that happened here at The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. As of the end of November, 82 different families were given free groceries (171 bags given thus far); 44,326 meals were served; 11,637 were given safe shelter; 381 different men were provided overnight lodging. Throughout 2016 hundreds of kids attended our Wildside Kids events, including four weeks of Camp Wild. And just recently on Thanksgiving Day we served a traditional turkey dinner to approximately 200 people!
But the greatest joy of 2016 is the transformation that has taken place in the lives of many of the men enrolled in our long-term recovery program. I wish you could meet each one of the men and see the change that God is making in their lives. In case you have ever wondered just how important your support is, I want you to read a few notes that the men recently wrote for our donors:
~I’m thankful for a place to get myself clean and sober. Great people here. Coming closer to God.
~I’m blessed that The Hope Center has this program.
~Being here at The Hope Center has helped me get my life back in order. I’ve gotten my driver’s license, a bank account, a full-time job and a car. My relationship with God is strong which above all is most important.
~I’m thankful that these doors were open to me when I felt like all doors were closed. God healed my heart!
~I’m thankful for the goodness of God’s people to inspire me and give me hope for my own life.
~Thankful for a place to sleep and food to eat. I would be out in the cold if it weren’t for The Hope Center.
God is working in the hearts of men like Raymond, Frank, Nathan, Gus, Donald, Louis, Darrell, Larry, Stephen, Justin, William and so many others. These men have been blessed through you! That’s why we need your continued help to meet the rising needs before us.
It is always a challenge to try to keep our commitment to caring for everyone who comes to us seeking assistance, while at the same time being concerned about our ability to keep
up financially. As we close out 2016 will you consider making a generous end-ofyear gift to help those in need? The Hope Center needs your help, and we pledge to you that we will use your money wisely. Thank you! May God bless you and grant you a prosperous and Happy New Year!”
Gratefully yours,
Bruce L. “Sonny” Shank
Executive Director

Thanksgiving By the Numbers

It takes a lot of food to feed 300 guests. Have you ever wondered how much?

This should help give you an idea.

Thanksgiving Food 2013 1

Thank you to everyone who donated items for our Thanksgiving feast! Your support of this ministry is so important and we cannot stress enough how much we appreciate all you do!

If you don’t have plans on Thursday, join us at 11:30am in the Trinity Center for our annual Thanksgiving buffet. This free event is for anyone and everyone so invite all your family, friends & neighbors. Kids activities start at 11am. For more info call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

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!

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.