Starting 6 am and lasting until approx. 9 pm, over 150+ volunteers gathered to spend a little time giving back to our community.
It was truly a special day that began with distributing meals throughout NW Arkansas to…
- those who are served through Laundry Love Springdale
- Peace at Home Shelter
- Springdale Housing Authority
- Individual families who could not come to World Garden
Then at 12 pm, 3 pm and 6 pm people came to sit and enjoy an incredible meal surrounded by friends, family, music and joy. We asked some of the volunteers why they had come to spend Thanksgiving this way…
we did grab a few pictures of the evening and volunteers, but out of respect for the privacy of those that came to eat we tried to stay out of the way.
It was a great evening, and we had a chance to grab a few minutes with Rick the evening before to hear a few words from him.
To all of the people who gave of their time & resources we are super appreciative. We could not have come together in such a way without you. And an extra thank you to some of the sponsors that gave without any expectation of anything in return…you are incredible.
- Tankersley Food Service
- Thomas Brothers Produce
- Coldstone Creamery
- Model Laundry & Dry Cleaners
- Bloom Florist
- Shirley’s Florist
- Signed, Sealed & Delivered
- Metro Market
- John Brown University
- The Jones Center for Families
- Walmart Stores
- Sam’s Club
- World Garden
A special thanks to Just One for listening to the needs of their community from which Laundry Love emerged
The past couple weeks have been exciting as the efforts by the remarkable people involved in Laundry Love have continued to be an example of why we continue to move along.
We have a couple short stories to share (this is the first); however, before we share them we have a disclaimer.
"This posting will not do these stories anywhere close to the justice they deserve."
The first story started in Sept of 2008 when first Laundry Love in NW Arkansas off the ground. Since then, they have continued to return to this little laundromat in South Fayetteville with no other agenda other than to be a small light of hope for people in our community who may need a little encouragement.
Here is Ryan’s account of how that has developed over the past year into this past Sunday’s activities…
Today we had the pleasure of serving some homeless friends that we have met at LLP Fayetteville. The police came to their tent site recently and told them they needed to vacate by last Monday. We were able to extend their eviction date for a week, hopefully more, by going into the woods and cleaning up the trash. We hauled off a heaping truckload of trash, old tents, old sleeping bags, old clothes, etc.
Afterwards we were able to provide them new tents, new sleeping bags, new socks, new underwear, and new jackets for the winter (as a result of the Community D.C. efforts). We finished the day with a delicious lunch at Charlie’s Chicken.
One man had been homeless for twenty years, another couple since a job layoff due to Hurricane Ike, and a couple others who have been doing their best to mantain jobs while being homeless (a task much harder than it might seem). Think about it….. If you lost your job and couldn’t find one for 6 months, were would you be? Some people can turn to family and friends, some can’t.
Thank you to Brian, Aaron, and Rob for your willingness to give up your time and some cash. You guys inspire me and remind me of all the good people who will help in the future.
Lastly, as the temps dropped and the rain started to fall this evening, I can’t stop thinking about our friends in the woods.
As Aaron put it, “I used to love the rain at night, but tonight I’m finding it hard to rest.”
This is just one or many examples of how relationships that began over some clothes that needed to be washed are truly going beyond Laundry Love, and I know this story has many chapters yet to be written.
The true measure that will determine if we are making an impact in our community will not be found in the “big-ness” or number of Laundry Love’s that we hold in NW Arkansas. The true measure of progress will be determined by the moments that we are able to meet a friend in a time of need and be a part of their story.
If you would like more information on Laundry Love or how to get involved in NW Arkansas, please visit the Laundry Love initiative page. For more insight into what homelessness looks like in NW Arkansas, spent a little time on David Lanier’s blog site “Coping with Homelessness“.
the thunder of those bikes signaled that fast approaching company that was lending a helping hand as we were joined by the “Bikers Against Child Abuse“. What an incredible crew that was united by the desire to make sure that “No Child Should Live in Fear.”
We took a few pictures to share…
After all had settled and the leaves were gathered in nice, neat piles…we heard the voices of children. Children who knew what piles of leaves were for.
…and if the entire day’s work was done just to make a pile of leaves for the children to jump into, that was a great day.
We did have an unexpected surprise because as we were pulling out, the gathering & distribution team from The Garden initiative rolled in with couple hundred pounds of food. I had the chance to grab a few minutes with Tyler Steele to hear about what he was up to that day and all the places they had visited.
Can’t express how incredible it was to see Tyler’s truck roll in and see that food (free food) go right to those who can use it to save a lot of money that is now able to be spent on the pursuit of their vision & mission…ending Child Abuse and provide a safe place for women & children during a crisis.
Not sure it get’s much bettter than this. We’ll be back the second Saturday of December and you’re welcome to come an join in the fun. You’re even welcome to jump into the leaves.
What an amazing to watch the Springdale Laundry Love kick off at the Park Street Laundromat. Hearing the stories it is clear that in one day a new community is beginning to form.
The Springdale team was blessed to received a generous donations from KLRC & Arvest Bank…read about it here.
Here’s a first hand account of the day and some pictures…
From Amy Glover…
Here’s a couple of short stories. I had a chance to visit with “G” who used to have a great job as a truck driver. He’s originally from Louisana and everything was great, until Katrina hit. Now he’s here, a grown man, with 2 roommates just to make it. He was all smiles Saturday. It was like he had received the best gift ever and all it took was a few quarters to do ONE load of laundry!
Another one, one I didn’t expect, came from Rick, the owner. He stayed the entire time Saturday, helping and serving. After things had slowed down I had a chance to ask him what he thought. He said that he hadn’t had that many people in the mat at once since the ice storm. I think he was in shock! I just pray he and his family were blessed! He actually got the giving fever, and opened up some cheetohs and drinks for everybody and even offered to open up his machines to get more quarters out!
The last one is about a man whom we met a week before the initiative started. We were in the mat looking around, checking everything out. In walks this burly man with a huge smile on his face. He speaks to us immediately as he puts in his one load of clothes. He tells us how he is down to his last pair of clean pants, as he doesn’t have many clothes. We make small talk and eventually tell him what will be taking place in just a few short days. He got very excited, and though he didn’t show up on Saturday, we know we will see him soon!
And of course, the precious kids! How excited they were just to receive love! The toys, the quarters for video games, coloring books, and DONUTS!!!! They truly brought some joy into that place!!!!
I could tell more, but I’m sure we all could fill up pages with stories!!
To find out how to get involved in Laundry Love Project in NW Arkansas, visit the initiative page for details…
To find out more about Laundry Love, please visit the Initiative Page on the Cobblestone Project website.
Watch for a Story about the 1st Springdale Laundry Love
Laundry Love Project is hosted by Cobblestone Project but created by Just One
For more information on how to get plugged in with The Garden feeding initiative visit the initiative page