Recently, we hosted a small roundtable discussion with homeless and formerly homeless members of our church family to discuss issues and opportunities related to poverty in our community. One of our friends mentioned that it is difficult for poor folks to get laundry detergent because it can be expensive and while there are ministries that offer access to washing machines, very few ministries provide the necessary detergent. After some more discussion, we reached a consensus that we ought to find a way to make laundry detergent available as a regular part of our ministry. Research led us to the conclusion that making our own is the most cost effective solution as well as a way to engage folks in service to others. We now have a cheap, environmentally-friendly, simple, and effective recipe. We have made it on a small scale to hand out alongside items from our food bank, but we are ready to ramp up production so we can help more people and potentially turn this into a small, not-for-profit, business, which will help make the ministry self-sustaining.
In order to make this happen, we need $2500 to buy ingredients, storage containers, bottles and bottling equipment, and other miscellaneous supplies. This initial investment will allow us to make enough to give away to those in need as well as provide us with the jumpstart we need to begin selling our product at church events, local craft markets, and other outlets. Our hope is to turn this into a small not-for-profit business that will sustain the free detergent ministry, provide jobs and job training, and become an outlet for educating the greater community about issues of poverty and homelessness in our city.