Knox County’s low-income families had some helping hands when The Rotary Club of Farragut members pitched in to do their laundry at Laundry Love Knoxville’s new location, The Wash House, 8035 Kingston Pike in West Knoxville, Tuesday evening, Nov. 5.
The first Tuesday of each month, Rotarian volunteers assist with washing and drying clothes as well as serve food, help with children’s activities and even fold clothes, if needed.
Hardin Valley Academy’s Interact Club also has helped.
“I’m getting the hang of it,” RCF member Mike Fleenor said.
“I think it provides a service that’s much needed,” said his wife, Susan Fleenor, who also volunteered Nov. 5.
“It shows people care,” Mike added. “We take a lot for granted.”
“I consider it a great blessing,” recipient Cindy Jubran said. “The people who take time to do this are angels.”
Looking at others getting their laundry done, she pointed out, “Some of these kids get nothing else to eat all day.”
Jubran added the program also gives volunteers a way to connect to the community while meeting a practical need.
“To me, it is the happiest level of caring,” she said.
Laundry Love Knoxville, established three-and-a-half years ago, is a non-profit program operated by Neighboring Knoxville. Its purpose is to ease the burden of laundry for struggling low-income families, said Garland Pope, co-founder along with Kevin White.
The program has two locations — Bridgewater Laundry, 3721 N. Broadway in North Knoxville, and The Wash House.
“We do laundry for free for roughly 110 people, about 40 to 50 here (in West Knox County) and 60 at the other location,” Pope said. “That works out to about 7,000 to 7,500 pounds of laundry — or three-and-a-half tons — about 60 pounds per household.
Laundry Love volunteers also provide a meal and craft events for the children.
“The Rotary Club sponsors the event by paying for the laundry and doing laundry,” Pope said. ”They’ve been with us for at least a couple years. They’ve been good partners of ours.”
White and Pope, friends and members of Northside Church of Christ in Powell, founded the program after hearing about a similar program that started in California 15 years ago.
“We were looking for some way to serve the community,” Pope recalled. “I thought (Laundry Love) sounded like a nice, practical way to serve the community, so we started doing free laundry in May 2016.”
Laundry Love always is looking for new partners and volunteers. For more information, visit its website at www.laundryloveknoxville.com