Written by: Kate Snyder, Executive Assistant. The quote was respectfully borrowed from the May 2007 edition of The Journal, the magazine of the Coin Laundry Association.
At EECM, we spend a lot of time brainstorming new ideas and seeking out new partnerships with community organizations, and I love this process. What I love even more, though, is when a great idea seeks us out instead!
A couple months ago we were approached by Evan Hirsh, the president of the West Penn Coin Laundry Association (WPCLA). Mr. Hirsh had an idea that was looking for an outlet: the stores in the association from time to time found themselves in possession of damaged, dented and otherwise “unvendable” boxes of soap and fabric softener. What to do with them? Well…why not distribute them to social service organizations? And thus was born Project Soap.
Mr. Hirsh explains that “we feel as though part of our mandate as a professional trade association is to provide opportunities for our members to jointly provide for the less fortunate in our community…where each of us individually might not have much to offer, as a group we believe that we will be able to gather quite a bit of produce for distribution.”
In addition to the supplies collected by the individual stores, a few local commercial soap distributors have agreed to donate supplies to the effort. EECM cheerfully accepts these soap donations for use throughout our housing programs. We offer laundry facilities to all of our residential housing clients. At any given time, we have more than 50 individuals in those programs, from the Men’s Emergency Shelter to the Orr Compassionate Care Center, and so we are always in need of laundry detergent. It’s a perfect partnership!