CLEAN KIDS LAUNDRY – Serving Students and Families of the North Thurston Public Schools
St. Mark Lutheran Church believes children matter. We desire to support the children in our community. “Clean Kids” is a ministry of our congregation offering laundry facilities at no cost for North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) students and their families who are in need.
This ministry developed in 2016 during a conversation with the NTPS Homeless Liaison who told us that 1 in 20 students in our school district were homeless. After housing, the number 2 need of these families who do not have secure and permanent housing is a place to do laundry. The lack of access to laundry facilities negatively impacts children’s learning because they feel embarrassed by wearing dirty clothes and are often teased by their peers. Therefore, their self-esteem, their school attendance, and their education suffer.
Through generous grants from the North Thurston Education Foundation, Lacey Rotary, Altrusa, congregational members, and members of our community along with the labor of church members and the professional skill and generosity of local contractors, a Sunday School room was transformed and the Clean Kids Laundry Facility was established in the Fall of 2017. (We are extremely grateful to McKinney’s Appliances who donated our initial laundry machines).
Our laundry room is now equipped with three commercial capacity washers and four commercial capacity dryers. Laundry supplies are provided at no cost for our guests. St. Mark staffs the facility with members of the congregation and members of the community who greet and accompany families while they do their laundry. Inside the Clean Kids Laundry Facility, we stock a small pantry with some healthy snacks and a limited closet with a few basic new clothing items (socks and underwear). The laundry room is located in our Educational Wing and has a discreet side entrance.
If you are a NTPS student or family and would like to use the Clean Kids Laundry facility, please contact the church office at 360-491-2052 to make an appointment. No voucher or referral is needed. We simply ask for your name and contact information. Your appointment will be scheduled during our operational hours. (Please call the church office as hours vary depending on available volunteers). Your appointment will be a three hour block of time during which you are asked to remain on the church campus. If you reach the church answering machine, please leave a voice mail and your call will be returned during our business hours (Monday – Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm).
If you are interested in becoming a Clean Kids volunteer, please contact the church office at 360-491-2052. We will schedule you based on your availability and our open shifts. St. Mark policy requires all our volunteers to complete and pass a background check.
If you want to support the Clean Kids ministry by donating supplies, please call the church office at 360-491-2052 to coordinate dropping off any supplies. Supply needs are listed below.
- LAUNDRY: HE laundry liquid soap, HE liquid fabric softener, white vinegar (gallon sized jugs), 33 gallon drawstring garbage bags, paper towels, liquid Oxyclean, Odo Ban disinfectant (for deodorizing urine odors), Lysol or Clorox wipes, Bounce dryer sheets or new clean rags.
- PANTRY: bottled water, Individually wrapped nutritional snacks, micro wave popcorn, or Individual juices
- CLOTHING CLOSET: new socks and new underwear for children, women, and men.
If you wish to give a financial gift for our Clean Kids ministry, you may use the **Online Giving** button on our home page and designate your gift for Clean Kids. Or you may write a check to “St. Mark Lutheran Church” with “Clean Kids” on the notation line. Checks may be dropped off or sent to the church office at: St. Mark Lutheran Church, 2109 College Street, Lacey, WA 98503. Any monetary donations for Clean Kids will be used to purchase laundry supplies.
Some pictures of the St. Mark Clean Kids Laundry Facility are shown below.