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Convoy of Hope at Hagerstown middle school to offer free groceries and services

October 17, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

At the very least, people who show up for Saturday's Convoy of Hope at E. Russell Hicks Middle School can get some free groceries.

But Melissa Linn and other local organizers of the event, which begins at 10 a.m., are hopeful they will take advantage of everything that is available.

The free services will include health information and screenings, drug and alcohol counseling, entertainment for all and fun activities for children - even free haircuts, thanks to 2,000 vouchers from Award Beauty School.

"This is the first time Convoy of Hope has come to Hagerstown," Linn said, noting she has attended Convoy of Hope events in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. She and others have been out in the community handing out fliers for the event at 1321 S. Potomac St.

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Everything will be outside under tents, Linn said.

"It has really rallied the troops," she said.

She was referring to more than 600 volunteers from 20 area churches and agencies like CASA, Community Action Council, Habitat for Humanity and the Washington County Health Department.

"This encourages groups to work together ... mobilizing at what they do best," Linn said.

Sheetz is donating ice for the event. A local orchard contributed 3,000 apples.

Convoy of Hope was invited to Hagerstown last spring by Patrick Grach, pastor of LifeHouse Church.

"He had encountered them somewhere else," Linn said.

In 2006, Convoy of Hope assisted nearly 4 million people in the United States and around the globe with food, clothing, medical aid and other needed resources through outreach and disaster response.

Two tractor-trailer loads of food will roll in to Hagerstown for the Saturday event. Volunteers will unload and repack the food for local people in need.

The mission of Convoy of Hope is to transform entire communities with compassion - one life at a time.

Parking will be available at the school and at the nearby Prime Outlets, with shuttle service to the site.

A Hagerstown native, Linn is a therapist. She has been a member of LifeHouse Church for six years.

"People are really stepping up to the plate," Linn said. "We're hoping for at least 3,000 people."

Outreach details



Saturday's Convoy of Hope begins at 10 a.m. at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, 1321 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown. Free groceries, health screenings, haircuts and more will be offered. Go to www.hopeforhagerstown.org for more information.

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