FLINT, Michigan — In a small back room near the entryway at Durant-Tuuri Mott Elementary school sits an unexpected gift intended to make school, and life, a little easier for Flint families.
A volunteer at the school, Chia Morgan’s smile is as infectious as is her commitment to helping the Flint community. A social worker by trade, Morgan is program coordinator and treasurer for Well of Hope, a Flint nonprofit charity that made the gift using a donation from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
“I think clean clothes are essential,” said Morgan. “You have the staff here trying to get enrollment up trying to get attendance up, but from a social worker perspective, if you think about it, a child without clean clothes won’t want to attend school.”
Parents can sign up for times to use the washer and dryer — and spend time with their children.
“We are blessed by organizations like Well of Hope that consistently choose to impact Flint children in a variety of ways,” said Chris Collins, community school director at Durant-Tuuri-Mott. “Access to laundry equipment may be extremely limited for some families, and the generosity of this donation will allow us to continue to serve our families by helping to meet their basic needs.”
The washer and dryer can help build children’s self esteem and address issues that sometimes lead to bullying, Morgan said.
“Being able to provide free washer and dryer services for families allows us to further provide wraparound services. We are able to show L-O-V-E and ensure students have a safe learning environment,” said Principal Angela Ascencio-Mindlin. “We are excited and thankful to Well of Hope for this generous donation.”
Collins also notes that the washer and dryer could help open up other doors. Bringing parents into the school can also help engage them in other aspects of the school and their children’s education.
“We know at the elementary age that kids are really dependent on their parents,” he said. “We’re not a laundromat, but we are hoping families know that if that is a barrier we are here to help alleviate that.”
Community School Director Chris Collins and Chia Morgan from Well of Hope talk about the importance of access to a washer and dryer for families.