Laundry love ladies help community members one load at a time

STARKVILLE,Miss. (WCBI)- Loving people, one load at a time.

That’s the mission of a group in Starkville.

It’s called Laundry Love Ladies. The group’s organizers say it’s become a safe place to learn, grow, and find a little help along the way.

A load of laundry…bible study…and a group of women sharing their journey.

” You have to do it, you have to do that love thing. I love everybody,” said Maggie Williams.

Just five years go, an unlikely friendship started inside the laundromat at Brookville Garden Apartments in Starkville.

Cindy Melby, with First United Methodist Church, says her bible group was looking for a way to show support to people in the complex – that has often been the center of criminal activity – often committed by people who live outside the communtity.

” We came explaining that we had no ulterior motive expect for to be helpful, just somebody to be a friend. We did know, we did learn people who receive welfare do not get a funding for personal hygiene products or cleaning supplies,” said Melby.

So, Melby and her team gathered household essentials and collected quarters.

They loaded up a truck and headed to Brookville Garden Apartments.

But earning the trust of the people who live there didn’t come easy.

As Maggie Williams will tell you, it took her several weeks to open up to a new set of faces.

” Of course I want the quarters but it was more than that, way more. I myself had to build that trust in them also they were never seeming like some people that were wandering doing nothing,” said Williams.

With a bit of patience and a good dose conversation—the sisterhood formed into the Laundry Love Ladies.

“When we started the group it just started growing. It’s fun,” said Williams.

Due to the pandemic, members now meet by the garden twice a month.

From their faith to personal testimonies, this service acts as a vessel for fellowship.

” We didn’t come knowing what the benefits were going to be. But God certainly did, and he lead us to this area. We have laughed together. We shared stories on how to discipline our children together,” said Melby.

” Every little bit helps and I don’t take nothing for granted. I thank God He placed them in our life for doing that,” said Dorothy Thompson.

Members lead discussions about what’s going on in the community and share parenting tips.

” We can learn from them and they can learn from us. So, we’re trying to share. We learn from a curriculum, but we’re still sharing amongst each other. It’s been awesome. It’s been a great experience and great relationship,” said Royann Bell, Project Manager of Project Love with the Discovery Center in Starkville.

A relationship; a friendship they believe will last a lifetime.

” Everybody needs somebody,” said Williams.

Melby said the Laundry Love Ladies receives monthly donations from the First United Methodist congregation and area supporters.

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