Thursday brought with it laundry day, so we drove around Eureka, CA, until we found the local Launderland. Ten days living out of a car and camping in the woods really takes a toll on the clean clothes supply. Earlier, while we drove down the coast, we decided that paying for people’s laundry loads would be a great way to pay it forward. A quick stop at Wells Fargo for rolls of quarters and we headed back to Launderland.

At first things were slow. We started some loads of laundry and used their internet to keep you all updated on our whereabouts. A woman came in with a couple of loads and filled up two machines. Nate swept in behind putting two stacks of quarters on the machines. She seemed a little confused. Why were we doing this? After hearing our story, she seemed genuinely appreciative. 

We worked on our computers until a man walked in and filled a machine. Shane made his way over and stacked the proper amount of quarters on the washer. “Your laundry is covered.” Shane said. Again, confusion followed by appreciation.

People started coming in a little faster and we walked from one side to another filling machines with quarters. Families, young couples, friends, single mothers… Every backstory seemed to find its way in. We had taken a simple day’s events and turned them into something meaningful. A father and his two daughters continued to tell us, “Give thanks.” A young couple told us, “We were so low on money we had just put this off for a long time.” A story we would never have known had we not opened the door to hear it.

By the time we had our things wrapped up and made our way out of Launderland, we received hugs, handshakes, and words of thanks. People were chatting with us and others who wouldn’t have otherwise -- a recurring theme along our route. Opening that door to conversation seems to get easier and easier.

It doesn’t take big bills to make big change.‪#‎ProjectWildness‬