News stories these days can be downright depressing. Even the way people act makes you worry about humanity.
In the midst of this, stories of acts of kindness often go overlooked. It’s time for some good news of people acting selflessly just because someone else needs a little help. You might expect stories of clothing and sheltering people, but how about offering clean laundry?
In Rome, Pope Francis opened a laundromat with six washers and dryers as well as irons for the poor to use. The basic need of being clean that many of us take for granted can “restore dignity to many people who are our brothers and sisters,” the Vatican said of the services. Companies contribute detergent and softener.
It’s not just religious organizations who have stepped up to help. Take a look at this New Jersey school.
Principal Akbar Cook of West Side High School noticed some of his students were being bullied because of their dirty clothes. These students used to miss multiple days of class, not because they didn’t want to learn but because they were embarrassed and being humiliated by their classmates. Many of them didn’t have access to a washing machine at home. Some of them didn’t have a home at all. With help from grants, Principal Cook bought and installed five washers and dryers at West Side. Now instead of skipping school because they don’t want to hear that the smell bad or that they’re slobs, kids have a chance to do their laundry after school.
“Ok, so large, well-supported organizations can do something like this, but not ordinary people like me,” you say. Want to bet on that?
In Australia, if you see a bright orange van driving around, it may just be friends Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi. Using crowd-sourced funding, the to friends bought an old van, two washers and dryers, and a portable generator to bring the laundry to the homeless. They drive to areas with high homeless populations to offer their service. They have also partnered with local food banks so people can have a meal while their laundry is being washed.
In Queens, New York, Samuel Van De Cruze didn’t just offer free laundry, he washed it himself. The week of Easter, 2016, Mr. Van De Cruze spent every night washing hundreds of pounds of laundry for homeless people and families. To those he helped, it meant clean laundry and a little extra money to save or to buy necessities.
It’s not just adults who see a need and do something about it. 8th-grader Jayera Griffin tutored children and noticed their clothes weren’t quite clean. It crossed her mind that this was a problem. “I thought they would focus more on what people would think about them and that it would lower their self-esteem and they wouldn’t focus on their education,” she said. With young people like Jayera to lead the way, humanity’s problems may just start disappearing.
Having clean clothes is more than a nicety, it’s necessary for good hygiene and health. Besides being healthier, clean clothes give people confidence in themselves and a sense of worth. North Ft. Myers Laundromart is doing their part to help folks who are a little down on their luck (a number exploding since the current health crisis took place). Free laundry days lets people save a little money and still have clean laundry. Spread the word to people who need a little encouragement.