Generous donors fund new washers and dryers for Neighbor to Neighbor

December 31, 2020 by

Neighbor to Neighbor received an early Christmas gift when two sets of new washers and dryers were installed on Dec. 21. Thanks to the work of generous donors, the guests at Neighbor to Neighbor will be well served for years to come.

Why does Neighbor to Neighbor need laundry services?

“Since Neighbor to Neighbor began, one of the many services we offer is the availability of free washers and dryers for our women. The machines we had have served everyone well for 12 years. They are almost always used the entire day on every day we are open,” said Sister Missy Ljungdahl, director of Neighbor to Neighbor. “Women are trying to budget their money and make ends meet. This is one way we can help them with this matter.”

Josh Duvall moves one of the units into the laundry room.

This year, their current laundry equipment was showing signs of years of wear.

“We knew it was getting close to time to replace the machines and wanted to have things in place before ‘it was too late.’ When we were evaluating our needs, we knew the washers and dryers would need to be on top of the list,” Sister Missy said. “In visiting with Ambria Gilliland in the Development Office I mentioned that we would be needing new washers and dryers in the near future.”  

She didn’t realize how near that future would be.

“Within a couple weeks, I received a call from a dear friend of the Community, Connie Tavanis. Connie was calling from Massachusetts saying that she and Mary DeCramer were getting the funding for new machines and they would be here soon,” Sister Missy said.

“When I read that Neighbor to Neighbor needed to replace their worn-out washers and dryers I thought that my ‘band’ and I could step up to the plate and help raise the money to replace them,” Tavanis said.

A band is the name for a group of women who enter into religious life during the same year. She was a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia’s band of 1964.

“We reached out to our families and friends to help us make this happen. Others who read the article in ‘The Messenger’ joined us, and before you knew it we had collected enough to buy two sets of top-of-the-line appliances,” Tavanis said. “I guess we all can relate to how important having clean clothes are to us and those we love. Thank you sisters for all your important work you do in the lives of all those who struggle. Your kindness and caring teaches all of us what is important … loving one another.”

From there, Sister Jan McCormick, Gilliland and Laura Hansen, all in the sisters’ Development Office, worked with Greg Gallagher, Motherhouse property administrator, to make the new washers and dryers a reality. And despite problems purchasing large appliances during supply chain disruptions due to Covid-19, they were able to take the donations and purchase the perfect sets.

“Greg did some research and found a set that we thought would be a good replacement. However, with many manufacturers shut down because of Covid, the units we wanted were no longer in stock. After much more research, another option was found. It was a bit more money than we had originally planned but we went ahead with the purchase,” Gilliland said. “After adding up all the donations received, I was astonished to discover that the amount raised was the exact amount of the purchase! Down to the dollar!”

Gilliland couldn’t wait to let Sister Missy know the good news.

N2N Director Missy Ljungdahl looks on as Justin LeDuc and Brad Snyder move a washer/dryer unit into Neighbor to Neighbor.

“Sister Missy was overjoyed when I told her. She mentioned that Sister Christella Buser always used to say that during Advent, God sends us little gifts. This was certainly an Advent gift!” Gilliland said. “We are all just so grateful for everyone’s support of this project. Clean clothes are something that many of us take for granted but not everyone has the luxury. I have to give a special thank you to Connie Tavanis, who was so touched by this project, that she rounded up her former band members and friends and asked them all to contribute. I know without a doubt, that the success of this project is due mostly to her.”

Maintenance staff at the Motherhouse installed the units on Dec. 21, just before the holidays.

“The machines were installed and within hours they had already been put to good use,” Sister Missy said. “Our women are happy to be able to have these laundry services. One woman has said that the money she would have to use at the laundromat is money she has put away for Christmas. Everyone has been gifted this year.”

Sister Missy wanted to again thank everyone who made this happen for the women of Neighbor to Neighbor.

“There are so many people to thank for the gift of the washers and dryers. Surely there will be some left out and for that I apologize,” Sister Missy said. “But let me try: Sisters Ramona, Jean and Pat, and Myrna Shelton for thinking up Neighbor to Neighbor and keeping it a welcoming place; Our development and communications offices for getting the word out of our needs; Greg Gallagher and our maintenance crew for purchasing and installing the machines; Connie Tavanis and Mary DeCramer for getting so many people involved with monetary gifts and letting them know about our work; and F&A Food Sales, here in Concordia, for donating laundry soap and bleach. We thank God for the privilege of being able to be here for the women and children of Concordia.”

Women can schedule a time to do laundry once a week at Neighbor to Neighbor.

“Please call if you need this service and we can put you on the calendar,” Sister Missy said. “We do have laundry detergent for your use. Finally, we ask that if you are doing your laundry, that you stay in the building.”

Neighbor to Neighbor is located at 103 E. Sixth St. in Concordia. It is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph. For more information, call 785-262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

“These washers and dryers really are a blessing to so many women in our community,” Gilliland said. “Thank you!”

 

Comments

4 Responses to “Generous donors fund new washers and dryers for Neighbor to Neighbor”

  1. Connie Tavanis on January 4th, 2021 4:19 pm

    Well 2021 is sending us the good vibes..Just received a note from Sr Jean..F@A food distributors in Concordia just dropped off Two more cases of detergent and a case of bleach..and (wait for it)

    6 gallons of Spumoni Ice cream for “Neighbor to Neighbor” clients..lol
    I personally think F@A have adopted the Srs of St Joseph and recognise their importance in their community..WOW.. connie

  2. F&A Food Sales, Inc. on January 4th, 2021 1:27 pm

    More Detergent and Bleach is on the way. And some Ice Cream too.

  3. Connie Tavanis on January 3rd, 2021 6:20 am

    So very thankful to all who joined us in this important event. The Sisters always are stepping up to help those around us in need. They can not do it alone.. Join them in their mission to help others.
    Oh by the way..
    talking to my band about making sure ” Neighbor to neighbor” is supplied with all the detergent and bleach needed for “new” washers and dryers” forever and ever alleluia…..
    F@A suppliers in Concordia already is helping..anyone else interested …letSrs know..
    Thank you again..Happy New Year.. (nice way to start)
    Connie

  4. Jodi Creten on December 31st, 2020 1:34 pm

    What a wonderful gift that will keep on giving, thanks to the generosity of so many.

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