Grace Crawford never planned for their little coin-op laundromat to double as a food pantry. It was not part of the original business plan. Soap and softener was the game, not bread and butter beans.
Sea Island Suds Laundromat in Mount Pleasant serves a community as diverse as the stray socks pinned in every laundry room waiting to be reunited with a match. What brings them together is the common need of clean clothes. In the 12 years since opening the laundromat, Grace has formed personal relationships with many of her customers. She’s been there to wash the newborn onesies, the college caps and gowns, the wedding dresses, and the business suits for important interviews. In March of 2020, she saw COVID-19 put a spin on everyone, specifically those working in hospitality and tourism.
Many of her clients were struggling to put food on the table. Looking for ways to help, Grace placed a simple cardboard box by the front door of her laundromat with a few non-perishables inside, and a sign reading: “Give what you can, take what you need.” Word got out, and in a short time she found herself handling more groceries than shirts. Soon, Grace was delivering over 35 meal kits each week with food and pantry items collected from her cardboard boxes. This past Thanksgiving, with the help of her Seacoast small group, Grace supplied over 220 families with items for full turkey dinners! Since its start, the pantry has provided 1,640 meals to the community, along with socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash.
“Clean clothes and hot meals are basic human necessities. Our needs make us one community. It amazes me how God has grown this from one little cardboard box in my laundromat. I can’t wait to see where he’s taking me next!”
If you would like to follow Grace’s journey with her newly named program: One Community, details can be found on Facebook and Instagram under Sea Island Suds Laundromat.