February 23, 2021 by Ally Donnelly (courtesy photos)
The words were biting and true: “Maybe if I had clean clothes, people would treat me like a human being.” The man, who was homeless, helped found a national movement, helping people struggling financially to clean their clothes.
The non profit is called Laundry Love and several years ago, volunteers through St. John’s Episcopal Church formed a local chapter. The volunteers set up shop at Superwash Laundromats in Weymouth and Hull once a month, welcoming people who are down on their luck. They hand out pre-paid laundry cards, detergent, dryer sheets, whatever clients need to do their laundry without worrying about the expense. And it’s no small thing.
As you’ll hear from clients and volunteers in this week’s episode, the burden of paying for laundry can force them into tough choices. Eat? Pay rent? Or wear clean clothes? Cynthia, a single mom in Weymouth, said she always put laundry for her, her elderly mom and young daughter last. What did it matter to have clean clothes if she couldn’t keep the lights on? “This past year, just everything’s harder,” she said.
You’ll hear from volunteer Dave Clinton about the night a man he grew up with came in weary with need. And how the two former cub scouts put aside their awkwardness to help and be helped. “It’s powerful stuff,” Clinton said. “I was trying to put myself in his shoes and try to think what he might be thinking, but then we were two friends talking in a laundromat while the clothes were getting done.
Chrissy Roberts has been volunteering with Laundry Love for three years now. She’s chats easily with clients and their kids and jumps up to help in a flash. “If this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that life can be short and to appreciate the ones you love, the things you have. And sometimes that something is as simple as clean clothes.”
You can hear the full episode here: https://hinghamanchor.com/the-hingham-cast/. If you enjoy the podcast, we’d love your help in spreading the word. Subscribe, leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts and please share us with a friend!