Day To Serve Prompts Local Food Drive

Americans are probably the most generous group of people on earth. This is being said without any actual statistics or facts to back it up but we’re just going on a hunch that we’re right about that claim.

But getting people to give or give back is not always easy since Americans are also probably the busiest group of people on earth. Getting involved and helping in the community is high on most people’s “must do” list but often times it is difficult because of all the demands of daily living. And that’s why the Governor created the Day To Serve.

The Day To Serve is an annual program to encourage volunteerism in the State of Maryland. The Governor of Maryland established this day andgo asked Marylanders to get involved in their communities between September 10th and October 10th.

dsc_0074A group of Maryland state employees consisting of Roberta Barkley, Barbara Allen, Amy Miller and Tracy Leb decided to host a food drive at a local grocery store. After contacting several stores, Save-A-Lot allowed the ladies to set up their food drive in front of their store. So on September 23rd, these woman hosted a food drive to benefit The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission at the Save-A-Lot store in the South End Shopping Center.

This was the first food drive that they’ve hosted and were very pleased with the amount of food given and support from the community in helping others. In fact, the ladies were able to collect 350 pounds of food for The Hope Center pantry! Roberta, the food drive organizer, chose The Hope Center because she said she liked knowing exactly where the donation would be going and who it would be helping.

At The Hope Center, we feed thousands upon thousands of people a year. We don’t just feed the men who are in our residential rehabilitation program. We feed the homeless. We feed families. We feed anyone who needs a meal. Whether it’s a hot meal served at our daily Soup Line or it’s a bag of groceries given to a needy family, our kitchen and pantry is constantly busy making sure no one in our community misses a meal.

But with all the food that we serve or give out, our panty is in constant need of replenishment. And that’s why food drives like the one that Roberta, Barbara, Amy & Tracy hosted are so important to us at The Hope Center. Food can get costly and feeding thousands could easily break the budget but the generous support of people in our community helps to make sure that we can continue to feed and help people without costing them a cent or using tax money.

In addition to asking for food donations, Roberta contacted local dentist offices asking for donations of toothbrushes and paste. Two generous offices, Robinwood Dental Center & Dr. Toothman’s, gave the toothbrushes and toothpaste for the food drive. Personal care items such as toothpaste, brushes, deodorant and soaps are very important too as we give these items to our residents, overnight homeless guests and anyone who may need them. As simple as these items may seem, they can quickly help restore a persons value.

We want to give a huge thank you to Roberta, Barbara, Amy & Tracy for putting together this food drive and taking time out of their busy schedules to get the community involved in helping others. And we want to thank the Save-A-Lot store for allowing these ladies to host their food drive at that location. Another big thank you to Robinwood Dental & Dr. Toothman for donating the toothbrushes & paste for our guests.

Have you been inspired to host a food drive? Maybe you just want to get your family involved with giving food. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help feed your neighbors in Hagerstown then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Please consider frequenting these generous local businesses:

  • Robinwood Dental Center is located at 11110 Medical Campus Rd. Suite 148 in Hagerstown. Learn more about their services at http://www.robinwooddentalcenter.com.
  • Toothman Orthodontics is located at 81 N. Edgewood Dr in Hagerstown and 5100 Buckeystown Pike Suite 196 in Frederick. Go to http://www.toothmanorthodontics.com to learn more about their services.
  • Save-A-Lot store is located at 1161 Maryland Ave in Hagerstown. If you’re unfamiliar with Save-A-Lot stores then visit their website at http://www.save-a-lot.com

 

 

 

 

Even Soap Can Make a Difference!

Imagine yourself working in your yard or garden on a hot, muggy summer day. Picture yourself working up a nice sweat whilst hiking a long, dusty mountain trail. Or think of those long, fun, hot days at amusement parks. We all can relate to one of those type of scenarios. We enjoy the feeling of sweating because it gives us the sense of accomplishment. But nothing feels better than taking a nice, long shower after a long day of labor. The feeling that a good shower or bath gives is energizing! Instantly, you feel refreshed and ready to take on the next activity.

We all enjoy the peace and refreshment that a shower provides. And it’s a daily activity that we probably take for granted. Just imagine how different your day would be without clean, warm water or soap and shampoo.

Unfortunately, the homeless in our community know that feeling all too well. Wandering from city to city, sleeping in parks, following train tracks, whatever their activity, the homeless often times go without basic American necessities, like bathing.

Bathing is an amazing activity. Not only does it rejuvenate the body but it also awakens the mind. For some of these transients, the simple act of showering and cleaning up helps to break down barriers and restore some self worth.

At the Hope Center, we understand the value of a shower. As silly as that sounds, we know the importance that bathing has to the individual as well as society. So when a transient arrives at the Hope Center, he is given a bag of toiletries – just for him!

The bag is full of travel-sized essentials like soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, disposable razors, shave cream and a washcloth. When available, we also provide a comb, tissues, floss and lotion. The transients are also given a towel to use during their stay at the Hope Center. The towels are washed each day so that each man has a fresh towel to use.

Men in Foundations, our 13-month residential program, are given full-sized toiletries. Once they are more established in the program, they are able to purchase their toiletries with the stipend they receive. If they are unable to afford items, we do make sure they receive what is needed. Residents also receive a new towel, washcloth and pillow.

Would you like to help us improve the quality of life for the many men who come into the Hope Center? If so, how about this weekend when you’re out shopping for your family, try to grab an extra pack of soap or some travel-sized bottles of shampoo?  Be on the look out for special deals at various stores. Whenever you find a free sample size, think of us! Maybe you could raid your bathroom closet or under your sink and find all those free soaps and shampoos from hotels. Throw them into a bag and drop them off. We’ll use them! If you’d like to donate mouthwash, please be sure that it is the alcohol-free kind. We do not give out mouthwash that contains alcohol as a safety measure.

Putting together a toiletry kit is an activity that kids can get involved with as well. After you’ve collected your toiletries, the kids can pack them in a ziplock bag and include a note or card of encouragement for the transients or residents. It’s a nice way to brighten someone’s day!

Why not talk to your Sunday School class, youth group, office, civic club or another group you’re involved with about collecting these much needed items? By donating items like these, we can use our monetary resources in other ways to reach people in need.

If you’d like more info about how you can help or you’d like to schedule a time to drop off these items, please call our office at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.