I can’t begin to express in words everything that laundry night means to me. From pulling into the parking lot and having an army of neighbors at the ready to unload and set up, to those who stay late to wipe down tables and make sure the parking lot is cleaner than when we arrived, I am thankful to call these people my friends.
It’s easy to post numbers, like 53 neighbors served last Tuesday. What’s not so easy is succinctly sharing the stories we hear - the traumas, successes and ability of our neighbors to persevere through situations that break our hearts.
One of our dearly loved neighbors was in a horrific car accident last weekend while on his way to a job out of state. He’d driven most of the way and traded off with one of his co-workers. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital. The car he was in crossed the center line and hit another vehicle, killing everyone he had been traveling with except him. His scalp was detached and his back and neck fractured, securing him a trip to a trauma center via helicopter. After several days in ICU, he tried to reach his partner back here without success. Thankfully he found our contact information online and we were able to go out and find his partner and connect the two of them by phone. Long story short, this neighbor has a long road of recovery ahead and he needs a safe place to rest. Currently he and his partner live in a truck, which is not an option for him as he recovers.
Two neighbors experienced serious vehicle issues this week and do not have the resources to fund repairs. One couple lives in their truck with their doggo, and the other individual recently fled a domestic violence situation and is now in the transitional housing program through Greater Good NW. Thankfully, two locally owned businesses generously agreed to help with the repairs and our neighbors will be back on the road again soon.
On Tuesday night we handed out ice cold water, hygiene supplies and a meal while helping folks with laundry. Special thanks to Laurie and Calen for their help running hygiene and laundry, to Gene for the epic cheese cartoons on the sack meals, and to our youngest volunteer Derek who helped us pass out water before taking a much needed break at the end of the night.
Laundry night is...community. It is a safe place to be come and be heard, to have needs met and to make friends. If we can help, we should.