|Maggie Steele Makes Laundry Soap for|
Joplin Tornado Victims
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.
Maggie Steele determined a way to put her time and know-how to work stretching donated resources to help the most people for the least cost. She tweaked a homemade laundry soap recipe to fit current needs and resources, coming up with a way for people to collectively wash more than 35,000 loads of laundry and save thousands of dollars in the process.
|Donated Kirk's Castile Soap|
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.
|Grating Ivory Soap|
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.
No doubt I can't imagine how great the hurt and need still is in Joplin, especially for those who lost loved ones. I do understand that the simplest acts of kindest, even things easily overlooked, can serve to heal the human spirit.