Free laundry day helps the community
By VICKI BROWN
The “In His Name-Colleton” charity sponsored a free laundry day on the Hampton Street laundry mat for the community with the help of business owner Mark Wysong.
The Free Laundry Day on September 18 is one of many sponsored by IHN each year. The event typically brings together hundreds of people in one day to take advantage of the opportunity to wash and dry clothes for free, and Saturday’s event was no exception.
One of those people was Bernerdine McCall.
“I feel good about it. It’s a good thing they are doing by giving back to the community, ”said McCall.
The IHN worked with laundry carpet owner Mark Wysong, who was excited about the opportunity to partner with the ministry.
“I want to make this community better and improve it. When IHN Director Amanda Herndon came to me with the idea of having a free laundry day, I thought it was a great idea. Homeless shelter volunteers bring a lot to the table, like clothes and hygiene supplies, and they do it, ”Wysong said. “These are essential services that people in our community need. “
During Covid, he ensured that the entire building was sanitized. “My numbers haven’t slowed down at all because this business is an essential service. I usually have 200 to 300 people who come here a week, ”he said.
Wysong also owns the laundry mat on Bells Highway and IHN alternates free laundry days between the two companies.
“People need a clean place to wash their clothes, with all the machines in good working order. The place should also be safe where they can bring their families and wash clothes. It took me three years to get to where it needs to be. I will be adding several new machines soon, ”Wysong said.
“Most people don’t know that so many people use the laundry mat. For those with poor infrastructure their sewage is flooded and they need this business. For others, a home machine is small and time consuming. Here at the laundry mat, you save time… you can load several large machines and wash a lot of clothes quickly and dry them quickly, saving the rest of your weekend. You can also do it cheaper here than at home, ”he added.
In addition to working with IHN, Wysong also worked with Keep Walterboro Beautiful as a volunteer to help clean up Francis Street.
“We have to do what we can to help our community,” he said. “If you look at the surrounding counties, most of them have grown and increased in population. Walterboro didn’t. We are actually losing people. Other communities like ours have grown by 15-20%, and we have lost 10% of our population. It terrifies me. I own several businesses here and it scares me that this will happen, ”Wysong said.
“It’s an amazing place, and I have invested my life here, but we are not taking advantage of the opportunities available. Families are settling everywhere around us, not in Colleton. We do not explode and do not benefit from it at all, ”he said.
In early 2019, Wysong, from Richmond, Va., Bought up the laundry businesses, noting the chain fence and broken pavement in front of the store. He took them apart, made repairs, installed 27 cameras around the property, stayed open 24 hours a day, lowered prices, fixed equipment and cleaned the store. “This city has everything you need to live, but it’s not growing. I would love to see it grow and prosper, ”Wysong said.
As a former Air Force officer who had lived in the Washington, DC area, for him it was heaven. “I fell in love with the Charleston area and love it here in Walterboro. I know my clients and they know me. I love the city and my community, ”Wysong said.
“I’m just a local business owner trying to help my community,” Wysong said. “We need more people who are willing to put in more than they take. “