Laundry Love serves storm victims, others

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 10, 2017

Volunteers from three local churches were on hand Thursday afternoon to provide services for those who were affected by Tuesday’s storms and those who needed to wash their clothes at Yellow Ducky Laundromat.

The ministry, which involves First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church had already helped seven people by 5 p.m.

Suzi Mersmann of St. Mary’s said they usually do the Laundry Love ministry once a month, but thought they should reach out to those who were affected by the tornado.

“We heard there may be a need, especially for those living in the RV park,” Mersmann said. “It’s a collaborative effort. We have people here from all three churches.”

Mersmann said they were busy handing out washing detergent, dry sheets and fabric softener.

“We’ll even fold their clothes if they want,” she said.

The churches began the ministry in June 2016.

The national ministry has been around for some 12 year, and it is estimated that more than 600,000 loads of laundry have been done, and more than 450,000 people have been cared for.

St. Mary’s Rector Cindy Howard said they normally service 10-15 families per month.

Danielle Pettie, whose family was displaced by Tuesday’s tornado was grateful for the generosity.

“It’s a big help,” she said. “As you can see, I have five washers full.”

Pettie and her husband, Chris, have three children, and her mother-in-law also was living with them when Tuesday’s tornado ripped their camper apart.

“I appreciate this more than anything,” she said. “It helped me a lot. I was wondering how I was going to get out clothes washed.”