We particularly loved this idea, not only for helping the hungry and homeless by donating much needed resources to food banks, but for the fact that it helps everybody sharing a meal donate to the cause. It is the perfect illustration of how we, as a society, are stronger when we act together.
The Laundry Love initiative consists of regular opportunities to help people who are struggling financially by assisting them with doing their laundry. For those living below the poverty line, washing clothes presents both a logistical problem and a financial hardship. Laundry Love partners with local laundromats in cleaning the clothes of those living in shelters, motels, cars, garages and on the streets .
HOW SHOULD WE APPROACH A LAUNDROMAT OWNER? 1. Approach the owner/manger of the laundromat directly. 2. Begin by explaining who you are and who you represent (group, community effort, faith community, student organization, etc.). 3. Share how your group would like to host a LL evening/day, perhaps once a month to start. Present the general information of what LL does. (Get forms online or e-mail us for them.) 4. Share with them the benefits of hosting a Laundry Love: • Laundromat will be listed on the www.laundrylove.org website for hundreds to see each week. • Additional economic benefit to the laundromat. • The laundromat will be known for its goodwill in its neighborhood/city. 5. Stress that your group will finance the effort, and that the laundromat will benefit from the patronage and the advertising. Assure them that you and your group will be present for the duration of every event. Discuss with the owner/manager about the business days and times that might be the least intrusive and explain that Laundry Love does not want to interfere with their regular business operation. 6. Be sure to leave the laundromat owner/manager your contact information and follow-up with them in a few days with a phone call or personal visit. 7. If you are looking at a self-run laundromat, check for contact information posted on the walls or ask a customer if they know when the manager/owner comes in and then follow the steps as outlined. 8. Use non-objective language or labels. ie. “homeless”
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THOSE SERVED? Most of the time, expect nothing but gratitude. Most people who are truly under-resourced will welcome not only the LL care but your conversation and friendship. Be mindful and considerate of those who come with mental impairments, chemical addictions, physical and emotional abuse, or an attitude of entitlement due to the rigors of marginalization and poverty. Each person carries a story that is original to them and will require patience, graciousness and discernment from you and your team. If abuse or manipulation happens or continues over a period of time, it’s best to confront with love reminding the participant of the scripted outline and responsibility as a guest of LL. HOW DOES LAUNDRY LOVE HELP? Laundry Love will provide a coach to answer questions and/or concerns for those interested in starting up a new Laundry Love location. Laundry Love will promote your effort through all our social media streams (Twitter, Facebook, website, etc.) Laundrylove.org is the place to share best practices, stories, ideas, videos and pictures. We will send a quarterly update regarding LL efforts around the U.S. keeping you updated about current and future musings and share stories, new designs and future opportunities. Upon registration, your LL is placed on the LL map for the U.S giving people in your city your LL address, time and contact regarding your effort.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Russinger | Laundry Love National Director Twitter: @gregrussinger Facebook: greg russinger E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (805) 701-0079