When two young friends decided to do something for the homeless in 2014, they had no idea what they were in for.
Barely out of their teens, mates Lucas Pratchett and Nic Marchesi decked out a van with washing machines and dryers and took to the streets, washing the clothes of people living rough on the streets of Brisbane.
Orange Sky Laundry has since grown from one van with a couple of washing machines and dryers, to a dozen around the country, manned by more than 600 volunteers. Topping it all off, Pratchett and Marchesi were named 2016 Young Australians Of The Year.
“One day we were talking about getting together a food van and all of a sudden that ‘light bulb’ moment came: it could be really cool if we chucked some washing machines in the back of a van and give it a crack.”
“The biggest thing is not the washing machines, the dryers or the generator, but the six orange chairs we pull out at each location. They allow us to foster these awesome conversations,” Lucas says.
Orange Sky now washes 6.9 tonnes of laundry every week across the nation and there’s a growing list of regions requesting one of their own.
The VW Transporters cost about $100,000 to build and roll out. Volkswagen helps out with some of the upfront costs, but they rely on donations to keep them on the road.
Donations of both cash and time can be pledged at www.orangeskylaundry.com.au
For the full article, see Issue 24 of ROAM