KAPAA — When trying to find a way to help the community, the Rev. Ryan Newman of All Saints Episcopal Church wanted to be different.
“While other charitable groups primarily focus on food, we thought we would help out in a different way,” Newman said. “And who doesn’t deserve a shower and clean clothes?”
With that question in mind, church volunteers started helping less-fortunate Kauai residents do their laundry. And last month marked two years of Laundry Love Kauai.
The group meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kapaa Laundromat, where they complete around 90 loads of laundry.
David Murray, originally from Washington, D.C., has been volunteering since the program began.
“I didn’t have a community like this back in D.C.,” Murray said. “There were churches, of course, but they didn’t have the community feel like All Saint’s does.”
The idea for Laundry Love began at an Episcopal church in Ventura, Calif., and has grown into a national outreach phenomenon. Now, hundreds of churches, synagogues, mosques and civic associations around the country have partnered with laundromats to adopt the program.
Since the beginning of Laundry Love Kauai, volunteers have done over 4,000 loads of laundry for those who need the assistance.
The next laundry gathering will take place at Kapaa Laundromat on Aug. 2.
For laundry, snacks or just some pleasant conversation, you can find the All Saints volunteers hard at work with a smile.
“If you have a desire to do laundry, this is the place for you,” Murray said.