Local TJ Maxx, Walmart recently provided large donations
The “Laundry of Love” program at New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services has a mission to help survivors when they need it the most.
Megan Gross, Community Engagement Coordinator at New Beginnings, is the head of the program. She leads an initiative to provide clothing and toiletries to survivors of all ages.
“We serve survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse,” Gross said. “Following a medical screening at the hospital, part of the evidence often requires them to give up their clothes, which puts them leaving the hospital in a gown or scrubs. This takes away dignity, labeling them as a survivor.”
The Laundry of Love program provides “Survivor Kits,” which include a change of clothes, a toothbrush and toothpaste, other hygiene items and even a teddy bear for children.
“We want to provide comfort and dignity back to them when they are in that position,” Gross said.
Owensboro’s TJ Maxx and Walmart recently provided large donations to the Laundry of Love program, with carloads of items such as weather-appropriate clothing, hand sanitizer and masks.
Gross said they are thankful for anything these businesses can offer.
“They donate so much to us — bags of clothing, face masks, just a huge contribution,” Gross said. “We put a post thanking TJ Maxx for their donation and then Walmart reached out, too. It was the power of social media and just awesome to see our community come together.”
New Beginnings offers confidential crisis and support services to sexual assault survivors of all ages in Owensboro and the surrounding counties including Daviess, McLean, Hancock, Ohio, Webster, Henderson, and Union.
Gross said a key part of prevention is having conversations that educate people about the frequency of abuse and letting people know these problems exist.
“My favorite part of what I do is helping survivors when they need it the most. I get to get out in the community and discuss openly about these issues,” Gross said.
A Laundry of Love Survivor Kit costs approximately $25 to make. Those wishing to donate can visit their website, or find out more by visiting their Facebook page.