Copperas Cove ISD holds annual Laundry Day
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Members of the Five Hills Scholarship pageant royalty and volunteers spent Thursday morning loading dozens of washing machines and dryers at Wells Laundry for the seventh annual Copperas Cove Independent School District Laundry Day.
Beginning at 8 a.m., the youth washed, dried, folded and sorted thousands of pounds of clothing in addition to backpacks, lunch boxes and shoes. CCISD Communications Director and volunteer pageant director Wendy Sledd said that on average each year, the volunteers wash and dry approximately 2,000 pounds of laundry. The amount of clothes washed and dried was calculated using the load capacity of the washers - for example, a 100-pound washer equals 100 pounds of clothing.
Over the last week, the royalty and other volunteers collected all of the lost and found clothing items from each of CCISD’s campuses, all in preparation for Laundry Day.
“We didn’t have as many students in the school district this year that were on campus, so we do expect some of our lost and found to be reduced, but I can tell you that we collected almost 90 bags of lost and found clothing from the campuses, so we do still expect to be over 2000 pounds of Lost and Found today,” Sledd said. “I think we have a greater need more so than any other time probably because of the pandemic, so our Communities In Schools reps will use this clothing to restock their clothing pantries at the school. Each CCISD school has a clothing closet, and so this will be able to provide those students in need, whether it’s a coat, a lunchbox, a backpack, shoes. Whatever the need might be, this provides for that.”
Some of the campuses had several bags worth of lost and found and others had more than 10 bags’ worth, like Williams/Ledger Elementary.
Teen Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres collected the lost and found bags from Williams/Ledger and said she was surprised at how much clothing there was left over.
Torres will be a sophomore at Copperas Cove High School in the fall. She said that she feels good knowing that she is making an impact doing something that will benefit the schools, including her own.
The volunteers will sort through the various clothing and other items, and any eyeglasses found will be donated to the Lions Club. Any items that Communities in Schools does not take will go to the Optimist Club Thrift Store, which helps out the Communities in Schools and the district’s teachers at no cost.
Wells Laundry provided use of the washers and dryers Thursday at no cost to the district, with some wash loads ranging worth anywhere from $3 to $6 per load and drying loads costing 50 cents per 15 minutes of drying time.
Sledd said that without Wells Laundry’s help, this effort would be cost prohibitive for the district.
Kenny Wells, who owns the Wells Laundry in Copperas Cove as well as the other laundromat on the north side of town and several other laundromats in Central Texas, said that he was approached by Sledd years ago and was happy to be involved.
“I really didn’t know what the project was [at first], but it’s a very good project,” Wells said. “Not only does it provide clothing for the less fortunate people in the world, but it builds character for these young ladies and young men that are involved in the project.”
Wells estimated that the total number of loads needed for the Laundry Day calculated to approximately $300 to $400.
“What amazes me is people that leave so many clothes unclaimed at the schools, and it happens here at the laundry too,” Wells said. “Believe it or not, every week people just leave piles of clothes.”
Five Hills Junior Ambassador Maddox Tobias helped his fellow titleholders and volunteers load the washers. This was his first year participating in the Laundry Day, and he was happy to help.
“It means a lot to me,” Tobias said. “I get to help other people do it, and it’s so much fun and it’s helping my community.”
Tobias said it was a mixture of hard and easy work to make sure all the washers got filled with the clothing.
Although he hasn’t started school yet, Tobias said he was glad to be able to work together with his fellow titleholders and make a difference.