Laundry Ministry at Asbury

On March 11, a new laundry ministry will begin at Asbury. For years, Asbury members have experimented with ways to help those in poverty clean their clothes.
For a time, church members would set aside a weekend day, and invite folks who do not live in a home to bring their dirty clothes to Asbury, and church members would shuttle the clothes to a local laundry mat. That worked for a time.
When the new fellowship hall was completed, kind hearted church members often ran loads of laundry for clients at Open Heart Kitchen. Having clean clothes is something we might take for granted, but is a real need for others, especially before job interviews or other important events.
When people took showers on Wednesday, we provided clean underwear and socks, and threw away dirty undergarments. Surely there was a better way?
At a gathering of local clergy last summer, Pastor Kim wondered what we in local faith communities might do to address this need.
The Unitarian Universalist Church offered to donate $5000 to start a laundry ministry at Asbury. Our Church Council, Finance Committee and Trustees all weighed in on this and began to explore options.
Our Thanksgiving Special Offering went in part to this new laundry ministry. And other donations came in through our Alternative Gift Giving Christmas Catalogue. We now had the resources, and church governance approval, to go ahead.
Roger Everett and Dick Crawford helped make the vision come true. In addition to hooking up gas, electricity, water and sewer, Roger found a used washer and dryer for us at the Tri Valley Haven Thrift Store. (Thank you Dick and Roger!)
On Sunday, March 8, after worship, stop by the “new” laundry shed near the garden and take a tour. The ministry will open on Wednesday, March 11, from 12noon to 6pm.
For the first four weeks, we are looking for volunteers to help supervise folks as they do their own laundry. The idea is to take note of what is working, and what new guidelines or rules need to be in place. If you can sign up for a 3 hour shift on March 11, March 18, March 25 or April 1, please call the church office at 447-1950. A volunteer from the Unitarian Universalist Church will be working each shift as well. After the first month of operation, we will collect information from volunteers and clients, and then make decisions on how to go forward.

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