Laundry Love lands in Jackson as a way to minister while sorting socks

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – St. John’s Episcopal Church announced it has launched a local laundry ministry.

Beginning this past fall, the Service Committee began a partnership with Laundry Love and the Jackson Laundromat to provide laundry services in the community. St. John’s provides the quarters and detergent for laundry on the second Thursday of every month from 5:30-7:00pm. The next Laundry Love date is fittingly on Valentine’s Day, February 14. There will be light refreshments served and families are welcome.

Rev. Jimmy Bartz

The Laundry Love initiative consists of regular opportunities to come alongside people who are struggling financially by assisting them with their laundry. Laundry Love began in Venice Beach, Calif., as a partnership between groups and local laundromats in cleaning clothes and linens of low-income or no-income families and individuals.

Many of us view the laundromat as a place where strangers become friends, people are known by name, hope is hustled, and the worth of every human being is acknowledged and celebrated. Building on that, Laundry Love has washed 1,300,000 loads of laundry and over 950,000 people served since 2003, with an estimated 72,000 people cared for annually.

Reverend Jimmy Bartz is no stranger to Laundry Love. He founded the congregation Thad’s Church in Santa Monica, Calif., that started a location site in 2013. Bartz refers to Laundry love as the “modern day foot washing.”

For Valentine’s Day this year, Cindy Bartz, Rev. Bartz’s wife, asked if their family of four could spend their holiday at the laundromat.

“I just like serving,” Cindy said. “What’s cool about Laundry Love is we’re not trying to fix everything. We’re offering relief once a month around what most folks find a mundane task. That’s where the love is.”

Laundry Love logo. (Brett Cotter)

Lonnie Brown, store manager for the local thrift shop Browse ‘N Buy, is part of the service committee that launched the program in Jackson.

“We began giving away day passes to the Rec Center for a shower and the idea popped up. We thought…after a nice, hot shower it does not feel good to put on dirty clothes,” Brown said.

For a list of locations in any town, the Laundry Love map helps people who need assistance find a local effort in their town, city or neighborhood.

Brett Cotter, a Laundry Love client, has created a gorgeous new logo for the Jackson Hole community. Cotter said he gets inspiration for his art from everyday life experiences. He’s also motivated by all that is special in his life, physical and spiritual. Cotter said he would like to be remembered as an artist that inspired others to create and be imaginative.

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