Backstory of us
My name is Stefani Jackson, the founder of Laundry Love Hamilton. Laundry Love Hamilton is a nonprofit organization that’s mission is to “Restore Dignity one load at a time”. We offer the homeless and low- income individuals and/or families an opportunity to come into Fast & Fluffy to wash their laundry and bedding for free. This allows the individual and families to redirect funds toward food, household bills, gas, and other necessities. Restoring dignity to those who have lost it is critical... As of March 2020, the start of the COVID epidemic, we went from holding two face to face events a month to having our guests make appointments to ensure they were still able to clean their clothes and have dignity.
We have seen a significate increase in guest since landlords are choosing to sell their homes and leaving the tenants homeless. The housing shortage is not only in Montana but with the low wages in the Bitterroot it makes it difficult to make ends meet. This is where our service is beneficial. In addition to offering free laundry, we hand out hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, hand sanitizer etc. Bomba has chosen us the 3rd year in a row to donate socks to us. They send sizes extra small to extra-large. These are a huge hit with not only our guests but with, children at head start, valley schools and medical offices.
Our low-income guest that has housing are faced with choosing between having clean laundry or scraping together funds to buy school clothes, paying household bills and school supplies. Since starting Laundry Love Hamilton in February 2019, we have watched guest come through the doors of the laundromat with their heads hung down and quietly stating they were there for Laundry Love Hamilton. My volunteers and I would walk with them to a machine explaining how our service works and asking them if they would like any donations we had to hand out. This usually ended up into a conversation of venting and we would always listen to them without an agenda. They don't need us to solve their problems they need someone to take the time to listen. Each visit leads to mutual respect and trust. We want all of them to feel comfortable to come back and keep up on their laundry. After their laundry is done it always ends with their heads held high, smiles on their faces and us watching them reaching for a piece of the laundry to smell as they put it in their cars.
With school started having clean laundry not only benefits adults but children too. Children should be able to attend school with confidence that the clothes they are wearing are clean and not stinky. These children will feel confident to attend school more consistently, test scores will go up and they will be bullied less.
Think about the last load of laundry you did at your house. Was it a daunting chore that you needed to do? I personally take for granted that I can push my wrinkle button on my dryer to take the wrinkles out because I left them in there from the day before.
Since starting laundry Love Hamilton, I have learned from my guests that having clean laundry and bedding is considered a luxury to them. They say they just don't have enough money to go around. Our homeless neighbors enjoy coming in for the interaction as they wash what little clothes they have. Our hygiene items, water and blankets are a huge hit for them. We get some great stories of their past and what led them to where they are.
Your donation would be greatly appreciated by not only us but all the guests that benefit from the supplies. Your grant will be used for quarters, laundry detergent, fabric softener and hygiene items we hand out. Our nonprofit stays successful helping our neighbors through grants, generous donations from businesses and our community. Thank you for taking the time to consider us for a grant.