Immanuel Lutheran Church


3000 West Main Street

Kalamazoo, MI 49006

(269) 345-8090

Missouri Synod

Church Project: Making Laundry Soap for the Needy

April 5, 2017

Clean Clothes…….  How many of us take that for granted?


Actually, many people don’t take clean clothes for granted, it’s considered a luxury. 


41% of Kalamazoo County households struggle to support themselves day to day: Either they live below the federal poverty level or their earnings put them below the basic cost-of-living levels. They are typically working at low-paying jobs, living paycheck to paycheck and in a constant financial struggle. 


Joshua Sampson’s new supermarket position means he’ll likely lose his remaining disability assistance. He already saw it cut in half when he got the fast-food job. He also expects he’ll lose the Bridge Card that helps him buy food for himself and his son, who stays with him on weekends. Sampson’s not even sure he can remain on Medicaid, which covers his many medications (one of them costs $1,400 a week). 

Joshua says “If I quit the fast-food job, I can still pay all the bills, but then I don’t have anything left.  I can‘t buy food now, or the toothpaste, deodorant, and the laundry detergent that I need.”  


Joshua’s Story appeared in “Second Wave” – a Southwest Michigan (online magazine).


The Service Committee here at Immanuel has decided to help out with Clean Clothes and we would like the whole congregation to help…

We are going to make Homemade Laundry Detergent and use the Loaves & Fishes Westwood Location as a Test Market. (Linda Swinehart and several Immanuel members volunteer there.)  This is going to be a fun way to help those in need.


Eighteen gallons of Homemade Laundry Detergent were made and taken to the Westwood Loaves and Fishes location.  People were excited about the detergent and all 18 gallons were gone in one week!


If you would like to know more about this ongoing project, see one of the people on the Service Committee (Brian Long, Linda Swinehart, John Wagner, Christa Quandt, Justin Rak, or Pastor Sidwell).

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