Orange Sky Laundry

Young Australians of the Year for 2016, Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett visited St Mary's College on Tuesday and spoke to the College Assembly about their simple inspiring and transforming idea which has made a huge difference to the lives of some 10 000 homeless in Australia. The two boys, ex-students of our brother Edmund Rice College, Gregory Terrace, decided to put two washing machines and two dryers in the back of a van and travel the streets of Brisbane, offering to wash the clothes of street people. This required them to not only fit out the van, but to visit the world of the homeless, be their guest, gain their trust to give them their most valuable possessions (their clothes), then to chat with them and offer them a friendly conversation while the clothes were being washed and dried. This simple idea has grown to such an extent that vans have now been rolled out at the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne CBD and south-east, Perth and now, overseas in the United States. They now have some 600 volunteers completing some 800 loads of washing per week. Nicholas and Lucas’ aim has always been to raise health standards, restore respect and reduce the strain on homeless people’s finances.

I spoke to many St Mary's College boys at the conclusion of their presentation who were truly inspired by these two outstanding young men. A small dream, two huge hearts and a passion to make the world a better place.
The presentation concluded with a group of senior boys having lunch with Nick and Lucas, sharing their own ideas and dreams, asking lots of questions and presenting the boys with a small cheque of $400 which they had collected for the cause.

Parents, please discuss this venture and the goodness of these boys’ works with your sons.

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