When my dad sent the clipping from the local newspaper, I knew I had to cover this story. I was amazed at the way one woman had connected with hundreds of families by focusing on a mundane, everyday necessity: laundry detergent. She realized the need was great, every week, for hundreds of families still awaiting a permanent home nearly a year after they lost theirs to a terrible storm.
On the phone before my visit, I chatted with Maggie about how she made the project happen, even comparing homemade laundry soap recipes. The one I was using, from WVE, called for vegetable based Castile soap. She hadn’t tried that, so I excitedly cleared most of my local store shelf to take her some bars.
While most of the laundry soap for storm victims has been made in Joplin, I found out that some was made by the efforts of out-of-state schoolchildren who sent it back to the area. When I met a church youth group learning to make soap for the first time, I was impressed by their willingness to undertake any task they were given with a humble attitude.