LoveOne Laundry celebrated 1 year since starting in Molalla. Y’all, I just have to say we have the BEST volunteers ever! I need to brag for just a minute and tell you that faithfully these people show up every month to serve and this is nowhere near home for some of them. In fact half of the small handful of volunteers we have are from towns like Sherwood, Gresham, Salem and Woodburn. These volunteers truly love on our neighbors and it’s so neat to watch the relationships build not only among each other as volunteers but also with our neighbors.
We were so happy to see the faces that came out tonight! Some friends we hadn’t seen in some time, and some new ones who will become friends soon. We washed and dried 720 pounds of laundry for 12 families tonight.
This was one of those nights that changed me forever...as I scanned the room seeing where quarters needed to be punched into machines I saw her...she was quiet but a beautiful friendly smile that was unsure if she’d be in the way or maybe wondered if anyone saw her. As we talked I realized that I was looking at my new friend. She has been a street kid since she was 15 and I’m guessing that’s been almost equally as long in years since. She shared pieces of her story with me and explained “what we need is to find a way to get help for signing up for disability when we struggle with mental health issues and people don’t understand that it’s not as easy as it seems to get online or get rides to places.” As she explained I realized this girl had beaten the odds to still even be alive. She was brave and strong and she just looked at me and said “I haven’t found home yet.” Tears welled up in my eyes as I asked what resources we could try and help with or find avenues to ways of help when it gets cold outside. She’s smart to know how to live away from town for safety but it’s tough going 5 weeks without laundry. I gave her my info and said we are fighting to find better ways for you. I asked permission to hug her and she didn’t know how to respond but then accepted and I held her tight and said I am so proud of you for being so brave and getting this far.
Tonight we each learned something interesting and different. After last month's tough post about our event, this month was about grace, forgiveness and redemption. Those three words can be tough to swallow sometimes. It’s not always easy practicing them first hand or being faced with the challenge to rise to them...but if you stop and think don’t we all face these at some level in life sometimes? I know I do and lately it feels like each of those words comes to teach me more every day.
So thank you all for your grace as we have faced our first year in Molalla and now move into what I believe will be our busiest months to come.
We desperately need volunteers or companies, businesses, school groups or clubs to come and host a night serving neighbors. Bring your family or a group of friends and come see how your care can make someone’s week! This is my heartbeat. 💗 Thanks for continuing to reach out to those around you and practice kindness every day because each day is a gift and you are just the gift someone else needs....We love you Molalla!