A little over a week ago, The Valley Reporter posted an item on its Facebook page announcing another free laundry day at the Waitsfield Laundromat, courtesy of Waitsfield United Church of Christ, which provided coins and soaps.

The free laundry day was last Wednesday, March 27, and The Valley Reporter’s post went viral – in that Facebook kind of way.

It had almost 3,000 hits, 384 engagements and was shared dozens of times, which we found gratifying. Social media can often be a very trivial medium, but sometimes it’s the perfect vehicle to share something like free laundry day.

Free laundry day is the opposite of trivial. It’s a real and meaningful way to do something for people that has real value. Not everyone has the benefit of a washer/dryer in their home and not everyone can afford to go to the laundromat.

Free laundry day is a concrete way to help people with coins and soap and it’s another example of our local faith congregations proactively working to help others in the community.

The program is funded by a can/bottle collection program where people can drop off returnable bottles and cans in a shed behind the church in Waitsfield Village. It’s an incredibly successful fundraiser – resulting in over $9,000 last year, or approximately 180,000 cans and bottles.

Free laundry day involves one volunteer from the church waiting at the Waitsfield Laundromat during the designated time, feeding the coins into the machines and purchasing the detergent and fabric softener as needed. What a kind thing for this individual (who shall remain nameless) to take the time to do this.

Given that it’s difficult to find a place to take bottles and cans, now that both grocery stores have a machine to take them (and those machines jam with regularity), it’s nice to know that there’s a convenient place to take those returnables and donate them to the cause of clean clothes and other good works in our community.

Whether it is collecting cans and bottles for their deposits or holding community workdays, we all benefit from the charitable outreach these congregants offer their neighbors.

Hats off to all of those who walk among us who talk the talk and then walk the walk.