Wednesday, May 22, 2024
May 22, 2024

Laundromat gift program one way to help community

By CLARK SAUNDERS

for SSI United Church

It would be hard to find anyone who would deny that the Salt Spring Laundromat, operated by the Wagon Wheel Society, is a great asset to the community.

For people who lack their own laundry — or even shower — facilities, it provides washers, dryers and showers for use at a relatively modest cost.

But what if you are a single-parent family struggling to make ends meet in these inflationary times? What if you are a single person living rough in the cold winter months? Meeting the cost of keeping your clothes clean and providing for your own self-care can be a real challenge. 

Last year, recognizing a need, the Social Justice Committee of Salt Spring Island United Church initiated a program that provides gift cards for people who have trouble meeting these expenses. Distributed at the discretion of community peer support workers and the laundromat staff, the cards have a value of $25 and can be used for any of the services the laundromat provides. Depending on the size of the load, use of a washer can range from $5 to $15, with laundry soap provided. Dryers begin at a rate of one dollar for five minutes. And showers can be set for five, 10 or 15 minutes, at a rate of a dollar per minute. 

For people who have trouble affording the facilities available at the laundromat, the gift cards offer more than practical assistance. They provide the means of achieving a sense of well-being and dignity. And how good does it feel to step out of a hot shower and into some clothes fresh from the dryer?

The Social Justice Committee of the United Church has been engaged in a number of projects that are intended to improve the quality of life for our neighbours on Salt Spring. Supporting the food bank and Family Place and collecting and distributing socks and warm winter clothing are among them. More recently, the United Church has become the venue of a Friday mid-day meal program. The food is supplied and prepared by Community Services and served by volunteers from the Anglican, Unitarian, and United Churches and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Salt Spring Laundromat gift card program is another effort to help meet the needs of people in the community. Last year individuals in the congregation donated $1,100 to the project. Support from others in the wider community is welcome.

Cheques should be made out to “Salt Spring Island United Church” with “Laundromat” on the memo line and can be sent to Salt Spring Island United Church at 111 Hereford Avenue, Salt Spring Island, B.C., V8K 2T3 or handed in at the office during office hours: Tuesday to Friday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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