Remember the Bookmobile, and how it cruised into all kinds of neighborhoods, bringing knowledge to folks who needed it most? Remember Meals on Wheels, bringing food to folks who can't cook for themselves? Sure, but have you ever heard of a truck called Sudsy, equipped with two clothes washers and two dryers, bringing free laundry service to the homeless? Well, here it is.
Photo by Kristian Silva
Two 21-year-olds from Brisbane, Australia, converted Sudsy in 2014 and named their free service Orange Sky Laundry. Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett hoped to improve the hygiene standards of the homeless, who cannot afford a laundromat. Since then, 270 volunteers have spread Orange Sky Laundry to 36 locations where it washes 350 loads each week. Marchei and Patchett have been recognized with the title "Young Australians of the Year." They don't just wash clothes. They also chat with the homeless. Marchesi said he recently chatted with a man named Grant while washing his clothes for the first time. "As I passed Grant's clean clothes back to him, he told me, 'Nic, I haven't been able to have a conversation with anyone for over three days.'" Orange Sky is about more than clean clothes. It's about treating others the way we'd like to be treated.