Loads of Love
by Shawna Goldstein
The piles of laundry often seem endless as we shuffle them from washer to dryer. But to some, this would be a luxury. There are many families in our community who lug their dirty laundry across town, through cold or rain, to do their wash at a laundromat.
Missy Kowitz believes this is a perfect place to shine Jesus’ love to others. She first had the idea to launch a Bible study in a laundromat years ago, but it never came to fruition. When asked why do ministry in a laundromat, she says, “It stemmed from my own experiences at laundromats when living in apartments, and how inconvenient it really is. I know it is a huge expense on top of the inconvenience. It seems like such an easy way to make a difference in someone’s day.”
One day not too long ago Missy mentioned this vision in a conversation with Debbie Klaene and Shawna Goldstein. Debbie jumped on board immediately. Debbie says, “It addresses one of the small needs of everyday life. Sometimes ministry efforts are big and grand (such as building walls for houses, or digging wells for water in foreign countries), but this ministry is a slice of reality on a small scale.”
A Ministry Begins
Out of this initial conversation with three women in a coffee shop, a ministry was born. This fall, the women’s ministry at Christ’s Church launched “Loads of Love,” a laundromat ministry based at the Fresh Express Coin Laundry in Lebanon. On Mondays a small group of women head into the laundromat and gift others with a bag of quarters, detergent, and dryer sheets to cover two loads of laundry (a cost of over $10).
Initially, Debbie and Missy had their fears. They worried that they wouldn’t have enough bags to hand out to everyone. Or that they’d hurt someone’s pride by offering assistance when they didn’t want it. They weren’t sure they’d know what to say when giving out the bags.
But God has shown up, as he always does! Debbie shares of a touching encounter she had the first night at the laundromat: “One of the women teared up when I offered her the Loads of Love bag. She told me she had just left her husband of 30 years and was moving the next afternoon to a women’s shelter. She was very appreciative for the help to get her bedding and clothes washed so everything would be clean when she went to the shelter. When she allowed me to help her fold her clothes, this small, personal act made a big impact on my heart. I will not forget this first experience at the laundromat. The woman’s positive attitude impressed me, too. She mentioned several times that she was uncertain of her future but felt strongly that it would work out for the best.”
Missy recalls her interaction with another guest: “After receiving one of our bags, a woman came to us asking to buy more quarters, as she had only dollar bills and the dollar changer wasn’t working. A gentleman whom we had given a bag to earlier was quick to offer up his roll of quarters that he didn’t need. While we would have given her a second bag, she only need one roll of quarters. She was so thankful we were there that night as she didn’t have a single quarter (only bills) and would have had to take her four loads of dirty laundry home, had we not been there.”
Baskets of Blessings
Missy says her involvement with this ministry, “has taught me how a very small act can start a ripple in the waters of kindness.” Debbie shares, “A little act of kindness can bring out huge smiles of gratitude and joy in others. I hope the impact on those we gifted the bags to was even one-tenth as positive for them as it was for me.”
Often at Christ’s Church we talk about reaching the 61,000 people within a 10-mile radius of our church who don’t believe in Jesus. Showing love at a local laundromat has already proven to be a very easy and practical way to do just that. Each bag of laundry supplies and quarters that is handed out also contains a card with information on how to engage at Christ’s Church.
We may never know the eternal impact that Loads of Love will have on our community, but we can know the impact it has on those who serve. “Spending an evening at the laundromat is as good for me as it is for those washing their clothes. Lending a hand to people makes both of you feel good,” shares Missy.
Missy and Debbie are putting into practice the Great Commission, to go into the world to make disciples by stepping out into the community to love people practically—just as Jesus would. Would you like to step outside your comfort zone and serve others at the laundromat? If so, you can register here. Could you sponsor one family’s laundry ($10), one night at the laundromat ($100), or something in between? You can give at: paypal.me/laundryministry.
Loads of Love is just one of the ways the women of Christ’s Church are making a difference in people’s lives. Join us at our Movie Night November 20 in the chapel of Christ’s Church, or sign up for our next session of Bible study or Moms’ Group! Want more information? Contact Shawna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawna Goldstein is a mom of three boys, wife to Chad, and the women’s ministry coordinator at Christ’s Church.