Students at the Winona Area Learning Center will now be able to use a washer and dryer, thanks to a donation from Pleasant Valley Church and the Foundation for WAPS.
The appliances were installed in late August, just in time for students returning to school earlier this week. In the past, ALC principal Emily Cassellius said, students often asked to use the washer and dryer in the child care area, but state regulations prevented the school from allowing it.
“This is really exciting and will be a big help to our students. Having clean clothes should never be a barrier for attending school. We are excited to be able to provide this need for our students,” Cassellius said.
Pleasant Valley Church covered the cost of the installation project (plumbing, electrical and ventilation) and appliances. Cassellius said money from the Foundation for WAPS covered the remaining cost of appliances that was needed.
Sammy Gondola, Missions Pastor at Pleasant Valley Church, said the money came from the church’s Dollar Club, which is a special collection taken the last Sunday of every month.
“People can give whatever they want,” Gondola said. “Some give $1. Some give $20. Some write a check for $600.”
The goal of the Dollar Club, Gondola said, is to address a need in the community, whether that is a need of an organization in purchasing a piece of equipment, or the need of a particular family when it comes to paying an electric bill or covering a week’s worth of groceries.
“We want to be involved in the community,” Gondola said. “This is about loving your neighbor in a tangible way, in ways that are useful. Our congregation is very generous.”
Students at the ALC will be able to use the washer and dryer free of charge, Cassellius said, and the school is working on securing donations from local businesses to provide laundry detergent and other supplies. Donations can also be dropped off at the ALC, 1299 W. Third St., Winona.