So let’s be perfectly clear. The name can be confusing. This is not so much a project about loving laundry as it is a project about loving people. Every day we see them, or try not to see them, the people who live in the open field behind Mother’s, the guy with the beard, riding the bike, the group at Starbuck’s that hangs out in front. Maybe they are pulling a suitcase or carrying a backpack, or maybe they are holding a heap of dirty blankets. Maybe they ask for spare change. Maybe we say “no”. LaundryLove is an opportunity to say “yes”, a chance to have an excuse to get to know people we might not otherwise meet, and a chance for people who don’t have $10 to spare to pop into a coin-op washer to do their laundry, on us.
The fifth LaundryLove HB was held on May 9th. This month, we served 14 families and helped them do 88 loads of laundry. We’ve finally gotten our rhythm. Also, we were honored to have some new volunteers, those studying Education for Ministry at St. Wilfrid’s.
Our guests come from a variety of living situations. One man works at a local theme park and has for many years. Another works three jobs trying to support his wife and two children. Another family has both partners working low-paying jobs and they are grateful for the break on the expense of laundry. Some people are homeless, physically or mentally ill, or doing their best to keep from losing everything. Some live in their cars. Many are on the brink.
This past week, we got a visit from an old friend from a couple of months ago. I always hope to hear something wonderful has happened and improved their lives, and something good happened here. She was able to find a doctor to treat her medical condition free of charge. So even though she continues to sleep in the front seat of her mini van (the back is full of her belongings), she may achieve enough health to work again.
If you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer, come and join us next month, June 13. We’d love to see you! Someone will hand you a box or soap or some quarters or maybe you will just hang out and talk to folks. When you leave, you will know you are part of a broader community, one that is full of variety and amazing people you may not meet under other circumstances. We’d love to see you. Or, if you would like to throw a little money in the kitty, you can pay via PayPal on this website. We hope to see you next time! Connie Bouvier