The Port Washington Clergy Association is excited to announce a new ministry initiative called Laundry Love. A national program, Laundry Love works in partnership with individuals, groups and local laundromats to help defray the costs of washing the clothing and bedding of individuals and families who live in poverty.
“Laundry Love is a program based in community,” said Reverend Dr. Charles Vogeley of the Lutheran Church of our Savior. “It offers one answer to the universal question of ‘What can we do?’ when people come into contact with poverty on a local level.”
The program began when a homeless man in Ventura, CA was asked, “How can we come alongside your life in a way that would matter?” and he answered, “If I had clean clothes, I think people would treat me like a human being.” The Port Washington program is the second registered Laundry Love location in New York State. The organization has approximately 280 registered locations throughout the country.
While we have a small homeless population in Port, the target population is those in our community who struggle financially. A single load of laundry may cost as much as $5.50 to wash and $1 buys only 40 minutes in the dryer. By providing funds for laundry, Laundry Love allows low-income families to redirect funds toward food, housing, healthcare, transportation, school or other basic needs.
Beginning in November, there will be one monthly weeknight Laundry Love session at the Port Washington Super Laundry at 4 Manorhaven Boulevard, which has welcomed the opportunity to serve the community. Outreach services from local churches, synagogues and the Parent Resource Center are informing their clients about participating in the program. There are plans to expand Laundry Love to include laundromats serving other neighborhoods in Port Washington and to increase the number of sessions.
The PW Clergy Association is led by Rabbi Michael Mishkin of Temple Beth Israel. The Laundry Love steering committee includes clergy and volunteers from The Lutheran Church of Our Savior, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Olive AME Church, United Methodist Church, The Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, Our Lady of Fatima R.C. Church and St. Peter of Alcantara R.C. Church. The PW Clergy Association received a $1,500 grant through the Lutheran Church to serve as seed money. Additional funds are needed to expand the program to more laundromats and multiple sessions per month.
For more information, to donate or to find out about future volunteer opportunities, please contact your clergy or Robin Sigman at firstname.lastname@example.org.