All evening long a little boy with the cutest curly afro ran up and down the aisle of the laundromat. His energy level was one not for the faint of heart. Ms. Q, as families call her, entered the laundromat greeted by him enjoying the view from the floor.
Libraries Without Borders, Laundry Cares and Brilliant Detroit have given families access to free laundry days based around improving literacy rates in urban communities all over the country. Ms. Q coordinated this one for the Hope Village Community.
Fun, books, computers full of literacy games, face-painting and free food were the highlights for the evening. Parents enjoyed free laundry and literacy activities for the children.
Dad smiled while sitting in the very back of the laundromat quietly watching his son enjoy himself. His daughter, a butterfly adorning her forehead, painted in an array of colors as she created a little book with the Brilliant Detroit Staff.
A “huge success” can’t begin to explain the impact on the community.
A DJ played music right behind the registration table for sign-in. A large grill full of chicken and a food truck serving chips, waters and hot dogs with fancy fixing — you know, the gourmet kind. Parents filled the building and washed anywhere from 4-6 loads totally free. Washing powder, fabric softener, and laundry bags were given upon entry and at least 30 volunteers assisted them.
Every ½ hour a raffle ticket was pulled and children won gifts, all free for children to take home. Brand new bikes, gift certificates for haircuts, and hairstyles and pampering packages for parents were received with bursts of “I’m the winner!” It was awesome.
At one point there were so many people in line, the hosts began to give out gift cards for families to return another day, compliments of Laundry Cares.
.Jeff Gardner shared his passion for children having access to literacy. The chair of the Board of Directors for Laundry Cares has coordinated events for families all over the country. His colleagues were most recently in Houston, Texas, with families affected by Hurricane Irma.
Cindy Eggleton of Brilliant Detroit (disclaimer: my new boss) hosted weekly Libraries Without Borders event over the summer at a local Wash and Fold. Whatever it takes to get children to read and help build success neighborhoods is not only her goal but her passion. I was honored to be there to serve families.
Beautiful faces painted
Unlimited books to take home
And clean clothes all for free.
Who would’ve thought that washing clothes with strangers could be so much fun?