Laundry Love

Coffee made to support Laundry Love programs across the country sit ready to sell on Nov. 18 at the Ocean Park Lutheran Church.

PENINSULA — A program that pays for loads of laundry for low-income households on the Peninsula will continue through December thanks to support from the community.

Since February, Peninsula Poverty Response provided funds for laundry once a week to low-income households in the community.

The program, Laundry Love, is a national collaboration based out of Portland, Oregon. The original idea behind the laundry charity was that homeless people are treated better when they have clean clothing, according to the charity’s website.

The program was funded through September. It wasn’t clear if it would continue past the first eight months. But through generous community support, the program can continue, said Dawna Svaren, pastor at Ocean Park Lutheran Church and chair of Peninsula Poverty Response.

And people who use Laundry Love will donate a quarter or two toward their load when they come, Svaren said.

“Their one quarter alone may not do anything, but their quarter and another person’s quarter, and another person’s quarter and another’s person’s quarter will help someone wash their clothes,” Svaren said.

Between 18 to 29 families participate in Laundry Love every week, according to a release from Peninsula Poverty Response. It costs about $800 a month to run it, Svaren said.

Families who participated in the program left notes to the organizers about the importance of clean laundry.

“Rewashed and dried clothes. Yay. Now I feel fresh and clean in my clothes,” one person wrote. “Low income/no income waiting on disability. Thank you volunteers. This is a much needed service for us homeless and RV people with no extra money.”

Since Laundry Love began in 2002, more than 30,000 laundromats have participated in the charity in some form.

The program is held from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Long Beach Laundromat, 1607 Pacific Highway.

People interested in making a donation to the program can send a check to Peninsula Poverty Response, PO Box 655, Ocean Park, WA 98640 or by visiting its website

The Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America will also be selling coffee to benefit Laundry Love at its bake sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 23 at Ocean Park Lutheran Church, 24002 U Street. Coffee is $15 with $5 going to the Laundry Love program.

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