LaundryLove offers a little bit of help. It's a simple idea really, not hard to do, a small time and money commitment, but when we go and take over that laundromat every second Wednesday, it's a chance to make those hard times a little easier for some folks. It's a chance to reach out to others and let them know they are not forgotten. And crazy stuff happens with it. In the last two months, a couple who has used the services of our project began volunteering. Now they work along side the rest of us, helping others with their laundry, scoping out dryers, keeping track of who belongs to what load.
We are used to people showing up to do their laundry, but something else happened this past week that we weren't expecting. An older gentleman came by. He said he'd lived in Huntington Beach his whole life and had been homeless for the past 32 years. Recently he'd been hit by a car. But he was doing ok, he said. He didn't want to do his laundry. He heard something was going on and he wanted to help. He pulled some money out of his pocket and gave it to one of our volunteers, told us we were doing a good thing and left.
Every month we have many volunteers and we are so grateful for them. A lot of them are those who've come to help before. It's a chance to connect, to do something to help out, to offer a clean load of laundry, so that when someone goes to apply for a job, or when the kids go to school, they can go in freshly laundered clothing. They don't have to make a choice between washing the clothes and buying groceries. They know someone cares.
For us volunteers, we leave tired and happy and smelling like soap. We have new friends, new people to care about, people who care about us. A small, older woman who spoke little English came up to me after finishing her laundry one evening. We recognized each other from previous times. Without saying a word, she opened her arms and put them around me. And without speaking, she walked out with her son.
Come on down. April 10th is our next LaundryLove. It begins at 7 PM and lasts till 10 at the corner of Beach and Garfield in Huntington Beach, next to the Honey Baked Hams. If you can't come by, but would like to help, you can donate here. We would love to share this experience with you.