ROGERSVILLE — The Rogersville Laundry Ministry turns three years old on August 11, 2019.
The ministry continues to grow at a rapid rate and volunteers and donations are in great need.
Dawnel Newhouse, who originally started the laundry ministry with her women’s group at Rogersville First Christian Church, says the ministry is serving many more people than ever before.
“In 2017 from June to December, we served a total of 322 people in those seven months,” she said. “In 2018, the average monthly number served was 352 each month! We served 4,223 people in 2018 and we spent in excess of $10,366. There are times we spend in excess of $500 a week.”
So far in 2019, the ministry has served 3,004 with May being the busiest month, serving 516.
“There is no way we could have done this without all of the wonderful people that donate money, provide laundry detergent and the like, drop quarters in the Rogersville Laundry Ministry PODS containers, as well as various organizations that have contributed,” said Newhouse. “And obviously without all of our volunteers and local churches pitching in, the ministry could not continue to function and serve people like we have. I have said it before and I will say it again, we started this ministry to ‘Love People to Jesus’ and it has turned into just that.”
Further, Newhouse says, “we would love to have more local churches get involved and sponsor a night and provide labor for an event. We would love to have as many nights available for this ministry as we can. She encourages any Church, Women’s Ministry or other group to contact her if interested.”
On August 11, 2016, RLM began operating one time per month at one location. Now, RLM currently operates at two laundromats – West Rogersville Laundromat on Locust Street across from the Hospital and Dirty Dudz Laundromat on Main Street across from the City Park Office entrance.
The RLM started at both locations in March of 2018. The ministry serves every Thursday night from 5 to 7 p.m.
First Christian Church (the founding members of RLM), Burem Missionary Baptist Church, Hope Community Churches, Persia Baptist Church, Phipps Bend Free Will Baptist Church, Tunnel Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and now the Hawkins Co. Special Olympics organization all provide volunteers on these nights.
Members of the Rogersville Methodist Church and First Baptist Church of Rogersville contribute regularly as well.
“We have had a Cherokee student come and work with us as well and they get Community Service hours/points for doing this,” Newhouse said. “We would love to have more students come and participate. Currently, each church group has one Thursday per month with Hope having two. We usually have between three and nine volunteers depending on training. These ladies provide quarters for the machines and supervise an evening where individuals or families can come and do their laundry for free! All the detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, bleach and other products to do a load of laundry are provided free, as well as up to $10 in quarters to get as many loads of clothes done as possible. We do not do their laundry for them but we provide all they will need to get it done.”
Newhouse invites anyone who wants to help out to give her a call.
“We can always use volunteers to help us provide needed services on the night of the event,” she said.
Newhouse can be reached at 937-661-5706 or via email at email@example.com.
“That is our biggest need right now ... we need more volunteers to help us staff on the nights we currently offer the ministry,” she said. “Who knows, if we were to get enough volunteers or more churches, businesses, civic groups, school groups, doctors offices or anyone else to sponsor and staff a night, we may be able to add more nights of service.”
She also said anyone who would like to contribute laundry products such as bleach, detergent, etc. can drop them off at the Parsonage at 815 Douglas Drive in Rogersville.
“One of our biggest needs currently is laundry baskets or bags. We have had product donations from as far away as Arizona and Indiana as well as locally of course,” she said.
Monetary donations can be dropped off during ministry nights or they can be mailed to the Douglas Drive location as well (zip code: 37857).
Contributions in the form of checks can be made out to First Christian Church with Laundry Ministry in the memo section. All contributions are tax deductible since the Rogersville Laundry Ministry is run through the church, a non profit organization.
For more information or details regarding the Rogersville Laundry Ministry, feel free to contact Newhouse or checkout the Rogersville Laundry Ministry Facebook page.