Apr 06, 2023Laundry Love: A thumbs up and a smile

Laundry Love: A thumbs up and a smile

Jill Hedge Three-minute read.   Resources

Good Shepherd’s Laundry Days. Their goal is to be a good neighbor to their neighbors.

Stock image of a Laundromat.
Laundromat. Image: Adobe Stock

The first two people of the day that we got to help were two men from Haiti.  When they arrived at the laundromat, I greeted them and gave my usual speech.  “Hi, I’m here with my church, and we’d like to pay for your laundry today.”  I could tell pretty quickly that we had a language barrier. They looked a little confused but allowed me to give them quarters for their three washing machines. 

In that moment we spoke the same language; kindness, humanity, love, respect.

When they were ready to dry their clothes, they waved me over.  They loaded their belongings into three dryers, and I added the quarters.  They asked me, “How much?” pointing to the washers and dryers.  I wasn’t entirely sure what information they wanted.  I thought maybe they wanted to know how much we spent or how much they saved.  I started adding up what was spent, and they reached into their wallets.  They must have thought I was the laundry attendant that provided quarters and that they had to pay me back.  I explained that they didn’t have to pay, it was on us.  After a bit of confusion and awkward glances back and forth, we were on the same page!  One of the men said, “We are Haitian.”  I didn’t know what to say back.  We exchanged a few words.  The other man showed me that he had put our church ‘business card’ in his wallet. 

I returned to my seat and left the men to their laundry.  After about 20 minutes, I looked over to one of the men, to see if they needed more quarters to add to the dryers.  We made eye contact and smiled genuine smiles at each other.  I gave him a thumbs up, as if to say, “All good?”  He returned the thumbs up, and I imagined him replying, “All’s good!”  In that moment we spoke the same language; kindness, humanity, love, respect.  It was a truly precious, heart-warming moment.

And this is what laundry day is all about. 

Jill Hedge is a member of Church of the Good Shepherd in Gladstone. She is the head of the Laundry Day Ministry, started with a $500 grant from the diocese. This ministry has organized three laundry days, with plans to do more in the future. 

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