For some reason I feel like I’ve talked about this before on here but when I looked back and searched through my blog posts I didn’t see it anywhere. It’s probably because I have written so many announcements and emails at our church explaining what it is and what we do. Any who, let me get started!
Laundry Love is something my church has done for years and it is probably one of our most favorite outreach commitments! One of my goals this year through my church is to make an official Laundry Love Location in my community.
What is Laundry Love?
Laundry Love is a movement. The Laundry Love initiative consists of regular opportunities to come alongside people who are struggling financially by assisting them with their laundry. Laundry love partners with groups and local laundromats in cleaning clothes and linens of low-income or no-income families and individuals. We see the laundromat as a place where strangers become friends, people are known by name, hope is hustled, and the worth of every human being is acknowledged and celebrated.
What do I need to do to be a part of the movement?
My church discovered this through our Episcopal Diocese. In our experience we called the Laundromat ahead of time and told them what we were doing and if they were okay with it. We brought $100 in change (we had a lot left over) along with coffee, doughnuts and juice for the people. We had people of all ages participate, the little kids really enjoyed putting the money in the machine for people. There were some people who refused the offer and that was okay, a lot of times they would still come over and talk with us about our mission and what we were here for. You don’t have to do this through a church, it can be a small group or book club or mom support group, whatever group you’re apart of that wants to give back to the community.
What do you need to do to make an official location?
There are certain steps to follow to be recognized on the national page on laundrylove.org:
Gather a Committed Group: Build a committed group of volunteers. This could be friends, family, co-workers, community groups or church groups.
Download the Guide: Download the Laundry Love Guide and read thoroughly. If you have any questions, contact the National Director of Operations.
Partner with a local laundromat: Find a local laundromat to partner with. Consider location, mass transit, bus lines, walkability, near low-income areas, etc.
Register your Laundry Love: Register your Laundry Love effort to be placed on our national map. This allows families and individuals in your area to find you.
1,300,000 loads of laundry and over 950,000 people served since 2003, with an estimated 72,000 people cared for annually.
My church has done several in the past couple of years but this year I want to be consistent with serving those in need and I want to make a commitment to do it once a month. Our plan is to make an outline for every second Saturday starting in March of this year. I am super excited to start this with my church! What are some of your thoughts of Laundry Love? Does this inspire you to do one of these in your hometown? Let me know in the comments!
EDIT: This has probably changed since COVID-19 has began to shut down mass facilities across the nation.