Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gifting Dads

Donors and friends gave tons of toys and gifts so the men could give a very special gift this Christmas to their kids and grandkids – the gift of a dad!

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From the Director ~ Thanksgiving 2015

IMG_2022Dear Friend of the Mission,

We work hard to help our men rebuild broken relationships with their families. It is always a real joy and a reason to celebrate when one of our men tells us with a big smile that he will be spending Thanksgiving Day with his family. But sadly, there will be a host of men at the Mission who have no home to go to on Thanksgiving Day. The Mission will then become their home, and we will become their family. And so on Thanksgiving Day at 1:15 p.m., our men will enjoy an all-you-can eat feast of delicious, homemade food – roast turkey, cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, macaroni and cheese, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, buttered corn, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, cider, coffee, tea, cookies, ice cream and an assortment of pies are all on the menu. We work extra hard at Thanksgiving to love and bless our men by preparing a feast fit for a King (in fact, we prepare our dinner as though we were serving it to Jesus Himself!). Some of you have volunteered at the Mission on Thanksgiving Day and can testify that our Thanksgiving Feast is truly a wonderful time of good food, warm friendship, a sense of family and heartfelt laughter. You can still join us if you would like – just call Heather Rice at 215 438 3094 ext. 103.

As we quickly move toward the end of 2015, please consider making a special gift to the Mission so that every day at the Mission can be filled with the warmth and happiness of Thanksgiving with friends and family. Here are a few special ways you can help:

  1. A generous year-end sacrificial gift. God will use your gift to change a life.
  2. Some families bless our men by pooling their resources and giving a special Christmas gift to the Mission from their family (individual receipts for each donor can still be given).
  3. If God has especially blessed you this past year, please consider sending a larger than usual gift to the Mission. Large gifts take big bites out of our budgeted expenses. They also strengthen and expand our direct services to our men. Your gift would be a major investment in the lives of our men.
  4. Give a gift of appreciated stock. A gift of appreciated stock is always a great help and can also provide you with some excellent tax benefits, especially if you transfer the stock directly to the Mission rather than first selling it. Please consult with your financial advisor to confirm these tax benefits. We can easily arrange for an electronic transfer of your stock. If you would like to do this, please call me at 215 438 3094 (ext 102).
  5. If you have set up a donor advised fund, you can recommend that a grant be made to the Whosoever Gospel Mission. Your grant will make a difference in the lives of our men.

Your faithful and generous financial support gives us the resources we need to work as hard as we can with the Lord’s help to make the Whosoever Gospel Mission a warm and loving home for the homeless, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but on every day of the year. Not only do our men enjoy good food at the Mission, but they are also given real hope – hope in the Lord, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for today, hope that will not disappoint or fail. For 123 years, the Mission has been a place of real hope for broken and shattered men who are homeless, destitute, crushed by despair, without jobs and facing a future that looks pretty bleak and hopeless. But through God’s amazing grace, our men are able to rebuild their lives. Achievements that may seem ordinary to us are miracles in the lives of our men – miracles such as getting a good job, earning a GED, overcoming a stubborn addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, rebuilding destroyed relationships, getting their own home, becoming a member of a good church, regaining their health, learning to read, and developing a purpose driven life that is productive and fulfilling. Your kind and generous support makes possible these miracles.

As you enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with your friends and family, my family and I will also be enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner with our friends and brothers at the Mission. And together, we will thank God for you – our giving friends who keep the Mission going as a place where broken lives are made whole, where broken families are restored, and where broken hearts are healed and changed forever.

Warmly yours,
Bob signature
Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

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2015 AGRM Handouts and Counseling Resources


As promised, here is a link to the dropbox folder with handouts and resources from the seminars presented by Dr. Bob Emberger and by Heather Rice at the 2015 Annual Convention of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions.

If you need assistance, please email Heather at

Blessings to you as you seek and serve our risen King!

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From the Director ~ March 2015

IMG_8088Dear Friend of the Mission,

Homeless men usually feel pretty hopeless. They’ve been told that they need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, but then they discover they have no bootstraps! Well-meaning people tell them they need to get a job, but who is going to hire a man who looks homeless and doesn’t smell all that good because he has been wearing the same clothes for days, and it is impossible to get a shower in the bathroom at McDonalds?

More and more job applications need to be submitted online with a computer, but many homeless men have never used a computer. Every legal job requires current state-issued identification to get hired, but many homeless men either have no state-issued identification, or the identification they have is expired and they have no money to get it renewed. These obstacles to employment and self-sufficiency are just a few of the barriers a homeless man faces as he tries to rebuild his life.

Most of us have family or friends that provide a safety net if we run into trouble. Sadly, this is not true for most of the homeless men who come to the Mission desperately looking for help. But by God’s grace, through your gifts the Whosoever Gospel Mission is able to impart real hope to our men by providing each man with all of the resources and help he needs to get a good job and to eventually move into his own place.

Right now, for example we have 11 men working at jobs outside of the Mission, three men going to vocational school and 6 men working hard to earn their GED through an intensive off-site educational program. These men are all moving forward and each one has a renewed sense of hope. We tell our men that in spite of any obstacles they may face, God can open a door that no one can shut. It is always a joyful sight to see the sadness and hopelessness on a man’s face replaced by laughter and hope. Your gifts truly will be used to turn frowns upside down!

We need your kind and generous support more than ever to keep on being a place of real hope for our men. We just found out that the Feinstein Foundation’s annual $1 million challenge grant has been discontinued indefinitely. Even though your generous gifts of food and cash will no longer be partially matched by the Feinstein Foundation as they were for the last 16 years or so, your gifts will still be a life-giving and a life-changing investment in the lives of our men. We are asking you to give during the months of March and April (when the Feinstein Challenge Grant campaign was conducted) as though the Feinstein $1 million Challenge Grant is still in force. Your gifts will make a big difference for good in the lives of our men.

Please see our updated Needs List. We always need cash to pay our bills, but this list also provides lots of other great ways that you, your family, your church, or your workplace can give a homeless man a hand-up and not just a hand-out.

Please look around on our website to see and hear testimonies of God’s amazing grace touching and changing the lives of our men both now and forever. You can donate online and can even set up an automatic monthly donation.

Working together with you,
Bob signature
Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

P.S. More details will follow, but we hope to see you at our Night of Celebration on Saturday, May 16th. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and will end by 8:30 p.m. Light refreshments will follow.


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From the Director ~ January 2015

IMG_6179Dear Friend of the Mission,

Please browse our collection of photos filled with laughter, smiles, toys and gifts from our 2014 Christmas celebration at the Whosoever Gospel Mission. Your financial gifts, gifts of new toys for the children and grandchildren of our men, gifts for our men and all sorts of other wonderful kindnesses made Christmas 2014 a wonderful time at the Mission. It was great to hear our men joyfully sing Christmas carols such as Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Go, Tell it on the Mountain. Thank you for making Christmas for our men (and their kids and grandkids!) a time of celebration and joy rather than a sad time filled with crushing loneliness, heartache, regrets and hopelessness. Your gifts made a huge difference in their lives! They join with me in thanking you.

As we begin this new year of 2015, please let me also thank you for your kind and generous support throughout 2014. There are many ways that our friends and supporters such as you supported us in 2014. You have given us food, good used items for our thrift stores, laundry detergent, personal care items, office supplies, over-the-counter medicines, paper products, cleaning supplies, trash bags, new underwear and socks, and good used grocery bags for our thrift stores. You have supported us financially through generous cash gifts, employee giving programs such as the United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign, gifts of stock, donor advised fund grants, employer matching gift programs, and gift cards to stores we shop at for the Mission. Last year was a challenging year in many ways, but your faithful support helped us to meet these challenges successfully. Most importantly, your gifts helped our men to meet and overcome their own challenges by God’s grace. The Mission is ultimately not about programs, bricks and mortar, but it is about loving broken and hurting homeless men with the love of Christ, giving them a hand-up and not just a handout, and giving them a real hope that changes their lives both now and forever. Your life-giving and life-changing gifts are a sound investment in the lives of our men that will keep on growing and paying out dividends for years to come. The positive and good changes that take place in just one of our men will touch and impact for good the lives of hundreds of other people – perhaps your life and the lives of your friends and family. Keep on investing in our men – your support makes a big difference for good.

With heartfelt thanks,
Bob signature


Robert A. Emberger, D.Min
Executive Director

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Video: Toy Giveaway

Christmas is coming! Now is a great time to start collecting new, unwrapped toys so homeless dads working hard to rebuild their lives can gift them to their children!

Check out this video of a previous toy giveaway to see what it looks like!

2014 Toy Giveaway! from K2 Media on Vimeo.

Giving gifts is a big part of the Christmas season and every year hundreds of gifts are given away at the Whosoever Gospel Mission. This year over 1,000 brand new toys were donated and distributed to the men of the mission, giving them an opportunity to bless their kids and grand kids!

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Video: finding hope, finding home

The Whosoever Gospel Mission from K2 Media on Vimeo.

Homeless men share what the Mission means to them

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From the Director ~ October 2014

Dear Friend of the Mission,IMG_1576

Please accept my special thanks for your prayers and gifts to reduce our deficit by the end of our fiscal year, September 30th. We don’t have the final numbers in yet, but we do know that your gift made a difference in helping us to finish our fiscal year in the best shape possible. More importantly, your kind generosity was used to make a big difference in the lives of the homeless men currently living at the Mission. Thank you for your help and concern.

The fall months are always exceptionally busy at the Mission. They also provide lots of opportunities for you to partner with the Mission in our ministry to broken and hurting homeless men. Here are some practical ways to help us at this time of year:

If your workplace participates in the Combined Federal or United Way Campaigns, please consider supporting us through these and other workplace giving campaigns such as America’s Charities and through your workplace Matching Gift program. Our Combined Federal Campaign number is 69784 and our Southeastern Pennsylvania United Way Campaign number is 1045; you can designate your United Way gift to the Mission through other United Way Campaigns throughout the country – just check the campaign booklet or ask your workplace United Way coordinator how you can do this since our agency number may be different than the SEPA United Way number listed above.

As we come to Christmas, we need you and your church, family, co-workers or school to buy new toys (larger toys and stocking stuffers) for our annual toy giveaway to the children and grandchildren of our men, and we also need Christmas gift goody bags made up for the up to 55 homeless men enrolled in our New Life Program. For many of our men, these gifts are the only Christmas presents they will receive. To schedule a pick-up of these toys and gifts, please call Heather Rice @ 215 438 3094 ext 103.

We always need used plastic grocery bags and newspapers for our two thrift stores. You can drop these items off at either of our thrift stores.

We always need your prayers and regular financial support. You are our partners in giving a hand-up, not a hand-out, to the homeless men living at the Mission.

Working together with you,
Bob signature
Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

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Beauty Unfolding: Arthur and his flowers

“…whatever one sows, that will he also reap…let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9

Arthur’s FlowersIMG_7770

In late May, it took Arthur, a New Life Program graduate, two trips on the bus to bring us the plants he was donating to the Mission through the generosity of his boss at the Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District. If you wandered into the Mission’s courtyard in June, you would have seen four containers full of these young, tender plants. Beautiful, but small. By August they had grown into huge, magnificent displays of life and color.

It took lots of water, nurture and time for the flowers to reach their full potential, but reach it they did! In a way, the flowers are a picture of Arthur’s own life.
When Arthur came to the Mission in April of 2009, he was struggling. But he grew and blossomed as he began making good choices. He worked hard to overcome an addiction; he learned to forgive, even as he has been forgiven by the Lord. He patiently looked for work and ended up with a great job – the very one that gives him flowers to bring to the Mission each year!


Five years later, Arthur continues to mature and blossom. His life is a blessing to all who cross his path. For Arthur, the Mission was the place God used to nurture him, the place where his roots were able to grow. Now, he’s giving back – helping to create a nurturing and beautiful atmosphere for the men who are coming after him.

Arthur’s flowers are a picture of what happens inside the Mission all year long – growth over time that leads to the flourishing of life.

Nurturing Growth

At the Whosoever Gospel Mission, we talk a lot about the laws of the harvest.

1. We reap what we sow.

Actions have consequences. When we make good choices, we eventually reap benefits. We encourage our men as they begin sowing good seeds – like working hard to improve their education, overcome addictions, sharpen their job skills, create a budget, invest in family relationships & build good friendships.

2. We reap later than we sow.

IMG_7754When we sow good seeds, we don’t always enjoy the benefits right away. It takes time for seeds to grow. It may take a while before a job search blossoms into a good job. It can seem like a lifetime before a family member responds to a man’s letters and reaches out to their son, their husband, their father. But time and again, change happens. Flowers blossom. Beauty unfolds at the Mission. The Lord blesses perseverance.

3. We reap more than we sow.

Small seeds have a way of yielding large harvests. The consequences that ripple out from individual choices are great and diverse. Choosing to faithfully follow God in the small things often results in big blessings. We see this happening time and time again.

IMG_7737Sharing the Joy

When you support the Mission, you are helping to nurture growth in the lives of homeless men. A financial donation, a kind word, a tutoring session, a job lead, a prayer – all the ways in which you give to the Mission, you help water tender young plants as they grow and blossom. The resulting beauty blesses moms and dads, sons and daughters, churches, neighbors, coworkers and friends.

And as with Arthur’s flowers and his very life, the beauty of a restored life is a delight to all who have the pleasure of passing by.

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From the Director ~ September 2014

IMG_8088Your gift today keeps us going strong tomorrow!

Dear Friend,

Your kind and faithful support this past year has been used by God to make all of these good things happen. I personally take great comfort and joy in knowing that while I may be on the front lines of this ministry of helping the homeless, yet there is a vast army of supporters such as you who are praying for us, volunteering at the Mission, sending money to us, donating good used items for our thrift stores, and buying for our men much needed items on our current needs list. Out of the thousands of other ministries and nonprofits that you could support, we are honored and humbled that you have chosen to support us.It is hard to believe that September 30th will soon mark the end of our current fiscal year and October 1st will mark the beginning of our new fiscal year. I want to thank you for your kind and generous support this past year. It has been a challenging year with what seemed like the snowstorm of the week back in the winter months, with the sad news that a family foundation that generously supported us with an annual gift since the 1990’s was ceasing operations at the end of 2013, with a growing number of our men arriving at the Mission with serious health problems that have been neglected far too long, with the Philadelphia job market still being very stingy with good jobs for our men, and with our men battling overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and despair. But the Lord is able, and in spite of these challenges, the Mission has weathered the snowstorms, our “daily bread” has been provided (sometimes at the last minute!), our men have received life-giving medical treatment, a good number of our men have obtained decent jobs, and many of our men have testified that the Lord is their hope and that God’s grace has been more than sufficient even on the darkest of days.

As we come to the end of our fiscal year on September 30, 2014, please consider sending an extra generous gift that will enable us to finish our fiscal year in good shape and will also help us to start our new fiscal year on October 1st on a strong financial footing.

Thank you for your friendship and support.


Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

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