Episode 8: Laundry Love, Detergent & Dignity
About the episode
Thank you for listening to the Hingham ‘Cast. Let us introduce you to Laundry Love. It’s a group of volunteers dedicated to helping people who are struggling financially by giving them one simple gift: clean clothes.
Modeled on national non profit, the local chapter is run by volunteers through St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hingham. The initiative was founded in 2003 after founders asked a homeless man how they could help him. He said, “I think if I had clean clothes, people would treat me like a human being.” It was the birth of small, but meaningful initiative that meets people where they are and gives them laundry cards, detergent and other supplies to wash their own clothes without worrying about the expense.
As their clients will tell you, laundry can be an expense that forces them to choose between food, medicine, heat or clean clothes. In this episode, you’ll meet Cynthia, a single mom who has lost hours and wages in Covid while trying to care for her mother, young daughter and finish nursing school. “I usually put it at the end of the list,” she says. “I’m like, alright, let me finish paying everything off. Let me do everything I need to do. And then whatever’s left, I’ll just do my laundry. And sometimes it isn’t enough.”
You’ll also meet volunteers like Chrissy Roberts and Dave Clinton who offer clients supplies, conversation and dignity in tough times. “If this pandemic has taught us anything,” says Roberts, “It’s that life can be short and appreciate the ones you love the things you have. And sometimes that something is as simple as clean clothes.”