A few months ago my best friend said it had been on her heart to start some kind of program in our community where people could come launder their clothes for free. We live in a small town with a large homeless population and an even larger poverty level. She did some digging and discovered Laundry Love, a movement that pairs with individuals, groups, and laundromats to care for the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable. Within a few weeks we were on a plane flying to LA for the first Laundry Love convention to gather information and learn how we could get started in our own community.
Laundry Love is a nationwide initiative but what we love most about it, is that at it’s heart it’s very much a neighboring movement. It’s about community. It’s about kinship. It’s not about good deeds or civic duties or religion or any of that. It’s about people coming together, and in within the neutral space of a laundromat, cleaning clothes and creating friendships. Money is raised so that people can come and wash their clothes for free, and the laundromats still get paid so they aren’t losing any business either. It’s a way to benefit all parties involved.
“The story of Laundry Love began with T-Bone (Eric), a homeless gentleman living in Ventura, Ca. In one particular conversation, a question was asked of him: “T-Bone, how can we come alongside your life in a way that would matter?” His response was honest and practical. “If I had clean clothes I think people would treat me like a human being.” Every single Laundry Love effort, or Laundry Love spin-off and/or partnership around the U.S. is attached to this man. His desire for worth and welcome is found in us all.”
You can read the full story of T-Bone and the beginning of Laundry Love HERE, and I recommend that you do.
We started our own local LL almost 5 months ago and we have met some amazing people with amazing stories. Life can be crazy hard sometimes and there is nothing that separates any one of us from needing help in some way. Every person deserves the dignity of having clean clothes.
There is no discrimination to anyone who comes to these events. While our heart is to come alongside and help those who genuinely need it, that could be anyone from a homeless person to a struggling college student, to a family who could simply benefit from the extra help.
If you are interested in knowing more about Laundry Love, their mission, their story, or how it works, click here to visit their website, laundrylove.org.
* This is Day 19 of a 31 Day series on Keeping It Real. You can find all of the posts in this series here. I hope you follow along and join the conversation! *