“Loads of Love” seeks to donate laundry items to campus

By Sophie Foster
Copy Editor

The Washington College campus was encouraged to recognize the days leading up to Valentine’s Day by donating laundry items — specifically laundry detergent, detergent pods, and dryer sheets — for the Loads of Love project introduced by the Hunger and Homelessness Initiatives. 

An email sent by Associate Director of Financial Aid Erneatka Webster on Feb. 7 urged students to give “loads of love to our community by donating laundry items.” 

Donations were collected from Monday, Feb. 7 until Friday, Feb. 11 at locations across campus, including Hodson Hall, Casey Academic Center, Gibson Center for the Arts, Bunting Hall, and the John S. Toll Science Center. 

A follow-up email sent by Webster on Feb. 8 reminded students “that eco-friendly [and] non-toxic products are environmentally friendly and are as effective as other soaps and detergents.” These products are free of pollutants, toxins, and harmful chemicals, making them less detrimental to the environment and a safer alternative to other products. 

This commitment is maintained by the Hunger and Homelessness Initiatives, which were designed “to never let a student go without,” Webster said. This push toward environmentally friendly substitutes is not uncommon at WC. According to the College’s website, WC is “committed to supporting the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.” 

According to Webster, the intent of the initiative is to offer help without judgment in areas where there is need. There are students, faculty, and staff on the Hunger and Homelessness Committee working to make the endeavors of the initiative a reality, and campus-wide donation projects like Loads of Love are just one facet of the efforts being made. 

One such initiative, George’s Free General Store, was identified as a food pantry supplied by donations from WC community members.

The store, located in the Goose Nest, offers students a free alternative for their grocery shopping needs, including food and hygiene items. 

“Personally, I know how it feels to be without,” Webster said. “We put the store in place for it to be anonymous so students can feel safe, but…when the community embraces the fact that your fellow student is in need, we need to support and do what we can for that person to know it’s okay.” 

Webster’s primary concern is ensuring that everyone in the WC community is both aware of the existence of the store and that it’s free, elaborating that the goal going forward is to share information about the work being done by the store on social media and by word of mouth among students. 

If students want to support George’s Free General Store or the Hunger and Homelessness Initiatives in the future, the “best support is spreading the word that the store exists,” Webster said. 

While the Loads of Love project ended on Friday, Feb. 11, Webster said that they will continue to accept donations at any time, and encourages students to support the store when they can or use its resources when needed.

“We are doing all we can to make it sustainable forever,” she said.

Photo by Kayla Thornton

Featured Photo Caption: For their “Loads of Love” project, the Washington College Hunger and Homelessness Initiative encouraged students to donate eco-friendly laundry items in boxes (above) in designated locations across campus.

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