Laundry Love provides clean clothes, pizza and prayer as outreach project

Laundry Love provides clean clothes, pizza and prayer as outreach project
May 07
13:05 2024

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

When St. Anne’s Episcopal Church was thinking about outreach projects, they wanted something that would not only touch people, but also allow time to get to know them personally. Laundry Love was the answer. Everyone has to do laundry, but for people who do not have access to a washer and dryer at home, they have to use a local laundromat. If you haven’t used a laundromat recently, you may be surprised at what it costs to wash and dry a load of laundry. For families on tight budgets, it can take a chunk out of their monthly income.

Joined by volunteers from St. Anne’s Episcopal, St. Paul’s Episcopal and Wake Forest Campus Ministry, Laundry Love began to visit a local laundromat to offer to pay the cost for anyone to wash and dry their clothes. To further the personal connections, they also provided pizza and read books to children while their parents took a break.

“Most people think we are a bit crazy when we ask them, ‘Can we pay for your laundry?’ said Rev. Ginny Wilder, rector of St. Anne’s. “The pause is palpable as they do the math in their head or make sure they heard us correctly. Nine times out of ten the response is, ‘You want to wash my laundry?  For Free?’ Yes. We want to pay for your laundry, share a meal together, entertain your children – and let an ordinary and mundane task become the place where relationships and community are formed.”

Laundry Love was fortunate to receive a grant to underwrite the costs associated with providing free laundry service, along with pizza. But that grant has now been depleted and Rev. Wilder is committed to continuing the service. The church is holding a fundraiser to hopefully cover the cost for another year or until another grant can be secured.

St. Anne’s has a long history in community outreach. In 1966 members of Winston-Salem’s three existing parishes made the decision to leave their churches and join together to lead a new mission. This made St. Anne’s intentionally racially integrated from the beginning in Winston-Salem, one of the most segregated cities in the United States at that time. Outreach has been a foundation of St. Anne’s mission, which reads: “Knowing that all things come from God, we seek to manifest the love of Christ through worship, justice and community.” 

In an unusual fundraiser, St. Anne’s will offer the first ever “Strange Fire Eucharist” benefiting Laundry Love on Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. This service will feature the music of the Indigo Girls and all attendees will be encouraged to “sing like we are on a road trip together,” according to the church’s website. All funds raised at this service will go to support their W-S Laundry Love Ministry, a collaboration among St. Anne’s, St. Paul’s. and Wake Forest Episcopal Campus Ministry. A light reception will follow the service.

Indigo Girls are an American folk rock music duo from Georgia, consisting of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. The two met in elementary school and began performing together as high school students in Decatur, Georgia. They have been performing together since 1985. In 2022 the Americana Music Association awarded them the Spirit of Americana Lifetime Achievement Award.

All are invited to an evening of fun, worship, music, and fellowship. Come ready to sing and have a good time while raising money for this important ministry in our community. 

Laundry Love is helping our neighbors, one load at a time. Help us keep the washing machines churning and the dryers tumbling by supporting Laundry Love.

This is a free event, but registration is requested as space is limited. To register to attend the Strange Fire Eucharist, please visit

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