2nd Wednesdays at 6pm Beach Coin Laundry 19072 Beach Bl (x Garfield) Huntington Beach

Our biggest night yet!

November was a banner month for LaundryLove HB.  We washed 180 loads and served 23 families!  Thanks to all of you have supported us by donations of time and dollars.  We have also started a tradition, originating spontaneously, of having food to share.  A few of the original LLHB folks traveled to Africa together.  There, in spite of famine and drought, each family we visited prepared a feast for us.  Food happened.  Often we bring the feast to LaundryLove and at other times, as happened last month with Manuel and his taco truck, the feast comes to us.  This month was no exception.  In addition to burritos and tacos, one of our volunteers baked a delicious pumpkin spice bread.  Weary travelers require sustenance to continue on their journey.

It is heartening to see the same people month to month, both our guests and volunteers and it is also uplifting to make new friends.  Several volunteers spent their first evening with us, among them Kate, from Holy Spirit in Silver Lake and a carload of other volunteers from the same church.  Comment here and I will be so happy to include your names.  A dear and long time friend of mine, Veronika Tracy-Smith, was in from Truckee and wanted to be a part of LaundryLove.  Hesitant at first, within 15 minutes, she fit right in and loved it so much that she wrote a blog post on it for her own website,

LaundryLove is about helping, but also about relationships.  Over the months, the guests have come to know us and we them.  A spirit of trust and respect prevails.  We've offered support to one another in difficult times and rejoiced when things improved.  News updates from the front, one of our guests who struggles with OCD finished her wash in record time.  Usually she says that doing laundry stresses her out, and if anyone has watched her eradicate even the smallest idea of a spot, it is easy to understand why.  This month, she finished and smiled and stated at the end, "I don't know what happened, but I feel so happy."

Another guest invited Shannon into her home, an old van which she and her boyfriend had customized to fit their needs.  Carpet was torn up because it held the fleas of their much loved dog.  Decorations dangled from the ceiling and a surfboard hung on a wall.  A bed was set up in the back.  To be invited in to a home was a special privilege that left an impression on Shannon.

The young woman, grieving last month over the estrangement from her young children, came in reunited with a daughter who was proud to have won the fundraiser at school.  She was able to sell over 400 candy bars.  Mom glowed with pride, the color back in her face and her forehead less furrowed than the previous month.

Lynette, one of our more regular volunteers, contacted Shannon a couple of days after LaundryLove, stating that she was barely able to sleep.  One of our families that evening revealed that they had come to California from Oklahoma.  They had no home and the couple and their two children, with one on the way, were sleeping in their sedan in WalMart's parking lot.  "Can we help them?" she wanted to know.  We are working on it, Lynette.  I hope so.

So much need exists.  We walk past people in parking lots, drive past them on street corners, give them a wide berth when passing them on the street as they rant and talk to themselves.  Many of us are moved by compassion for our fellow travelers, but we don't know what to do.  Donate.  Come down.  Help out. Meet them.  They have names and stories.  Maybe you too will be lucky and be invited into their homes.  Maybe you will be really lucky and they will make their way into your hearts.