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Celebrate ARW's 90th Birthday with us! Operating in Williamsport since 1934, American Rescue Workers is proud to commemorate nine decades of dedicated service with a grand birthday celebration this year. Join us for a festive event filled with community spirit and heartfelt gratitude as we honor our past and look forward to a bright future together.


The history of the American Rescue Workers in Williamsport, PA, began in 1934 with Rev. William Morehart's founding of the Calvary Rescue Mission, a ministry focused on aiding the destitute. In the mid-1950s, Rev. Russell Pidcoe took over as Morehart's health declined, leading to the 1959 merger with the American Rescue Workers National Organization and the establishment of the Williamsport Corps. The organization saw significant growth and relocations, including a move to a large house on Lycoming Street in 1968, which was converted into a shelter. Under the leadership of Adjutant and Mrs. Charles Dederick from 1969, the ministry expanded rapidly, opening thrift stores, acquiring a warehouse for recycling donations, and developing a vibrant youth ministry.

A notable milestone occurred in 1976 with the purchase of St. John’s Reformed Church, which became the new hub for the organization's activities, including shelter programs and educational units. Captain and Mrs. Claude Astin, Jr. took command in 1979, further expanding the ministry by purchasing the former Lowry Electric Company building to house more homeless men. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the organization continued to grow, establishing shelters for families, women, and children, and founding the Love Center in Jersey Shore in 1987. In 1996, Colonel Claude Astin, Jr. became Commander-In-Chief, and by 1997, the National Headquarters relocated to Williamsport. Major Sam Astin was appointed Commanding Officer, continuing the mission. The dedication of a new Social Service Center in 2006 and the ongoing operations of the Elmira Street warehouse underscore the organization's commitment to sustainability and community support.

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Becoming a sponsor of ARW's 90th birthday celebration offers businesses a unique opportunity to align with a respected non-profit that has been serving the Williamsport community since 1934. As a sponsor, your business will gain visibility and recognition at a high-profile event, demonstrating your commitment to social responsibility and community support. This partnership will not only enhance your brand's image but also foster goodwill among attendees and the broader community, potentially attracting new customers who value corporate citizenship. By supporting ARW, your business will help ensure the continued provision of essential services to those in need, making a meaningful impact on the lives of many.

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