Tons of Smiles at our Downtown Block Party

On Saturday, September 20th, Walnut Street in Hagerstown came to life with the sights & sounds of laughter, excitement and people having a great time!

Our youth ministry, Wildside Youth, hosted the Downtown Block Party along with Maranatha Brethren and Valley Grace Brethren Churches.

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The churches came with games, prizes, food, and plenty of volunteers ready to create a fun afternoon for all of our guests.

The Trinity Center was open and housed various food stands like snow cones, hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy along with cold beverages. There was an area set up for our guests to play some basketball and wow everyone with their skills.

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We were also pleased to have a short show by “Bam the Liquid Robot”. Peter Arizmendi, aka Bam, stopped by to entertain our guests with a dance sequence. Peter uses hip hop and his gift of dance to share the Gospel. He’s currently in the process of opening a dance studio in Hagerstown. Bam the Liquid Robot has stopped by Sunday Night Wild in the past and he’s making another appearance in October.

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Outside on the Walnut Street side of our property were all the games and amusements. From a bounce house, to ring toss, to finger nail painting, to street bowling, face painting, carnival games and a waterslide, there were plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained for hours!

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In addition to volunteers from Maranatha Brethren and Valley Grace, our good friends from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene in Severn, Maryland drove up for the day to volunteer at this event. We were so happy to see their faces again and we’re thankful for their ongoing support of this ministry and their heart for Hagerstown!

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God provided a beautiful day for our block party as well. The nice warm sun gave people a good reason to come outside and enjoy the festival in the street.

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We estimate that around 250 guests flooded our property to enjoy the free block party together. And the best part was watching kids and parents alike take part in all the various activities!

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We are so thankful for all the resources and hard work that the people of Maranatha and Valley Grace did for this event. We know everyone, from guests of all ages, to volunteers, and even some of our residents, had a great time interacting, socializing, playing, eating and celebrating together. We look forward to hosting this event again in the future.

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If you’re looking for a ministry to get involved with or would like an after-school program for your kids or grandkids to get involved with, check out Wildside Youth Ministries. Go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com for information as well as upcoming activities. All of Wildside’s events are free for kids ages 5-12. If you’d like to talk to someone please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com.

If you’re currently looking for a church to attend and would like to be a part of a group of people who not only love the Lord but have a heart for service, then check out Maranatha Brethren or Valley Grace Brethren Churches.

For information about Maranatha Brethren Church visit http://www.maranathagbc.net or call 301.733.1717. Maranatha Brethren is located at 19835 Scott Hill Drive just off of Jefferson Boulevard in Hagerstown.

For information about Valley Grace Brethren Church visit http://www.valleygrace.net or call 301.582.0155. Valley Grace Brethren is located at 17310 Gay Street just off of Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown.

If you are interested in volunteering with Wildside Youth Ministries or any other ministry at The Hope Center, including our upcoming Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, please visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

A Beautiful Memorial for a Beautiful Lady

If you’ve driven past our property on the corner of Walnut & Church streets you might have seen something a little different.

This week we had the fine folks from Snavely’s Garden Corner, Inc. in Hagerstown landscape a beautiful memorial garden in front of our Thrift Store on the Walnut Street side.

The garden is in memory of Ellen Resh, the founding partner of The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. She and her husband, Jim, followed the call of God to move their family from the quiet, peaceful life in Cascade, MD to the gritty and unthinkable atmosphere of Jail Alley in downtown Hagerstown.

For years Ellen worked as the “Mission Mom” to create a family environment not only for her own children but for the hundreds of men who were residents and guests through the years.

Ellen wasn’t just raising her children during those years. She was also raising the new converts of men who passed through the doors. She became a positive female influence to all the grown men who were in desperate need of a mother’s love.

Ellen was an important part of the ministry of rescue throughout the years. She was an important part of Koffee Klatch, our weekly Bible study & fellowship time for women. She also oversaw the Sorting Room and all the merchandise that was priced and placed into our stores.

But when Ellen wasn’t busy working at The Hope Center, she enjoyed the quietness of God’s creation at her home outside of Hagerstown. She enjoyed the beauty of flowers and trees and loved feeding and taking care of animals – especially cardinals.

Our Auxiliary decided that the best way to pay tribute to the founding mother of The Hope Center was to create a garden in her memory.

She would love to see the flat, grassy area between the Thrift Store and Walnut Street be landscaped into something beautiful and provide a place for the birds to sit and sing their praises to God.

The garden is not exactly finished at this point. We are in the process of getting a sign installed in her memory.

As beautiful as this garden turned out, we are hoping to do more of these along Walnut Street in the future. Adding trees and plants not only makes our property more beautiful but it also is another way to celebrate God, the Creator, and helps us to be more environmentally responsible by adding more trees to help provide fresh air in the downtown environment.

We want to thank Snavley’s for doing such a beautiful, professional job on the garden.

And we also want to thank the Ladies’ Auxiliary at The Hope Center for funding this gorgeous addition to our property! We appreciate all the work that these ladies do to help improve our facilities and keep the ministry moving forward!

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more or joining our Ladies’ Auxiliary, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net for more info.