Bethesda News

by Cindy Mallow, Director of Development

Chester Trout, USMC (circa 1960)

In the depths of the depression, David and Florence Trout and their fourteen children lived in a three-bedroom wooden house at Seventh and Maclay Streets in Harrisburg. They had only a pot belly stove for heat and much of the time, David was unable to find work. The children would often go to bed hungry and at times, Florence would send three of the children (Chet, Harold and Hazel) to Bethesda Mission to eat when they couldn’t afford to feed their family. Soon after this time, brother Chet joined the Marine Corps feeling that this would enable him to better help the family. Monroe, another brother, had enlisted in the Navy and was stationed overseas, unaware of the challenges the family was facing back home.

Fast forward a number of years… Chet always said that he wanted to give back to repay Bethesda Mission for how they had helped his family in those early years. When Chet passed away in 2018, Chet’s sister, Hazel, her husband, Sam, Chet’s nephew, Stan and his wife, Kathy visited the Men’s Shelter. It was at that time that we learned that Chet had left $100,000 to Bethesda Mission in his will. As incredible a blessing as that was, a few months later, I received a call from Monroe Trout. After being away serving in the Navy and since learning what his family had gone through many years ago, he had also decided to donate $100,000 to Bethesda in order to thank them for helping his family when they needed it the most.

Hazel said, “We always talked of how we would give back and this is that time.” At Bethesda Mission, we are so grateful that even today, we are now reaping the harvest that was sown by the staff that worked so hard decades ago.

All of us at Bethesda Mission are thankful to the Trout family for remembering to return the blessing to those who originally blessed them!

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