Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bridging Gaps

Laundry Love - March 4, 2010
It was very busy. Matt (the gracious laundry owner) said he didn't think there were as many people, but I'm pretty sure we were as busy if not more busy than any night before. We went through about $170 in quarters helping with laundry for 10-12 families and bachelors who are having a hard time making ends meet.
Matt usually helps out with repairs and making sure we can get the machines working correctly, but this time he also jumped in helping to pour laundry soap and plugging quarters. My daughter Carolyn came along and mostly took pictures and played with kids, but was also getting into helping plug quarters in machines as well. You can find some of her pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=153703&id=199692411247&saved
We think about living paycheck to paycheck while these families bring in a months worth of laundry so their kids can have some clean clothes to go to school. I noticed while folding clothes with Marciella (mother of family that is there every month) that much of their clothes are permanantly stained, tattered, and just kind of things most of our kids wouldn't wear. And yet the kids and family are happy, and the oldest boy loves to talk and gets excited when telling about his favorite TV programs. Love those kids.
At one point in the evening, Oralia (who doesn't speak much Spanish either) was attempting to connect with Marciella (who doesn't speak English). I'm not sure I understand why, but Marciella pointed at me and told Oralia, he speaks Spanish. I was amazed...in my dozen words of Spanish vocabulary, just attempting to be kind, sharing the work of doing laundry, and smiling thru it all we somehow communicated enough that she thought I was speaking her language.
There were many of the usual families there, which we love reconnecting with every month, but some new faces as well like this young mother with cutest little guy named Ricardo. While Joy (who stopped in after work late in the evening) and I helped her fold her laundry, our daughter Carolyn pushed Ricardo around the laundromat in one of the carts. During the folding, she asks us "why are you doing this?" Searching for answers, the best that came to mind was "we want to help".

3 comments:

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

Thanks for blogging this. I love hearing about what's going on there.

Arizona Bam said...

Great pictures by Carolyn! Thanks for this window into Thursday night, Jim, and thanks for the time and effort you & everybody involved puts into these evenings.

Pocket Hannah said...

I really hope I can go some time! It sounds like so much fun...