Reaching the community
Mar 18, 2014 | 1424 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Laundromat that is becoming more
The Laundry Room, located at the intersection of Keith and Willow streets, is one of Cleveland’s newest businesses, and not only offers great service, but is giving back to the community through several programs. Standing at the recently installed Imagination Library bookshelf are, from left, Jeff Rogers, president of Living Water Ministries; Patrick Long, vice president of development for the United Way of Bradley County; Toby Schrock, 4, son of Chad and Rachel Schrock; Tasha Sullivan, director of Communications for The Laundry Room; and Heath Sullivan, owner of The Laundry Room, with the Imagination Library bookshelf donated by the United Way of Bradley County and the Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland’s ReStore.
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The Laundry Room, located at 891 Keith St., opened its doors on Feb. 19 with the intention of being more than simply a laundromat.

The Laundry Room is locally owned and operated and has partnered with three other local organizations so far. One such partnership is with the United Way of Bradley County to bring children’s books to the laundromat through the Imagination Library program.

The United Way recently installed a bookshelf and donated books to line the shelves. A sign on the bookshelf reads, “Free Library: Take a book home to read and bring another book back when you are finished,” which is also translated in Spanish.

The local Imagination Library is a program of the United Way of Bradley County intended for children from birth to age 5 from all backgrounds. It sends books to the homes of children registered in the program, completely free of charge, to encourage literacy.

Sarah Haratine, AmeriCorps VISTA and director of the project, said, “Only half of the community’s eligible newborns to 5-year-olds currently receive free monthly books, so we are trying to raise that number dramatically by introducing new, innovative tactics.”

The books donated to The Laundry Room’s shelf are those that are unable to be delivered.

The owner of The Laundry Room, Heath Sullivan, is a Cleveland native. He attended Cleveland City Schools and graduated from Lee University with a degree in business administration.

Sullivan’s goal is to give back to the community that has shaped him, with his primary focus on children’s education.

In addition to partnering with United Way of Bradley County, The Laundry Room has also partnered with Living Water Missions International to donate to The Caring Place. The Laundry Room is donating 10 percent of all vending machine income to The Caring Place’s Sac Pac program, which places nutritious meals in the backpacks of children who otherwise may not have the opportunity to eat over the weekend until returning to school. The vending machine is stocked with more than 30 varieties of drinks.

The Sac Pac program also receives a grant from United Way of Bradley County’s Health Endowment Fund.

In addition to the Imagination Library bookshelf and the vending machine, The Laundry Room also provides free Wi-Fi. It boasts high-capacity laundry equipment, dryers, laundry supply vending, change machines, plenty of comfortable seating, and an automatic door.

The Laundry Room is making the effort to give its patrons a safe, comfortable atmosphere that edifies the community.

The Laundry Room is located in a plaza on the corner of Keith and Willow Streets, just behind Auto Zone. Questions about location and services can be found on The Laundry Room’s Facebook page or by calling 423-716-0655. It is open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to midnight.