A new assistance program aims to get people to cleaners – the right way.
The first Laundry with TLC event is scheduled for Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the EZ Duz It Laundromat located at 2098 Elm Street behind Walgreen’s in Yankton.
Anyone or family who needs help covering the cost of laundry can be provided with enough detergent and parts for three loads of laundry. The event is expected to repeat on the fourth Tuesday of each month, according to the group’s flyer.
At today’s prices, a load of laundry costs about $ 2.50 to wash and about $ 1.50 to dry.
Imagine how many loads of laundry people with a washer and dryer at home throw away without thinking about it, said Joan Schild, one of the group’s organizers.
Funds donated by members of the Trinity Lutheran Church will be used to provide laundry assistance to 36 people during the four-hour event. Participants are encouraged to show up sooner rather than later in order to have time to shop.
If there is a need, a second monthly event could potentially be added, Schild said.
“The pastor said in his sermon on Saturday that he was speaking to a young mother about the need for this ministry,” she said. “She (talked about) how much it costs her to do her laundry and the dignity you have when you have clean clothes and look beautiful.”
To participate, people basically have to show up with laundry, she said.
“When they get to the laundromat, we assign the washers to them,” Schild said, noting that there will be a basket to show how much laundry goes in a load. “We give them a bag that has the required amount of money and the detergent pod is in there, and they do their laundry.”
Drying works much the same way, with organizers handing out a bag with a dryer sheet and the number of wedges needed, which will depend on the size of the dryer, she said.
The idea for “Laundry with TLC” grew out of a trip to Sioux Falls, Trinity Lutheran Church financial secretary Lilah Gillis told Press & Dakotan.
“The Church on the Street (COTS) ministry in Sioux Falls does laundry with love,” she said. “I saw his ad last summer for the first time and thought it was a good idea. It took me a few months for that to seep in before I was like, ‘Hey, why don’t we do that here in Yankton?’ “
COTS ministry brings the gospel to those who might not feel comfortable or welcome in an indoor church, according to its website.
“’Laundry of Love’ had really become a big deal in Sioux Falls and a lot of people were using the ministry,” said co-host Vivian Westgard. “We went up there and spent a few hours with them while they did it.”
But, she said, the group is not yet sure how it will play out in the Yankton community or how big the event will be.
“They focus primarily on the homeless people who come to their Church on the Street services, rather than the whole community,” said Gillis. “So it might get more important, but God will provide. “
For more information, call Trinity Lutheran Church at 605-665-7415.