The Laundry Project helps lower-income Santa Barbarans with free a wash
On Saturday, Current Initiatives washed tons of laundry free of charge for Santa Barbara residents at the Wash & Fun Laundromat in Santa Barbara. This was the second time that Current Initiatives has hosted this project in Santa Barbara, the first time being in the fall of 2021.
“It went really well, very busy, we had a little over 600 loads for 60 families today,” Jason Sowell, founder and CEO of Current Initiatives, told the News-Press.
Mr. Sowell started the Laundry Project in 2008, when he had his first experience at a laundromat while visiting some friends. Mr. Sowell grew up without having to use a laundromat, and so this experience interacting with the families there opened his eyes to the reality that many families face on a weekly basis of buying groceries or washing their clothes.
The Laundry Project is designed to bolster the wellbeing of the community by easing the financial burden of laundry for families that are forced to choose between feeding their children and cleaning their clothes. Clean laundry is more than an ongoing financial burden for many lower income Santa Barbara families.
Jushi Holdings, Inc. is the partnering sponsor with volunteers from Beyond/Hello assisting with laundry services. This is the second Laundry Project event in Santa Barbara since Current Initiatives and Jushi partnered to provide clean laundry to the community.
“Santa Barbara is not lower-income, but every city has families that fall into that category … especially post-pandemic with skyrocketing gas prices. Some families forgo lunch or dinner, so that they can wash their kids’ clothes and send them to school,” said Mr. Sowell.
Since 2008, the Laundry Project has washed more than 219,000 loads of laundry for over 21,000 families, in 840 laundry service projects nationwide. Contributions from the community are always appreciated and donations of detergent, quarters (rolls of $10), garbage bags, coloring books, crayons, fabric softener and laundry baskets are continuously needed.
The Laundry Project brings renewed hope to thousands of people nationwide by providing the funds and cleaning products necessary to wash and dry laundry for anyone in need by creating a caring space at the laundromat.
Current Initiatives has plans to continue hosting this event in Santa Barbara.
“Our goal is at least twice a year. We would like to get to once a quarter,” said Mr. Sowell.
The Laundry project has taken place in about 15 different states and 50 cities since 2008. The headquarters are in Tampa, Fla., but the project has taken place in major cities such as Las Vegas Des Moines, Iowa., Austin, Tex., Chicago, Ill., Cleveland, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pen., Seattle, Wash., New York, NY, Albuquerque, NM, and Nashville, Tenn., among many others. While many of the cities themselves are not low income, there is still a percentage of the population that is low income. Also similar to Tampa, FL, there may be low-income pockets of the population in high-income neighborhoods, Mr. Sowell explained.
Current Initiatives is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in Florida that started with young adults committed to educating others on current social initiatives and then mobilizing them to bring about change.
“We are always looking for volunteers and more people to be involved so that we can continue to do this for as many people as we can as often as we can,” said Mr. Sowell.
If you would like to volunteer you can go to www.laundrybycurrent.org.