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Police officers, nonprofit team up to offer free laundry services in St. Pete

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Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 24, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Clean laundry is something most of us take for granted. Yet, for some families, it’s more of a luxury than a regularity.

Wednesday, two local groups came together to make a difference…one load of laundry at a time.

Inside A & W Laundromat on Martin Luther King Jr. Street South in South St. Pete, Officers Josh Hall and Dianeka Jones spent the afternoon adding quarter after quarter to the washers and dryers and bringing smiles to dozens of families.

“Just putting the quarters and seeing their reaction it’s priceless!” Officer Jones said while beaming.

The St. Petersburg Police Department teamed up with Current Initiatives Laundry Project to help 35 families wash and dry 321 loads of laundry Wednesday.

“It’s funny because they see us in here and they don’t expect to see us in there helping them so it kind of feels fun,” Officer Hall explained.

The two groups are working to ensure families don’t have to choose between warm meal and clean clothes on Thanksgiving week.

“Clean laundry is one of those things that’s an overlooked need. We don’t think about until we really need it like until our washer breaks down, but for a lot of families clean laundry is a luxury not a regularity,” Jason Sowell, the CEO of the Current Initiatives Laundry Project elaborated.

Darryl Walls lives in South St. Pete and he said he was shocked to see the kind gesture. “We really appreciate it because of hard times with the covid and all of that, people really need this it is hard times.”With each spin cycle, the volunteers bring hope, dignity…and bridge new friendships.

“The community always sees the bad side of policing but we want to be out there in the good light and this is helping,” Officer Jones added.

With many more laundry projects planned in the near future, it is giving families across Tampa Bay one more reason to be thankful.

The next Laundry Project is Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Big Load Laundry at 2501 N Tampa Street in Tampa.

To find similar events, you can visit laundrybycurrent.org.