On the hot afternoon of June 19, 2018, more than 70 volunteers gathered at a local laundromat in the City of Brotherly Love to help the local community gain improved access to clean clothes and children’s literacy. The owners of The Laundry Café at 400 W. Allegheny Ave., Philadelphia, PA – Brian Holland, Tyrone Akins, and Ray Chamberlain – hosted a LaundryCares Foundation Free Laundry Day for more than five hours, helping hundreds of people in need within the community to wash their clothes, grab a bite to eat, be entertained, and enjoy books and learning activities for kids.

This flagship event for LaundryCares was possible because of the hard work and dedication of the The Laundry Café team, a group of volunteers culled from across the country, generous members of the local neighborhood, donations and sponsorship from various manufacturers, and members of the Coin Laundry Association Board of Directors and staff. Together, more than 16,000 pounds of laundry were washed and dried, keeping the machines of The Laundry Café busy non-stop for the entire duration.

In addition to providing laundry services, LaundryCares – in partnership with organizations such as Too Small to Fail, Libraries Without Borders, Read by 4th, Fab Youth Philly, and Encore.org – kept children and families engaged at the laundromat with talking, reading books, singing songs, making art, and playing games. According to Jane Park Woo of Too Small to Fail, “Every child was able to go home with at least two books of their choice and beautiful writing kits developed by our friends at Teaching Beyond the Square!” Furthermore, children’s author, motivational speaker, and storyteller Nahjee Grant interacted with the kids and signed copies of his books, including the popular title Aron Goes to the White House Science Fair.

Additionally, food, beverages, and shelter from the oppressive heat were offered to all who participated. Local law enforcement officials provided security and engaged with patrons. Much sweat, soap, and love went into making this a memorable experience for the good people of Philly.

Gallery

Check out these photos of the event.

The LaundryCares Foundation would like to thank laundry owners Brian Holland, Tyrone Akins, Ray Chamberlain and their families for being such wonderful hosts for this Free Laundry Day. Also, the organization thanks Vend-Rite Manufacturing for donating the soap and other consumables and Spector Textile Products for providing high-quality complimentary laundry bags to participating families. Finally, LaundryCares is grateful to all who generously donated their time and money as volunteers and as donors.

Another similar Free Laundry Day event is expected in the autumn of 2018. If you would like to get involved to help the LaundryCares Foundation’s efforts to provide laundry services to those in need and to use the local coin-operated laundry as a conduit for early childhood learning and development, please click the button below to donate, volunteer, or become a hosting laundromat.

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