If you follow the Richmond SPCA on Facebook, you may recognize the photo to the right from early April. One of our two commercial washers had stopped working, and we reached out on social media for help doing laundry. We asked for anyone willing to wash and dry pet bedding at home to pick up a bag at our humane center. The hope was that we could get enough help to keep the growing piles in the hallway under control.
Boy did we get help! Both regular volunteers and members of the public put their washers and dryers into service for the comfort of homeless pets in our care.
And then came the surprises!
First, Emily Fortner saw our plea on Facebook called Richmond Neighborhood Laundry and asked them to pick up any remaining laundry from the Richmond SPCA at her expense! Jerry, who owns the local laundry service, sent over an employee to load a minivan with all the laundry that would fit — more than seven hefty bags of soiled linens.
In the meantime, the service tech who had examined our aging commercial washer delivered bad news. The machine was beyond repair. This news was heard by one of our regular volunteers who gives her time helping in our laundry room every week. As we were contemplating how we would manage to replace the washer — an expense of nearly $8,000 for which we had not budgeted — Debbie Rider Allen sprang into action.
Debbie quietly began her own fundraising campaign to replace the washer. She reached out to friends and neighbors in Mechanicsville and posted an appeal to her Facebook profile. The intitial gift from Debbie and her husband inspired additional donations from friends, and by the time we learned of her wonderful efforts, nearly a third of the funding for the new machine had been raised. Their contributions enabled us to order the new machine, which was installed at the end of last week.
If you too are inspired by Debbie's campaign, you may contribute by mailing a check made out to the Richmond SPCA and writing "washer campaign" on the memo line to
Robins-Starr Humane Center
2519 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220
or visit our secure online donation form at www.richmondspca.org/donate and reference laundry or washing machine in the comments field.
Tabitha Hanes is the director of advancement of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.