INDIANAPOLIS —The last several months have been trying for Tamika Davenport.
"Well, I lost my husband last year," Davenport said. "I have 12 children at home."
Davenport has 12 children that need clean clothes, and she admits that she fell behind keeping up on all their laundry.
The mother of 12 is one of more than 160 families that a new program called "Laundry & More" is helping by paying for loads of laundry. "I just thank God for them," she said. "For them coming into my life because they don't have to do this."
"There is a great need if you have a clean laundry it helps you to stay healthy," Wade Apel, Pastor Servants of Christ Lutheran Church, said. "To go to school and not be bullied. That is the big thing that the schools pointed out."
Laundry & More is a vision Abby Vesga had five years ago. Vesga is the driving force behind helping these families.
"Some days, I just go home and cry with gratitude," Vesga said.
It costs about $400 a week to around 300 loads of laundry. Laundry and More serves more than 40 families a week. They also provide lunch, free clothes, and resources.
"It's forming this community that I would never have thought was possible," Vesga said.
To continue helping families - week after week - Laundry & More requires donations.
Donations needed to continue sending families home with clean laundry are:
- Dryer sheets
- Trash bags - heavy duty
- Housing items
- Children's clothing
- Crib sheets
- Towels and wash rags
"Just imagine if you didn't have clean clothes to put on this morning when you woke up," Rep. John L. Bartlett, D-Indianapolis, said. "I would encourage all the churches in house district 95 to sponsor a Tuesday. It's about 450 bucks, I've done my part, I made my sponsorship."
If they don't receive donations, Laundry & More will have to end. That's something that's difficult for Vesga to even think about.
"That would absolutely break our heart because we are in an area where people don't have hope," Vesga said.
To donate to Laundry & More, please visit servantsofchrist.org by clicking here. The organization is also seeking volunteers and help from other organizations.
Laundry & More has hope to eventually spread the program to other areas of Indianapolis.