Ebonie Trice was raised going to a church that recognized the importance of helping others. Now, as an adult, she’s carrying on that very mindset.
The influence her church back in Indiana had on her is made clear in the nonprofit she started after moving to Austin, Texas, a decade ago. But in order to figure out the best way she could help her new community, she first looked to those already there.
Ebonie reached out to lead pastors at local churches, asking how she could supplement their homelessness outreach initiatives. After much discussion, they began to narrow their focus.
“I started personally thinking about how often I can wash [clothes],” Ebonie said. “I have a washer and dryer in my home, and it’s easy if I wanted to wash every day or every other day. But something as simple as that, we take for granted.”
In 2014, Ebonie officially founded the nonprofit Mission Accomplished. When it began, she and her volunteers would collect dirty clothes from homeless camps, wash them at a laundromat, and then return them to their owners.
As traction for their service began to build, they created laundry kits full of cleaning supplies that they would distribute themselves. Thanks to local partnerships, the people who received the kits had access to in-house washers and dryers at various churches.
Since then, Mission Accomplished has gone on to expand their reach in a number of ways. In addition to laundry services, they provide families in need with food, water, 24-hour bus passes, gift cards, clothing, and toiletry items.
Their outreach was a huge success… then the pandemic began and made things more complicated.
“You’re trying to keep your volunteers safe but you also want to still help, and so it became a real big challenge,” Ebonie said. “But then we started running into where [laundromat] owners didn’t want that look in their facilities, and so they didn’t want us to have — to have an overload of individuals experiencing homelessness in their facility. So then we had to take a pause. And it was like, OK, what do we do?”
Ebonie began looking to other nonprofits for support and found the perfect connection: Lighter Loads ATX. Together with founders James and Laura Ritchie, Ebonie formed a new program called Laundry Angels on Wheels.
Using mobile trailers, these incredible nonprofits bring washers and dryers to the shelters where so many people experiencing homelessness are located.
One of the locations they frequent is Sunrise Community Church, which provides people in need with so much of what they need in one spot. That includes shelter, case management, employment assistance resources, and laundry services, of course!
“It’s kind of like their one-stop shop, because the goal is to bring the services to them,” Ebonie said.
To celebrate their new mobile services, Mission Accomplished hosted a grand opening celebration on October 16, 2021. There, Ebonie got to interact one-on-one with the individuals they help, something she’s been able to do more of with their new service.
“It’s such a different impact right now because we get to, like, talk to them,” she said. “It’s just like, the realness of it, and then you get to see them all the time.”
What an incredible way to give back to her community! Share this story to celebrate the positive change Ebonie and Mission Accomplished are making in Texas.
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