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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Everyone Had a WILD Time at Camp!

Schools are finally back in session and we’re just a few weeks away from saying goodbye to summer. The carefree, sun-kissed days of summer are now becoming just a memory of another great season of swimming, sunbathing, cooking out and gardening.

So as we start to prepare for fall and all of the wonderful things associated with this season, we fondly look back at our biggest event each summer at The Hope Center: Camp Wild.

This year was another fantastic year for the kids in Hagerstown who attended Camp Wild. Approximately 250 different kids attended Camp Wild this year. The campers were able to partake in such adventures as Tiger Trail: Obstacle Course, Rana Ranch, The Snake Charmer, Zulu, Expedition Panda which is our 600 ft zip line, hiking, hayrides, and, of course, swimming!

In addition to all those exciting outdoor activities, campers enjoyed mornings at the Trinity Center where they played games, sang & danced, participated in interactive Bible lessons, engaged in small group discussion, and ate some pretty good lunches.

Each year it is our privilege to host Camp Wild for free to the kids in Hagerstown’s neighborhoods. Over the course of the four weeks of camp, we target and reach out to kids in the West End, Jonathan Street area, Noland Village, South End, Frederick Manor, and East Side areas of our city.

By providing free transportation to and from our facilities, as well as providing free registration, food, prizes and activities, this is a genuine mission outreach to our city that’s been taking place since the 1970’s.

Bringing Camp Wild to life is not an easy task. There are so many people involved with everything from set up and construction, to helping each day during camp, and the process of cleaning up and tearing down everything after it’s all said and done. Our volunteers logged in approximately 4, 056 hours for Camp Wild 2017! Volunteers help us keep our camp operational each year and free for all the kids who attend. That’s something that each person involved should be proud of.

We’re thankful for volunteer groups from Antietam Rec, Maugansville Bible Brethren, and the many volunteers from Tri-State Fellowship. In addition to all those volunteers, we have many other individuals give so much of their time and resources to helping reach Hagerstown’s kids for Christ. We are so thankful for each and every person who volunteered, donated, and prayed for Camp Wild 2017.

Since many of you might not have been able to daily be a part of Camp Wild we wanted to post some pictures to let you feel like you were there with us each day. These pictures are a tiny snapshot into the fun everyone had at Camp Wild. This is a combination of all four weeks together. If you’d like to see more pics go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com and click on ‘Year in Pictures’ under the ‘More’ tab on the upper tool bar. We hope you enjoy these pictures as much as the campers and staff who are in them!

And just because Camp Wild is over for the year doesn’t mean that all the fun of Wildside Youth Ministries is too. Wildside has a great lineup of activities this fall including:

  • SEPTEMBER 17TH: SUNDAY NIGHT WILD
  • SEPTEMBER 19TH: WILDSIDE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY!
  • OCTOBER 1ST: SUNDAY NIGHT WILD
  • OCTOBER 15TH: SUNDAY NIGHT WILD
  • OCTOBER 24TH: FALL-O-WEEN PARTY
  • NOVEMBER 5TH: SUNDAY NIGHT WILD
  • NOVEMBER 14TH: WILDSIDE THANKSGIVING PARTY
  • NOVEMBER 19TH: SUNDAY NIGHT WILD
  • DECEMBER 3RD: SUNDAY NIGHT WILD
  • DECEMBER 5TH: WILDSIDE’S THE PARTY BEFORE CHRISTMAS
  • DECEMBER 17TH: SUNDAY NIGHT WILD

To learn more about all these exciting, free activities for kids ages 5-12 please visit http://www.wildsideyouth.com or call 301.739.1165.

Camp Wild Volunteers Needed

Camp Wild 2017 is quickly approaching! Each summer the Trinity Center at The Hope Center comes alive with the sounds of kids laughing, playing and having a great time together.

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Camp Wild is our free summer day camp for kids ages 5-12. We provide four weeks of camp that include transportation, specialized activities, interactive Bible lessons, lunch, prizes, snacks and more. Again, all of this summertime fun is provided free of charge to all of our campers thanks to the generous support of people in our community.

But since Camp Wild is free, we rely on volunteers to help us make the whole experience exciting for our campers. And we’re still looking for volunteers to be counselors for Camp Wild 2017.

As a Camp Wild counselor you will spread the Gospel of Jesus to the campers in your small group by building relationships with them. This happens by connecting with them during Team Time, leading them in daily discussions, encouraging them as they play games, and eating lunch alongside of them. In the afternoons at our Camp Wild facility just outside of Hagerstown you will visit one of our many outdoor attractions with your small group during our Daily Adventures times. Afterwards you will assist in monitoring our many other activities.

Our Camp Wild volunteers make a huge impact on the lives of the kids who attend camp. There are many roles that our counselors play in making sure that each day the kids have a fun and safe environment to learn, study, play, relax and grow. If you have one week or multiple weeks that you can volunteer at Camp Wild please contact us immediately.

Camp Wild runs from 9:30am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. As a Camp Wild volunteer we ask that you arrive at 8:30am for our morning prayer and Bible study, and stay until 5pm.

Camp Wild operates the following weeks:

  • July 10-14: North End/Jonathan Street
  • July 17-21: West End/Gateway Crossing
  • July 31-August 4: South End/Noland Village
  • August 7-11: East End/Locust Point

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact us at 301.739.1165 or info@wildsideyouth.com. To learn more about Camp Wild go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

Rock the Run 5K is Coming!

5k Race Sign Take 3We are just one week away from our 3rd annual Rock the Run 5K sponsored by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe.

There’s still time to register. Just go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register. And don’t forget to bring your whole family. There’s even a kids fun run prior to the 5K.

Not interested in running/walking but want to be a part of the event? Great!! We are still looking for volunteers to help on Saturday. If you’re interested or want more info please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

We’ll see you on Saturday at Fairgrounds Park!

A Picture’s Worth

The holidays kicked off with another great Thanksgiving celebration at The Hope Center. And as soon as we polished off that last piece of pumpkin pie it was as if we were ringing in the New Year!

The holiday season goes by so quickly and there’s so many activities and things to do that it sometimes feels like you can’t even catch a breath. But we love the holiday season because it gives us a chance to really see how incredible our community is. Each year we’re reminded that God has given us a support system of volunteers, donors and friends who continually give their time, energy and resources to help others in need.

From Thanksgiving morning until the last Christmas cookie was eaten, we had so many volunteers and supporters making the season bright. We cannot thank each of you enough for all you did this season. From the homemade treats, to the food donations, to all the gifts given and time invested, our residents and guests were able to see God’s love through each of you. And a time of year that can be very difficult and lonely for so many wasn’t at The Hope Center because of kind people like yourselves who did so much to make it so memorable for everyone.

Enjoy some pictures of the some of the different faces who volunteered, donated items or were guests of honor this holiday season. From our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, to Wildside’s Christmas party, our Ladies’ Auxiliary party, Maranatha Cantata, Kingdom Heirs party and more, these pictures give a quick snapshot of the festive celebrations hosted at The Hope Center.

If you would like to volunteer at The Hope Center, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more or call 301.739.1165.

 

Local Youth Show Love Through Serving

Sometimes watching the news or reality TV, you get a sense of hopelessness for the future of this country. From all the profanity, to celebrated reckless behavior, to shows glamorizing disrespectful people, the youth of America seem to be heading down a very destructive path.

But once you turn the TV off and take a look around, it may not be as bad as you think. We have the pleasure of hosting youth groups full of volunteers throughout the year. These kids dedicate time out of their schedules to help others, not because they have to, rather, because they want to.

These kids often times do jobs and tasks that are way outside of their comfort zones and far from anything glamorous. But they do these jobs with a smile and a positive attitude that reminds you that with each new generation God has provided new leaders, compassionate young people, who are going to help change the world for Him.

During the month of February, we were able to host two different youth groups. One served at the beginning of the month and the other at the end. Both were a breath of fresh air.

Dublin Mills Community Church brought a group of 4 young people to spend a Saturday serving around The Hope Center. Accompanied by the church’s pastor, Sam Stoey and his wife, the young people worked from 9am until 2pm. During the morning, they helped paint the stairway to our dorm facilities in our main building. After painting, the youth group helped Mrs. Stoey prepare and serve lunch for our community guests at our daily soup line while Pastor Stoey shared a short devotional with our guests.

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Dublin Mills 10Dublin Mills Community Church has been a longtime supporter of The Hope Center in many ways. We are so thankful for their continued support, not just through prayer and financial support, but also by volunteering and helping physically.

Later in February, some teens from Antrim Brethren in Christ Church came to serve as a part of their 30 Hour Famine project. The group from Antrim BIC, lead by youth director, Brent Hey, consisted of 29 teens and 7 leaders.

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The volunteers from Antrim BIC were participating in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine event which helps to raise funds for hungry children across the world by having young people fast for 30 hours as a collective group and take part in service projects, among other activities planned for the 30 hours. The youth group was not only learning the importance of helping people overseas, they were learning how to make a difference and reach out to people in their own backyard!

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DSC_0035While they were at The Hope Center, they helped in many different ways around our facilities: some washed baseboards and walls in our Transient waiting area, others cleaned our chapel, some cleaned carpets in the Wildside Youth department, a few helped in our Thrift Store, some cleaned chairs in the Trinity Center, washed windows throughout and organized donated personal care items and made personal care kits for transients.

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DSC_0043All these projects helped keep the kids busy but also helped us in a really big way! We are so thankful for the youth leaders and the teens who came from Antrim BIC to help serve.

Volunteering is such a great way to teach young people so many valuable life and spiritual lessons. It doesn’t matter about the size of the group, anyone can help make a difference in the lives of so many. These teens may not really think that what they did was very important but God can use simple things like a warm meal, a clean facility or a bag full of soap & shampoo to touch a life and change it for eternity.

The simple acts of kindness and love that were demonstrated by these two youth groups may not be fully recognized until we talk face to face with our Creator. It’s a mind-blowing thought to think that two hours of volunteer work can be the catalyst for a series of eternal events in the life of another human.

Again, we’re so thankful for these young people, and the many other young people who’ve helped in the past. There are so many distractions for teens today so it’s a wonderful sight to see such vibrant lives helping others.

If you’re in the process of looking for a church, why not check out one of these two churches? We value the strong relationship we have with Dublin Mills Community Church and Antrim BIC, as well as many other local churches who donate and volunteer regularly to help provide hope to Hagerstown and win lives for Christ.
For more information about Dublin Mills Community Church, including service times and youth group information, please call 814.685.3910. Dublin Mills Community Church is located at 2700 Dublin Mills Road, Hustontown, PA.
Antrim Brethren in Christ Church is located at 24 Kauffman Road E, Chambersburg, PA, just across from Mrs. Gibbles Restaurant off of Route 11 north of Greencastle. For more info or to talk to someone from the church, call 717.375.4658. Check out all the various ministries & programs at Antrim BIC along with service times at www.antrimbic.org.

Grace Pointe Teens Have a Wild Week at Camp!

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We are always happy to have missions teams come and serve at The Hope Center. As you know, the summer is prime season for missions teams so it’s a perfect match for our day camp program, Camp Wild, which relies heavily on volunteers to operate.

Camp Wild is a free summer camp program for inner-city and at-risk kids in Hagerstown. To help meet the needs of families in Hagerstown, Camp Wild is a free camp for kids ages 5-12, including free transportation to-and-from our facilities each day.

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Since we provide Camp Wild free of charge, we require many volunteers to help make the program run successfully, and as a way to keep it free for the families.

We are eternally grateful for all the volunteers who take time out of their summer schedules to help reach kids for Christ. Some of our volunteers are high-schoolers, some are college kids, others are teachers and some are people who use vacation time to help us minister to the kids.

But some weeks we are happy to host a missions team. In the past, we’ve had teams come from all over America, and some come from our own backyard. These teams raise financial support to come and work for a week at Camp Wild. They stay in hotels in Hagerstown and help in many ways at The Hope Center, not just at Camp Wild.

This summer, we were happy to host a group from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene from Severn, MD.

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The group of teens was Brianna, Sammi, Tiffany, Miranda & Clayton. They were accompanied by leaders Dennis & Sheila.

Dennis & Sheila are a husband/wife team who play many roles in their church, in addition to being the Teen Service Group leaders. Dennis is on the Teen Board and Sheila is on the Children’s Board. Both were extremely pleased to bring their teens to Hagerstown to have them help Camp Wild.

The group was put to good work during their time at Camp Wild. They helped in many ways, including helping to clean-up and reorganize after Camp Wild concluded for the season.

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Sheila said that they all enjoyed their time at Camp Wild. In fact, they all loved it so much that discussions have already started about returning next year to help again!

“We are already working on plans for next years missions trips and the teens who attended have told the others they think we should go there again”. Sheila happily says that she & Dennis are definitely on-board for returning!

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We are so thankful for people, like this missions team from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene, who take time to help reach others for Christ. It’s not always easy to raise support for trips and then spend long days in the hot sun working with kids. But when it’s all said and done, lives are changed, but not just the kids who attend Camp Wild. Volunteering and working with these kids can have a profound and life-changing effect on the staff as well.

If you would like to volunteer at The Hope Center or have your family, Sunday School class or civic group volunteer, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net for more info. You can also go to www.hagerstownrescue.org to see the different ways you can get involved at The Hope Center.