Updated: Jan 26, 2021
Wednesday night was LoveOne Molalla’s 2nd year of doing free laundry night in our sweet, small town. ❤
We were greeted with wind and rain as we served over 22 families and over 1,440lbs of clean laundry. We talked to many neighbors and the stories kept flooding in of those who have been affected by the recent fires that devastated our community. People, who were already without homes, had to be evacuated to other nearby towns where they stayed in churches and parking lots and waited to hear if the place they called home would still be standing over several days. Many had just come back to town and were cold, hungry, and shared a very common feeling of being lost or paralyzed in fear of “what’s next?"
One man had been without a real shower in so long due to some issues with the well on his property already leading up to the evacuation. We were able to get him information on the use of our local shower cart that visits once a week here at Molalla Warming Center every Monday from 10am to 1pm. He told us of his cat that escaped during evacuation and was hopeful his furry friend would return, but there was no sign of that happening so far. Another neighbor was bravely pushing through her fears by helping others have rides to and from their homes, the store, and the laundromat. One woman, “T,” was without water at her home for some time now and without a job she just needed some extra help with clean laundry.
One of our volunteers provided cupcakes and made every cold and tired soul so happy to see such a colorful treat awaiting them. A few of our homeless neighbors came back and finally opened up and let us talk and give them nourishment and resources to make it through whatever next may come. People who I have been seeing and serving for years were there and realizing we only want to help and serve with no questions asked and just warm hearts to help through this storm.
This was by far one of the best moments and a memory I will hold onto for the rest of my life. We all shared the same hope and had the same weary look. Tears were shed, smiles were had, and friendships were made. We do not know the exact path another travels, but we all bleed the same, we all love our community, and we all can help each other out even if just for a night or a week or a lifetime of love and friendship. We are not so very different at the end of each day. We all have basic human needs...to eat, to sleep and to be cared about, especially after such a storm as this.
Molalla Strong is what we are! Resilient, determined and good hearted. Last night changed me again. Thank you to our local neighbors, volunteers, businesses and neighboring towns who helped provide resources, help, and love through these difficult times. When we have each other and people who help fight for us when we can’t it’s really not such difficult times in fact we become changed by that kindness and selflessness in a way we normally never would without the challenges we face. I love these people. I love this town. Thank you just isn’t enough but it’s sometimes all we’ve got. ❤