Helping those who help the homeless

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24 July 2017

At the recent Victorian Association Catholic Primary Principals conference, I was privileged to hear a presentation from Orange Sky Laundry founders
Lucas Patchett and Nic Marchesi. Orange Sky Laundry is the world’s first free mobile laundry service for the homeless.

The first van with washing machines and dryers installed was created in 2014. The service began in Orange Sky Laundry Founders and their VanBrisbane but now Orange Sky has 11 services across Australia in Brisbane, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, the Sunshine Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. Each week Orange Sky washes over 6.9 tonnes of laundry.

After hearing this inspiring presentation where real examples of helping homeless friends in our community were evident, I knew there was a way that our wonderful school community could support this work.

After writing about this amazing cause in our school newsletter, I was approached by one of our parents with the idea to collect hotel-sized toiletries and donating them. Our Student Representative Council members took the lead and the response was overwhelming! Two large washing baskets and numerous bags of toiletries, as well as packs of new towels later, we invited Orange Sky to visit St Benedict’s to collect these donations.

On Friday 23 June, after a short presentation from Maryam, Service Manager for the Laundry, and questions answered by Maryam, Giselle and Will, the whole school was able to investigate a shower van and a laundry van.

This experience was both a way for us as a school community to make a difference in our local community and a way for our students to realise how lucky they are to have what they have. Our school looks forward to continuing to support this wonderful charity throughout the year.

Further information about Orange Sky Laundry can be found at their website.

Meredith Bennett
Principal, St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School Burwood