Clean clothes bring smiles, hope

Published 12:18 am Friday, September 2, 2011

Scott Sandler, Tide representative, pauses briefly amid preparations for the Tide Loads of Hope opening in Washington on Thursday afternoon. (WDN Photo/Ray McKeithan)

The colorful tents being raised in front of The Wash House on Fifth Street in Washington Thursday became a curiosity for some, a beacon of hope for many.

“We’re just setting up right now. We’ll be ready to help you in 30 minutes,” said Scott Sandler to a curious bystander.

“Well, what’s going on?” the man asked.

“We’ll wash your clothes for free,” said Sandler, Tide representative in charge of the Loads of Hope program.

“Really?” the man replied with a smile, “Then I’ll be back in 30 minutes.”

And so it will be for the next week as Tide representatives will accept two loads of clothes per person for cleaning and folding. “We’ll give each person a number; they can leave, and we’ll do the washing and folding. They have more important things to take care of,” said another representative.

From their website, Tide explains the program: “Over 34,000 loads of laundry cleaned for families affected by disasters, and counting … In times of disaster, people turn to the most basic of human needs – and one of those is clean clothes. We wash, dry and fold the clothes for these families for free. Because, as we’ve learned, sometimes even the littlest things can make a big, big difference.”

Harry McCorkle, is thankful. He suffered significant damage to his home, “to my ceiling, my floor, everywhere. I haven’t worn clean clothes since the hurricane. I think this is great. It’s a big help to me. I’ve volunteered to help them because I want to help others, too.”

The Loads of Hope drop-off service will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until at least Thursday, Sept. 8.