I am a freelance writer and diversional therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Must do Brisbane and Starts at Sixty. Visit my blogs at babybloomin.wordpress.com and brisbanetripster.wordpress.com.
Sometimes you discover something so good, you just have to share it and spread the word. Orange Sky Laundry is the brainchild of two twenty year old friends who are currently making a difference to the homeless in Brisbane and Redcliffe and will very shortly be expanding their service to Cairns.
Lucas Patchett (left) and Nicholas Marchesi (right) Image taken by writer
A world first, this non profit organisation is filling a niche previously overlooked. Founders, Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi operate their mobile laundry from a bright orange custom fitted van. The Orange Sky team lends a hand to the homeless in parks, at drop in centres, and alongside food vans - offering to wash and dry clothes in the time it takes patrons to have a meal.
Their mission says it all : "Improving hygiene standards of the Australian homeless". The Orange Sky laundry van holds two industrial washers and two equally large dryers. The overall cost of setting up their van was roughly $60,000. It's no wonder, then, that the boys are looking for more corporate sponsors to enable them to expand their service nationwide. Their vision is to have 15 vans operating by the end of 2015, providing the laundry service to homeless people across Australia. Wouldn't this be a great service to get involved with? Companies already on board include LG, Richard Jay, Symbio and the Jelley Family Foundation.
It's not just corporations who can make a difference. Lucas and Nick say, "We are run by volunteers, we want to harness the energy of 18 - 30 year olds who are keen but struggle to find simple ways to help people in need". Volunteer applications are now being taken - details are on the website.
For those who are time poor and never seem to have enough time to get involved with hands-on community service, donations can be made on line or by sending a cheque - details can be found on the website. When all it takes is $6 to cover the cost of one wash, making a difference has never been so easy. A $60 donation will purchase 10 cycles, $120 purchases a day of cycles and $600 provides a week of cycles. As Orange Sky Laundry is a registered charity, donations are tax deductible.
Where does the name "Orange Sky Laundry" come from? The boys say, "Alexi Murdoch's song, Orange Sky, has been a major inspiration behind this project. The entire message of the song is about helping your brothers and sisters. These values are imperative to us and central to our project". Have a listen here and you'll get the message.
If you see a bright orange van driving around the city, blowing bubbles as it goes, you'll have spotted the Orange Sky Laundry!
Footnote: In line with their mission of helping those in need, Lucas and Nick are currently assisting cyclone damaged communities in Central Queensland. In Yeppoon on Saturday their mobile laundry service washed over 140kgs of washing which saw clothing, towels, blankets and one very precious teddy bear squeaky clean again!