is probably one of the things that most people inadvertently take for granted until a choice has to be made to either buy food or medicine or do a load of laundry. Current Initiatives has developed The Laundry Project, a national program in partnership with city officials, local businesses, churches, and individuals in cities across the US. The project pays for people’s laundry in selected laundromats that have partnered with the initiative. During the time The Laundry Project is at the laundromat, it is transformed into a community center.
Downtown Faith has partnered with Current Initiatives and serves in The Laundry Project to love loudly in Las Vegas. Volunteers from Downtown Faith will be serving in The Laundry Project at A+ Laundromat, 2448 E. Bonanza Road, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon (the last load to be accepted) on Saturday, June 20.
Procedures for sanitation and cleanliness regarding COVID-19 will be implemented, and volunteers never touch any of the clothing. The Laundry Project supplies detergent, dryer sheets, and pays for loads to be washed and dried. Children are entertained with books and activities while the laundromat is infused as a hopeful environment.
President and CEO Jason Sowell founded Current Initiatives over 12 years ago when he saw a significant need in the US for help in many areas. He had been a pastor, helped launch a couple of churches and served as a youth pastor. But it was his mission to other countries that inspired him to create Current Initiatives.
“It is good to help others in foreign countries, but when I drove through neighborhoods in my own city, I realized that there were neighbors who were in as much need and hurting as some of the places we were serving on missions,” Jason says. “I was called to help my neighbors.”
His missions usually involved constructing a church building or holding worship services in the community. “I wanted to serve in areas to help sustain life, such as clean water and access to needed medicine. I realized that for many people, if they needed something, they could just drive to the store and buy it. But what about those who were at risk, who have nothing left over after paying rent and buying food?”
He decided to start Current Initiatives to focus on communities located in cities in the US, offering tangible things that might be overlooked but would make a big difference in people’s lives. The Laundry Project became the first initiative.
Over the past 12 weeks in 2020, the Laundry Project has hosted a total of 37 #LaundryProject COVID-19 Relief events at 15 different laundromats in Tampa, Florida; New York City; Brandon, Florida; North Fort Myers, Florida; St. Pete, Florida; and Charlottesville, Virginia. Over 773 families were served washing 7,624 loads of laundry.
Another initiative is Affordable Christmas that focuses on families who might not be able to celebrate Christmas in the traditional way of giving presents to their children. However, the project does not just give the toys to families, perpetuating the stereotype of “You are poor, so we have to give you these things.” It dignifies the experience, allowing families to shop for gifts at drastically reduced prices (a $100 bike would be sold for $10).
“How you do something is just as important as what you do,” says Jason.
Born and raised in Panama City, Florida, Jason grew up in a family that was very involved with their church. His father was a police officer, his mother was a nurse and others in his family worked as first responders. From a young age, he knew that he would pursue something that would help people on some level. Jason considered a career in law enforcement, but as a teenager became enthralled with spirituality and assisting others in understanding God.
“I wanted to show God differently, not as the all-seeing judge in the sky but recognizing God as stepping off the throne and sitting on the floor with us, building a bridge to come back to Him,” Jason explains.
He had great mentors in pastors, and Jason thought he would serve as a pastor for a lifetime. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries at Trinity Baptist College. Jason still serves but in a different capacity and even shares his message at different churches including Downtown Faith.
Loving Loudly means manifesting Christ in action, no matter how large or small the act.
The Laundry Project will be held at A+ Laundromat, 2448 E. Bonanza Road, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon (the last load to be accepted) on Saturday, June 20. No registration is needed online, just bring laundry on Saturday morning. There is room for volunteers as well. Click to connect with Downtown Faith, join the conversation virtually.
#HopeDealer #SoapAndHope #DoWhatYouCan #EngageCurrent #CurrentInitiatives #Clean
Article by: Debbie Hall