DENVER — Spend a day in a laundromat and you can learn a lot. Between loads of laundry, you sometimes find out what has other people's lives in spin cycle.
As of lately, the pandemic has made the stories James Marquez hears heartbreaking.
"I’ve been there. I’ve been that guy," Marquez, the manager of Jessica's Laundromat said. "I’ve been homeless before. I’ve been in that place where I only have three pairs of pants and don’t have anywhere to wash them. A lot of people take washing clothes for granted."
Clean clothes are something Maribel Hernandez said she will now always cherish.
"It just started pilling up more and more," the mother recalled, but with money tight, she said she knew she couldn't afford it.
That was until Marquez stepped in. Hernandez posted on Facebook looking for help with her laundry, and Marquez replied.
"I said, 'Sure, we can help at Jessica’s Laundromat, definitely, just send her on by," Marquez said. "Now, we’re helping like two to three families a day."
What started as a kind gesture is now a mission for Marquez. He called the program Suds of Love. With generous donations, the program has been able to steadily help cover laundry costs for people in need.
"Whatever the case, I don’t really know I don’t really care I just want to help them out," he explained.
"It meant a lot," Hernandez said. "It made me really emotional because not only did he help us but he continues to check on me, continues to check on my son like he cares like it means a lot."
Marquez is looking for volunteers and other laundromats to partner with. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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