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Churches plan laundry ministry

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Three local churches are working together to offer a laundry ministry to local people in need.

Jason Thrower, pastor of First United Methodist Church, said the ministry, which also involves First Presbyterian Church and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, will begin in June.

0512-Laundry_LoveThe ministry is patterned after the national ministry Laundry Love, Thrower said. Laundry Love began with a homeless man living in California. When he was asked what someone could do to help him, he replied, “If I had clean clothes, I think people would treat me like a human being.”

In the 12 years since Laundry Love was created, it is estimated that more than 600,000 loads of laundry have been done, and more than 450,000 people have been cared for.

Thrower said it is believed the local effort will be only the second one established in Alabama.

“We are working with Soap Opera Laundry to provide this service,” Thrower said. “On the third Thursday of each month, beginning in June, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., we’ll have representatives of each church on hand to assist with laundry.”

Thrower said detergent and dryer sheets, as well as gift bags for children, will be available. Volunteers will facilitate washing and drying three loads of laundry for those in need.

The ministry was among those charities receiving gifts from the Andalusia Rotary Club earlier this week. Thrower said the organization will rely on contributions to fund the ministry. Signs will be placed in front of Soap Opera on the days the ministry works, he said.