Laundry Love free laundry service set for Aug. 16

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017


It’s that time again! Trinity Episcopal Church and Suds R Us are partnering once again to bring Laundry Love to the Clanton community Aug. 16 from 4 to 7 p.m at Suds R Us in Clanton.

Part of a national ecumenical service ministry, Laundry Love has been providing families with three hours of unlimited free laundry at the Suds R Us Laundromat each quarter year since August 2015.

“We have done it now eight times, so the one on the 16th will be our ninth time,” Laundry Love coordinator and Trinity Episcopal Church vestry member Janet Pandzik said.

“We actually pay for the washers, the dryers, we give them soap, we give them laundry sheets,” Pandzik said.

“We don’t do the laundry, we go and put the money in the machines and then we just pay for everything,” she said.

Pandzik said Tom Cuthbert, owner of Suds R Us, splits half of the expense of the outreach with the church.

“Because he had been wanting to start a ministry like this for a while, and just didn’t have a group that was willing to come up and go out and be there,” Pandzik said.

“And we have a lot of people from our parish that like to go out and help handing out drying sheets, talking to the children, and we have crayons and coloring books for the kids to keep them occupied.”

Pandzik said that Trinity and Cuthbert try to schedule Laundry Love around times such as the start of August and January when children need clean clothes for going back to school.

“And we also realize that right now is such an expensive time for families because they have to get all the back to school stuff, and going to a Laundromat is not inexpensive.”

Due to busy outreach activities by the church, this quarter’s Laundry Love will be one week later than usual.

Pandzik said Trinity does a free “Beans and Rice” provision outreach the first Saturday of each month. The church used that time to initially advertise Laundry Love.

“That’s how we started it, and now it’s by word of mouth,” she said.

On Maundy Thursday during Holy Week, Trinity holds a special service during Laundry Love, or “Maundy Laundry”. Communion is served and clothes are washed in lieu of feet.

Pandzik said that a parishioner introduced the Laundry Love idea to the church after learning of it from a church she visited while with a friend in Florida.

“And we’re not doing it quite like them,” Pandzik said. “I think that every group that does it, does it a little differently. But we were the first church in the Alabama diocese to have done Laundry love,” the parishioner said.

Since then, about three or four more churches in Alabama have begun doing Laundry Love.

“So that’s pretty exciting,” Pandzik said. “It’s kind of like, where you plant a seed, you know, things grow and flourish.”

Pandzik said her favorite part of Laundry Love is witnessing the impact it leaves on families.

“Some of them have come in and they don’t know it’s going to happen, and they are just overwhelmed by it,” she said.

“Just seeing the people and talking with the people — that’s what’s fun,” she said. “That’s what’s rewarding — is we’re just sharing God’s love and not asking anything in return.”