PEI

Loads of Love offers laundry service so low-income families can 'enjoy a break'

The Fluff n' Fold Laundromat in Charlottetown will likely be a busy, joyful place May 5 as a team of volunteers takes care of laundry chores so parents can spend time with their kids.

'Any time that I'm feeling down the best way to feel better is to do something for someone else'

The Loads of Love volunteers say they will wash, dry and fold two loads of laundry for any families who need a break , Sunday May 5 from noon until 4 p.m. (Pung/Shutterstock)

The Fluff n' Fold Laundromat in Charlottetown will likely be a busy, joyful place May 5 as a team of volunteers takes care of laundry chores, so parents can spend time with their kids at a nearby indoor playground.

Friends Rose Barbour, Roni Power and Emily Howard want to offer free laundry service for families who could use a hand.

"We're going to try to give parents a break," said Barbour, who came up with the plan after seeing a notice on Facebook about a similar event in the U.S.

'You know how the laundry piles up'

The women have already gathered several volunteers to help do the laundry, and have received donations of soap and fabric softener sheets after putting out a call on social media.

And Preston Murphy Trucking & Loading in West Prince has donated $500 to run the washers and dryers, and to give parents passes to nearby indoor playground Panda Fun, which has offered discounts for the event. 

Doing laundry can be expensive and can keep parents stuck at home. (hedgehog94/Shutterstock)

"While we're doing their laundry they can go away for a few hours and enjoy a break," Barbour said, adding it is easy for the group to do and "a way to spread kindness into the community."

The group wants to help low-income families "who otherwise maybe wouldn't be able to afford to have their laundry done somewhere or to go to Panda Fun — it'll be a total treat for them." 

If they have any money or supplies left over, Barbour said they will donate them to Anderson House family violence shelter.

"It's tough today, everything is so expensive and so if we can help out a little bit we're happy to do it," she said. "You know how the laundry piles up."

Helping cure a heavy heart

Barbour said she had been feeling heavy-hearted about the recent tragic death of Islander Josh Underhay and his young son and was inspired to do some good.

"I was kind of ripe to do something, because any time that I'm feeling down the best way to feel better is to do something for someone else," Barbour said.

Emily Howard, left, Roni Power and Rose Barbour have carried out random acts of kindness before, like when they delivered Christmas presents to mental health and addictions staff in 2017. (Submitted by Rose Barbour)

Loads of Love will happen at the Fluff n' Fold on Eden Street from noon until 4 p.m., Sunday May 5 and will be first-come, first-served, no questions asked. Families can bring two loads of laundry.

It's not the first time the women have undertaken random acts of kindness. In fact Barbour said they do so often, like Christmas 2017 when they put on reindeer antlers and delivered gifts to staff working in mental health and addictions facilities in the Charlottetown area.

And this good deed is spreading: people as far away as The Netherlands have seen Barbour's post on social media and tell her they've been inspired to put on similar events in their communities. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a bachelor of journalism (honours) degree. She's worked with CBC Radio and Television since 1988, moving to the CBC P.E.I. web team in 2015, focusing on weekend features. email sara.fraser@cbc.ca

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