Laundry can be never-ending.
It piles up, and it gets expensive.
But once a month, Mayra Gonzalez knows she can wash and dry her clothes for free at a Fort Worth laundromat.
“It really helps me,” Gonzalez said as she did her laundry this past Saturday.
She’s talking about Laundry Love of Fort Worth, a nonprofit that holds an event on the third Saturday of each month at the Super Coin Laundry on Cleburne Road.
The nonprofit provides quarters and detergent for people to wash their clothes.
“Laundry costs a lot of money and everybody needs clean clothes,” said Kelli Graham, a member of St. Christopher Episcopal Church, who started the ministry about two years ago. “A lot of the people really need help. They are very grateful.”
Graham said she decided she wanted to do something after a teacher friend told her about a student who was coming to school in dirty clothes and was picked on by other students because she smelled. She did some research and came across a national organization called Laundry Love, which now has 600 locations nationwide.
Graham told WFAA she sees it as a way of putting the love of Christ in action.
“We are called as people of faith to serve those that are less fortunate than us,” she said.
So once a month, Laundry Love volunteers set up shop in the laundromat. They have a craft table for the kids. There are food and drinks.
Volunteers track the number of loads washed.
“We meet people where they are,” Graham said.
Some of the volunteers are actually former clients, such as Ngoc Tu.
“When I was still a student, I was broke and I didn’t have washing machines in my house,” said Tu, a recent Texas Christian University graduate. “One day I stumbled on Laundry Love and they helped me out … For a broke student, that meant a lot.”
Many of their ministry’s clients are regulars like Gonzalez.
Laundry Love has become like family. She really depends on that helping hand.
“My daughter was born with a heart defect and I also help take care of my mom, who has renal failure,” Gonzalez said.
Her daughter, Analisa, has had three open-heart surgeries, and she can't risk her daughter getting sick.
“She has a compromised immune system so a cold can easily send her to the hospital,” she said.
Gonzalez’ sister, Amparo Gonzalez, is also a regular.
“It’s coming out of their hearts,” she said. “They are thinking about other people and that means a lot really.”
The nonprofit spent about $800 to wash roughly 200 loads of laundry this past Saturday.
For more information, check out the nonprofit’s website, laundrylovefortworth.com, or click on their Facebook page here.