Lighter Loads ATX
HOPE... DIGNITY... LOVE...
Love One... Then Another...
Greetings from Lighter Loads ATX
It’s with a heavy heart that after five (5) years of serving our homeless neighbors in Austin, we have come to the difficult decision to shut down our program. In those five (5) years, we have dedicated ourselves to Lighter Loads ATX almost every weekend, and in so doing, we have missed many family events, holidays, and milestones. Last month, my husband and I moved to South Carolina to be closer to our children. Thus, we are not able to effectively continue managing Lighter Loads ATX remotely and must cease operations. While Lighter Loads ATX is disbanding, all is not lost. We are excited to announce that we are donating all our equipment, trailers, and supplies to TCAN of Williamson County.
For those unfamiliar, TCAN stands for Taylor Center for Assistance & Navigation, which began as a group of citizens- who during extreme weather- worked together to help local unhoused citizens. TCAN’s mission is to connect the unhoused in Taylor with resources that would allow them to thrive in the community. As such, they share our mission of preserving the dignity of our unhoused friends by providing shower service, connecting them to important resources, and connecting with them on a personal level. To learn more about TCAN, please visit taylorcan.org.
When we began Lighter Loads ATX five (5) years ago, there was but a small handful of organizations doing shower service across the US. Today, the movement is spreading and organizations are starting up all over. We remember the early days when we needed to raise the $41,000 to purchase the shower/laundry trailer. It was an effort that took close to a year. To be able to bless TCAN with the trailer will help us feel that although we are shutting down, our legacy will continue.
“Thank you for caring in tangible ways, but with the grace and dignity and respect that is just as vital.” Lighter Loads ATX Guest
There are not enough hours to express my gratitude to every donor, volunteer, board member, partner, and friend who has stood beside us to do the work we were called to do. To start I would like to thank our Founding Member, Debbie Booher who was the first one to come alongside with her desire to serve. Over the years, Debbie has helped prepare and distribute meals and hygiene supplies, scheduled our weekly volunteers, organized volunteers for our fundraisers, and most importantly, loved on our friends. Every week, her smile and enthusiasm were there to greet guests at our registration table.
Along with Deb, I want to express my gratitude to Ali Hendrickson and Paul List who served as Board Members. Ali began as a volunteer and now serves as our Secretary. Paul began serving as a volunteer who helped with setup and tear down and has served as our Treasure for three (3) years. Over the years, he has become the expert at knowing all things “shower trailer.” He often used his spare time to clean, tune-up, and repair the trailer. Thank you both for all you did to make Lighter Loads ATX successful.
To all the volunteers, I want to say thank you! Thank you for the long hours in the heat and in the cold. Thank you for the countless meals that were prepared, showers that were cleaned, loads of laundry that were done, hygiene items distributed, haircuts, and beard trims given, and cups of coffee that were made. To the setup and tear-down team, I thank you for all you did to roll out our events in such an organized manner. There simply aren’t enough words to express my gratitude, but please know that I carry many fond memories of each of you.
To both the North Austin YMCA and the Town Lake YMCA, I thank you for coming alongside us by allowing us to set up our events in your parking lots. Having a mobile shower and laundry service doesn’t work unless you have gracious hosts. Your partnership with Lighter Loads ATX was essential in serving our guests.
To Dr. Freeman, I thank you for the countless adjustments you made to help our homeless friends. You truly have a heart to help your community. Your commitment to giving back is a strong example to us all.
To Kerby of Kerby’s Clothing Ministry, thank you for your sincere dedication and love for the homeless. Our partnership was a strong bond of love and compassion for those we served and your faithfulness will not be forgotten.
To all those who financially supported us, I want to say thank you! It simply could not have been done without your support. Your financial support provided thousands of meals, essential hygiene items, gas and propane, ice, necessary insurance…the list is nearly endless. You truly are what made Lighter Loads ATX a success.
As a reminder: If you donate monthly, please discontinue your support. (See the video below for instructions.)
Last, but not least, I would like to thank my husband, James, who initially believed in my vision. James spent many late nights and early mornings working on our operational procedures. He filed all the necessary paperwork to get our 501(c)3. He served as our Board Vice-President, Operations Manager, block-party DJ, and security detail at all our events. I cannot express how grateful I am for his belief in me and Lighter Loads ATX.
It has been a wonderful five (5) years. There are so many precious moments I will carry with me. The smiles and tears of joy that we saw were truly priceless. I wish everyone a life full of Hope, Dignity, and Love.
With Loads of Love and Gratitude,
Laura Founder of Lighter Loads ATX
Please watch the video below to learn how to cancel your donation subscription to Lighter Loads, or visit https://www.paypal.com/us/cshelp/article/what-is-an-automatic-payment-and-how-do-i-update-or-cancel-one-help240 for more information.