ST. LOUIS, Mo. – An organization is on a mission to introduce laundry rooms in schools to try and help low-income students make it to class. They say that improving student attendance among low-income populations can be as simple as adding a washing machine
The R. Whittington Foundation has partnered with Slyman Brothers Appliances and Vinyl Images and Design to help break the barriers that prevent students from taking the necessary steps to learn by providing washing machines and dryers in schools.
“It makes a big difference with self-esteem and bully issues that these kids deal with daily,” said Rickey Whittington.
So far, they have donated close to a dozen brand new washers and dryers sets and care packages to elementary schools in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The group is on a mission to donate many more.
“We went into some elementary schools in St. Louis City and St. Louis County and we found out that there were so many kids coming to school in the morning that were taking showers and putting their dirty uniforms back on and dirty clothes,” said Whittington.
“These children can’t take showers at home or may not have clean clothes and it really hit home with me. It felt like this is something we should do and help out,” said John Slymann.
Organizers say attendance has picked up in those schools where the washer and dryers are in place because kids feel more comfortable coming to school with clean clothes.
“It tore at my heartstrings, I have small kids ages 3 and 5. To be able to help children in the St. Louis area and see the results is really just everything to me, it felt right,” said John Duever.
The laundry room is where students can bring their clothes to be washed. They can also pick up a care package which includes toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap, face towels, and lotions.
If you would like to drop off items for the care packages stop by Slymann Bros Appliances at 4900 Hampton Avenue Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Call 314-960-2924 or 314-352-8845. You can also make a donation by clicking on the link for this GoFundMe page.