Laundry Love Reflections: Fran Belden
I had hoped to be involved with Laundry Love from the time Grace first started the mission project, but our life got in the way, and October was my first opportunity to do so.
Catherine provided valuable advice by suggesting I work the second shift as first is usually “pretty hectic” (her words). I arrived early, assuming I could watch the others, gain my bearings, and be completely informed by my time to start. Let me just say it wasn’t quite that simple.
There were a total of 35 people,, and while I only had a small portion of those, I was still quite awkward remembering each person’s name, where their washer was and how close they were to finishing and thus needing a dryer, especially since most dryers were still in use. After a while I learned to balance the plastic butter tub holding the quarters entrusted to me, along with slips of paper, each with a name identifying “my people”, and a writing pen. (A word to the wise: always bring lots of pockets as hands must be free!)
I’m finding it hard to express why I enjoy this type of ministry so much. The people who brought in their laundry were largely appreciative, patient, and delightful to get to know. I didn’t have one person assigned to me with whom there wasn’t an some type of connection and a desire to know better. From their ease in conversation I believe that feeling was returned.They asked about Grace and seemed extremely interested that this is one of our missions.
I was tired afterwards, but it was that really good type of tired. I mean the kind where you think “Wow, I was ready to be through.” That thought was almost immediately followed by “I can hardly wait to do it again.” A little over two hours of my time provided some of the best therapy I know where to find.