LaundryCares Fundraiser Tops $100,000 in Donations

By Bob Nieman, CLA Member posted 05-31-2018 10:17

  
Laundry Professionals Open Their Hearts – And Wallets – At Charitable Fundraiser During Excellence ’18 in Naples

LaundryCares_Literacy.jpgIn recent years, one of the fastest-growing and perhaps most talked-about aspects of the Coin Laundry Association has been its charitable organization, the LaundryCares Foundation – which was established to provide laundry services and education to those in underserved communities.

Additionally, childhood literacy, book giveaways and storytelling have grown to become major components of the LaundryCares mission and the foundation’s popular Free Laundry Day programs – which have been held at vended laundries across the country.

As a result, the LaundryCares Foundation recently hosted a cocktail reception, presentation and fundraising event at this year’s Excellence in Laundry Conference at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples, Fla. Clearly, Excellence – which has grown into the leading educational and networking event for the industry’s most successful and forward-thinking professionals – provided the perfect opportunity to recognize the life-changing work of this organization, as well as to discuss future LaundryCares projects.

With regard to the increased focus on early childhood literacy, the CLA and LaundryCares hosted a Literacy Summit in Chicago earlier this year. Held in partnership with Too Small to Fail and Libraries Without Borders, the summit brought together 26 national organizations to explore the role vended laundries can play in enhancing early childhood literacy efforts within local communities.

On the heels of this summit, the CLA fittingly invited Allister Chang, executive director of Libraries Without Borders, to be the featured speaker at this LaundryCares update session and fundraiser in Naples. Chang spoke passionately of the critical need to reach out to young children with reading materials, especially in many of the underserved neighborhoods in which LaundryCares free laundry events are held. He explained the important mission of Libraries Without Borders, and how laundromats fit perfectly into what his organization is trying to accomplish.

In addition, LaundryCares Chairman Jeff Gardner and CLA Director Brian Grell presented moving video recaps of past free laundry events from stores across the country, shared their own personal stories of how giving back to those less fortunate has touched their lives, and implored those in attendance to open their hearts – and their wallets – to help support future LaundryCares events.

Gardner explained that the charitable group’s goal for 2019 was to hold four Free Laundry Days in various parts of the country, noting that these events would come with a price tag in the neighborhood of $50,000.

Then, the fun began – as Grell and Gardner kicked off the fundraising portion of the evening, opening up the floor for donations.

In the end – thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the store owners, laundry distributors and industry manufacturers in attendance – the fundraiser brought in more than $100,000 in donations for the LaundryCares Foundation and its cause – obliterating the original goal of $50,000.

“I’m thrilled, to say the least,” said Coin Laundry Association President and CEO Brian Wallace. “The industry came through big time – not only for the LaundryCares Foundation, but also, and mainly, for the many families that are served by vended laundry businesses throughout the U.S. every day.”
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