A church and laundromat are teaming up to make sure people in Macon have clean clothes

For many people, doing the laundry simply means heading to the laundry room and tossing dirty clothes into the washer with some detergent. If you can’t afford to buy a washer and dryer, laundry supplies or you’re homeless, laundry day can be a lot more difficult.

Laundry Depot and Divine Presence Worship Center on Rocky Creek Road are helping.

“We decided to take the program on in order to help people have clean clothes,” said June Martin, a senior pastor at the church. “A lot of times you think about food. You think about a lot of other things, a roof over their head, different things of that nature, but we don’t think about the importance of having clean clothes.”

The Macon program started in spring 2018 as a group community project with the church taking over late last year.

Martin said her personal desire to help was a result of watching something on television about a school that was having high absenteeism. She said the research found that children who didn’t have clean clothes would skip school because of bullying.

“When they created a program for the kids to be able to wash their clothes at that school, the absenteeism dropped, their grades raised and different things like that occurred,” she said.

The Macon program is a part of a larger organization with 330 active locations across the United States.

“Laundry Love is a national movement that washes the clothes and bedding of low- or no-income families, children and persons. It was started 16 years ago now in Ventura, California,” said Greg Russinger, co-founder and board president. “And it all started in a conversation that ... a group of us had with some people that was experiencing some fiscal and financial housing struggles. One of the individuals just said, ‘If I had clean clothes I think people would treat me as a human being,’ and that launched the whole idea.”

The free program offered at Laundry Depot, primarily funded by donations, offers people up to $10 worth of free washing and drying.

“We go and put the money in the washing machine up to $10. They can wash, dry, whatever is necessary as long as it does not go over the $10,” Martin said. “We provide laundry detergent, bleach, fabric softener sheets.”

She said the local program even offers those using the service a snack while they’re doing laundry.

So far, an estimated amount of 160 people have benefited from the Laundry Love program in Macon.

“The program is available to anyone that needs the service. They don’t have to prove anything to us. They just come and give their first name, and we’ll take care of them to the best of our ability,” Martin said.

The program is offered from 4:30-8 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. The laundromat is located at 1540 Rocky Creek Road.

“We want everybody to know that this is a very simple way to really create small moments every month to where people feel cared for, where there’s some hope, where they feel seen, they feel dignified, there’s a sense of worth about who they are,” Russinger said.

To donate to Macon’s Laundry Love program go to www.purecharity.com/laundry-love-donations-3.

For more information, contact June Martin at juneamartin37@gmail.com

Anisah Muhammad is an intern reporter at The Telegraph, a journalism major at Mercer University, a self-published author, a spoken word poet and the co-founder of an online magazine.