One Lincolnton couple looks forward to opening the doors of their nonprofit organization to the entire community later this month.
“Anyone can come,” James Friday said.
He and his wife Devonda, a former Lincolnton Police offer, served as foster parents over the years to numerous children and even adopted eight of them.
Because of their dedicated efforts to fostering, producers with the once-popular ABC television show “Extreme Maker: Home Edition” chose to build the family a new, larger home in December 2011.
Designers with the now-cancelled series also surprised the local couple with a 1,600 square-foot facility where they could operate a nonprofit organization of their own.
Named House of Hope, the nonprofit is located in the Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center on North Aspen Street in Lincolnton.
While the facility served more than a year as an appointment-only organization where the Fridays would allow referrals from Lincoln County Department of Social Services, churches and other area agencies to collect necessities such as clothing, baby items and furniture, James said House of Hope would soon be open to the public.
“There are a lot of other folks who have needs,” he said. “We don’t want to turn anyone away.”
While a specific grand opening date has yet to be determined, the couple anticipated it taking place this month.
James revealed how he is most looking forward to learning more about the needs of individuals in the community — a community he and Devonda have been catering to door-to-door for at least the last two months.
The pair travels through area neighborhoods with free food.
“We see what the needs are and hand out bread on the spot,” James said.
The Fridays joined forces with Greater Works Full Gospel Ministry in Lincolnton to obtain the bread and other pastries for the county’s hungry population.
The couple has additionally donated some of the food to churches and other organizations in the community with food requests, James said.
In addition to James and Devonda, House of Hope boasts four volunteers, three of whom stem from iCARE Inc.’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program, designed to assist low-income youth between the ages of 14 and 21, according to the iCARE Inc., website.
Also a nonprofit organization, iCARE’s goal is to provide homes, employment, childcare and educational opportunities to individuals and families with limited finances.
Along with clothing, jewelry and a variety of household items, James said House of Hope will feature a relaxing backroom with spiritual reading material and coffee.
The couple said they plan to use the room one morning per week for area citizens to gather and fellowship.
House of Hope will open four days a week including Saturday, James said.