DAILY PRESS- Article
Posted September 8, 2017
By Rene De La Cruz
HESPERIA — The founders of God’s Hand Extended Warehouse have planned a grand opening celebration for the group’s new facility on Saturday.
The free event will celebrate the recent opening of the nonprofit’s High Desert warehouse that provides resources for the needy, such as food, clothing and furniture.
Located on Lilac Street in Hesperia, the celebration will include a food giveaway from Curbside Community Center, photo booth, raffle prizes, “Taco Man,” Kona Ice truck and music By DJ MYK.
“We opened the warehouse last month and we decided to have a big party to tell the community that we’re here to help them,” warehouse director Lydia Marsala told the Daily Press. “We have tons of furniture and supplies here to bless those in need.”
The 3,000-square-foot warehouse, which accepts monetary donations, clothing, furniture and other supplies, also serves as a thrift store, with all funds received from each purchase going to the nonprofit.
Founder Susan Conway, a native of the Victor Valley for nearly five decades, said the group first opened a 900-square-foot warehouse and was forced to expand when the community “showered” them with waves of furniture and supplies.
“The warehouse is only a portion of what we do,” Conway said. “We partner with many churches, agencies and individuals to help people with their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.”
The nonprofit, which has nearly 250 volunteers and no paid staff, has assisted the needy since 2008. They’ve ministered to the homeless, fed the hungry, assisted single parents and helped many who were in domestic abuse situations.
“Our team consists of an army of people who care,” Conway said. “We have teachers, people in law enforcement, counselors, business people, medical professionals, moms, dads, teens, children and people from all walks of life.”
Conway started the nonprofit with the help of several community leaders, the High Desert Community Foundation, “the Lord’s direction” and her husband, Joe, who urged her to “step out in faith” to launch the ministry.
“We want to help the community by following God’s direction — without limitations and no red tape,” Conway said. “Before we launched, we were met with a lot of hurdles and stop signs, but now all systems are go.”
Over the last year, God’s Hand Extended has partnered with programs launched by the Adelanto School District, Swapping Mamas Clothing Swap/Closet, Foremost Senior Campus and other agencies.
Last summer, Conway said her group helped a large family that was displaced because of a house fire, “rescued” a single mother from domestic abuse and provided housing for several people in need.
“One day, we’d love to open a soup kitchen, warming shelter, recovery shelter and other programs to transform the lives of people,” Conway said. “We’re not about putting badges on people, we’re about transformation and doing everything for the glory of God.”