This post is sponsored by Clorox, all opinions are my own.
Clean clothes – sounds basic right??! Not for the estimated 100,000 people experiencing homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area, who have no access to freshly, laundered clothes.
I’m here to admit that I am guilty of taking this for granted.
Not gonna lie, I’ve complained numerous times about having to get quarters for the machines at my apartment.
I’ve whined about the fact that there is only one washer and dryer for the whole building and it’s downstairs.
It means that I have to go up and down the stairs every 45 or 60 minutes depending on the cycle to change out the clothes, move it over to the dryer, bring it up again to fold. The folding I don’t hate as much, I can watch a show while I’m doing it. It’s the putting it away that’s annoying.
Sucks, right? Yeah, not as much not having clean clothes to wear every day, or not even have anywhere to put them.
This week, I got a wake-up call from The Laundry Truck LA.
The Laundry Truck LA is a free mobile laundry truck providing wash, dry, and fold services to those in need.
It was founded by fashion veteran, Jodie Dolan of DOLAN, who quickly discovered that clean clothing is not only an essential part of healthy hygiene and self-esteem, but it can help restore dignity and hope in our homeless communities and open doors to meaningful opportunities.
Jodie was volunteering with The Shower of Hope when her mission became very clear.
“Seeing people have a beautiful and sometimes transformative shower experience, only to put their dirty clothes back on, gave me an ‘A-ha’ moment. Combining that need with our passion for clothing, I knew exactly how we could make a difference,” says Jodie.
Clean clothes can mean getting a job or housing, it can mean getting a chance.
It can boost self-esteem and give a sense of hope and dignity to those who are experiencing hardship.
I was invited by Clorox as part of their What Comes Next Project to volunteer with The Laundry Truck LA to raise awareness for its mission to service over 6,000 people in its first year. In addition to The Laundry Truck LA, Clorox has partnered with organizations and individuals across the nation who are working on projects, big and small, in their communities that embody the transformative power of clean.
It’s easy to forget and take for granted the basic necessities that we have access to. While I was volunteering, I felt a mix of emotions from guilt and shame to gratitude and compassion.
I felt guilty for not being aware of this problem that people experiencing homelessness are encountering, it wasn’t even something I thought about.
I felt ashamed for complaining about my laundry situation when there were those who had no access to clean clothes.
I suddenly felt grateful that I had a home and access to laundry services, that I could afford to do my laundry and even to have it done for me.
I felt compassion towards those who have no home and have to carry their dirty clothes with them everywhere.
It truly was an eye-opening experience.
After meeting and talking to some people using the truck’s service, I learned that they were so happy to have this service, that they depend on it every week.
Now, every time I fold a shirt, I can’t help but think of all those people out there who could benefit from this service.
It costs roughly $700/day to cover the cost of operating the washers/dryers, transportation to and from the location, insurance, an onsite operations manager, cleaning supplies & laundry detergent.
Here are 3 easy ways you can help The Laundry Truck LA:
1. Make a donation to The Laundry Truck LA on their website to help with operating costs.
2. Shop at DOLAN where 5% of net proceeds will go to The Laundry Truck LA.
3. Start a Facebook fundraiser to generate awareness and start collecting donations.
About The Laundry Truck LA
Access to clean laundry can truly impact lives, making the difference in securing employment and housing. With the LA Fashion District situated alongside the community of Skid Row – and an estimated 100,000 living without shelter, founder Jodie Dolan’s mission became very clear.
Jodie launched The Laundry Truck LA (TLTLA), a free mobile laundry service, to provide individuals experiencing homelessness in the Greater-Los Angeles area with clean clothes.Jodie quickly discovered that clean clothing is not only an essential part of healthy hygiene and self-esteem, but it can help restore dignity and hope in our homeless communities and open doors to meaningful opportunities.
TLTLA currently operates every Thursday at a site in Huntington Park, for up to six hours per day. Working in tandem with The Shower of Hope, The Laundry Truck LA is outfitted with multiple washer and dryer sets.
Through a grant provided by Clorox’s What Comes Next Project initiative, TLTLA is able tofurther its reach starting with the new Saturday service in Highland Park. It will eventually be in service at various locations 3 – 5 days per week, with the capacity to wash and dry more than 5,000 loads of clothing annually. TLTLA is currently serving two locations:
- Thursdays: Parroquia Sagrada Familia, 6401 Rugby Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255
- Saturdays: All Saints Episcopal Church, 5619 Monte Vista St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
About Clorox’s What Comes Next Project
Clean is the beginning for so many – whether it’s a local laundry day, a natural disaster clean up,transforming a home or rehabilitating an animal shelter, but what comes next is clean clothes for families in need, a bright and refreshed home for those who might have faced damage from a storm or are just getting back on their feet in a new subsidized housing project, or the enjoyment of adopting a pet from a clean and healthy environment.
To continue its purpose initiative, Clorox announced the next phase of its Clean Transforms program – What Comes Next Project in 2018.
Under this initiative, Clorox has partnered with organizations and individuals across the nation who are working on projects, big and small, in their communities that embody the transformative power of clean.
To learn more about the What Comes Next Project, please visit www.whatcomesnextproject.com.