15 Oct 2013

For anyone who’s ever felt behind on their laundry (a challenge!!) #LaundryForAfrica

Spoiler Alert: At the end of this post I’m going to invite you to a virtual worldwide laundry day. I’m going to invite you to join me and my family as we build a water point and laundry facility for moms and their kids in South Africa. So that every time you fold those socks and super hero underoos you are reminded that moms do brave things. Including Laundry! #LaundryForAfrica

Moms do Brave Things, Including Laundry via lisajobaker.com

Remember those posts I wrote? About how I’m a motherless daughter, a working mom, a homesick South African? Those were part of me opening the door and inviting you into my Cheerios crushed underfoot living room.

Because stories connect us.

Stories build bridges.

Through our shared stories of laundry apocalypse and the every day wash and rinse and repeat that sometimes motherhood feels like, I can throw open the door today and invite you into a real live laundry story that comes to you all the way from my home in South Africa.

Because I am convinced that this blog is not my platform. This blog is a door. And that my responsibility is to open it and invite you in.


This is my step mom. She knit our family back together after my mom’s death. She and my dad adopted my brother, Ben Karabo the year before my first born, Jackson made me a mom. This is Mo on her shoulder, the third baby to join the family by adoption.

Wanda and Mo

This is my dad. He’s a doctor. He tells me all he ever really wanted was to be a preacher. But instead God just keeps giving him children. I tell him that sounds like Gospel to me.

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And this is the community my parents love and my adopted brothers and sisters are from. A whole community of moms who don’t have regular running water but still have all the same responsibilities, laundry and kids that we have.

Heat and waiting in line

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They live  just north of my hometown Pretoria, South Africa, in an area called Maubane. About 150 adults and 250 orphans and vulnerable children rely on outdoor faucets that often run out of water. Then they trek over to this spot, that currently has reliable water but no faucets, no floors, no structure. Just a hosepipe in the ground.


Water supply point


Imagine with me if you will, what laundry days would be like if this was your laundry room.

Because, the thing is, these moms and kids? This community? They’re extended family. My parents and the non profit organization they’re part of called Take Action have walked years and hundreds of stories with this community.

And you? You readers of this blog who’ve been walking alongside me and the every day wash and rinse and repeat chaos of motherhood? You’re extended family too.

And today? Today I want to connect you. My families. My stories. My countries.

Today I want to invite you to do virtual laundry together.

Help One Now and the local South African organizations that my parents work with, Take Action and the James 127 Trust have the architectural plans and the permission to build a community water point.

It’s designed with moms in mind. To make laundry days easier and bringing home water for cooking and drinking simpler.

The water point will be:

  • Consistent: because it will include a water storage tank so that even if water supply is interrupted, there will always be back up water.
  • Convenient: the water point will include clothes washing troughs – to make doing laundry easier.
  • Community friendly: there will be benches to sit and wait for a turn to wash clothes or gather water.
  • And offer food security: because it will be the water supply for a future vegetable garden.

And because the Internet can build a virtual bridge between here and South Africa moms the world over can offer to share a laundry day together. We all get being buried under piles of kids’ clothes and the knowledge that what we washed today will be dirty again tomorrow.

Let’s do virtual laundry together. Let’s build a water point and laundry facility for our sisters and their kids in South Africa.

So that every time you fold those socks and super hero underoos you are reminded that moms do brave things. Including Laundry! #LaundryForAfrica

It’ll cost us $5,000.

That includes the cost of the pump, the water storage tank and the local labor (which is a cool factor because it’s local job creation for the win!)

Donate the cost of a bottle of detergent, the cost of a load of laundry or the cost of a washer, won’t you?

So that next time you fold those socks and super hero underoos you are reminded that moms do brave things. Including Laundry! #LaundryForAfrica

And then, invite your friends —

Let’s do this thing.

UPDATED: YOU GUYS!!! We fully funded this project in less than 8 hours. I have full body goose bumps. Just got off the phone with my parents in South Africa and they’re going to send a thank you I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow. (Click here to read it). Let’s just say there was a lot of happy tears and happy dancing!!! Moms can do hard things! Amen!!




{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 2
    ro elliott says:

    love this…shared on FB…

  2. 4

    I love this so much! Thank you so much for building this bridge and inviting us to laundry day!

    • 5

      Thanks Collin. Turns out being a bridge is so much fun!!

      • 6

        It really is. When it is something that you care deeply about, it can be an incredibly vulnerable feeling, but when you that connection materializes, there is just nothing like it.

  3. 7

    Just made a donation. Thanks Lisa-Jo for doing this! Our team just got back from Valley of a 1000 Hills, South Africa, where they took over 400 lbs. of medical supplies to help out the medically least served. Does your father know Dawn Leppan at 1000 Hills Community Helpers?

    • 8

      Oh my heart, Linda. Amazing. So much amazing Kingdom work going on. Thank you for being such a blessing to my homeland and my heartland!

  4. 9

    I’ve wanted to ask you about this (supporting your parents’ work) for years…and have never remembered when I was face to face. Thank you for inviting us into this important work NOW…who knew laundry could be beautiful? :)


  5. 11

    You. I love you! Off to send virtual laundry detergent to the beautiful women of South Africa!

    (So, my sister-in-law is marrying a South African living in Namibia. Does that kind of make us related?)

  6. 13

    Sent some virtual laundry love to the sweet ladies of South Africa!! And happy to share the info :)

  7. 15

    How great is this! Just shared on FB. Thank you!

  8. 17

    This makes me giddy. I love how your story links to our stories so we can be apart of their stories, which is really God’s story.

    Will share on FB and Twitter, Lisa-Jo. This is the hands and feet of the Gospel. How beautiful they are.

  9. 18

    Thank goodness you aren’t actually challenging me to get on top of my own laundry pile…
    This, I can do. Loved your post, am excited to take part in this! What a cool way to connect what we do as moms here to moms there. Thanks!

  10. 19
    Virginia Adkins says:

    Thank you, Lisa, for giving us the opportunity to help you with this project. :)

  11. 20

    You don’t know it Lisa-Jo but God has been using you and his Word to give me some new perspective on the ordinary, including the laundry. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to join with you in providing for these mommas who need to get their laundry done in clean water. I wrote about it on my blog: http://meetyouinthemorning.blogspot.com, The blog title is “Lisa-Jo, Ordinary, Laundry and Me.” (FYI There seems to be a problem with the code for the embedded link to Pure Charity.)

  12. 21

    It’s never been more fun doing SOMEONE ELSE’S laundry!

  13. 22

    I just donated! Can’t wait to see how this helps women!!!

  14. 23

    Lisa Jo,

    Words can describe how much I love this idea! You go girl!
    Besides stirring my heart with this fantastic challenge, I love these words of yours in particular: “Because I am convinced that this blog is not my platform. This blog is a door. And that my responsibility is to open it and invite you in.”

    Thank you.
    Off now to donate some laundry money!

  15. 24

    love this. so much. thank you for sharing your story and inviting us into it!

  16. 25

    I LOVE this!!! Thank you for opening the door for us, Lisa-Jo! I had JUST looked through the Christmas gift catalog from Samaritan’s purse and thought how amazing it would be to raise money with friends for a clean water project. And then this! How is that not God?! Love when He shows up so personally in my life and combines several passions. Love you, love your heart!!! And you are already so close to your goal. Rejoicing and thankful to be a small part of it!

  17. 26

    Its done! Cant wait to see photos

  18. 27

    Shared on FB and tweeted it out. I am so on board to make laundry So Much More. Any chance to help another mama out – anywhere – YES PLEASE!

  19. 28

    Because the only way I ever check blogs anymore is when they come through my email I just now got to see this… and because it’s already funded I remembered the Mercy House and went over there and added to Phase 4. Last time I’d checked I think they were between phases so I couldn’t donate, but this helped.
    Thanks for reminding us and giving us the opportunities. :)

  20. 29

    LJ, your beautiful heart is inspiring and lovely to witness. I am privileged to be here, reading this testament to the limitless God we serve. xoxoxo.

  21. 30
    AineMistig says:

    Well, I JUST opened my email and read about this laundry project, and JUST got over here — and it’s already been done! The money has already been raised — IN LESS THAN A DAY!!!

    That’s amazing!!!

    I guess I’m a little late!

  22. 31

    Hey Lisa-Jo,
    I’m doing my 3 loads of washing today and am reading your post. How fantastic!
    Love Bron

  23. 32

    What a beautiful family you have and you are so brave to share your story with all of us. Love this!


  1. […] another story that has touched my heart. A story that will take place in Africa. Led by my friend, Lisa-Jo Baker. She wants to raise $5,000 to build a laundry facility for mothers who don’t have access to […]

  2. […] UPDATED: SURPRISE IS LIVE —> Click over and join Laundry Day for Africa, won’t you? […]

  3. […] Lisa-Jo has invited us to do virtual laundry together. Coming together to help make laundry days easier and bringing home water simpler for […]

  4. […] A blog I read this morning, from Lisa-Jo Baker, hit me square in the face! I had to take a moment to have a reality check! […]

  5. […] here to read the whole […]

  6. […] I shouldn’t have been surprised yesterday when you all remembered your sisters in South Africa. And funded a new community water point and laundry center in less than 12 hours […]

  7. […] couple days ago I read a blog post by a mom-blogger named Lisa-Jo Baker entitled, “For anyone who’s ever felt behind on laundry (a challenge!!!).” Um, yes. This post shot out across my screen. Laundry is this never ending cycle. I mean, […]

  8. […] If you want to learn more about Lisa Jo’s Laundry initiative please click here. […]

  9. […] that something so automatic for most of us as the washing and drying of clothing is, for many, anything but simple. Today’s prompt was […]

  10. […] – it’s a virtual Christmas party – everyone invited! (If you missed out on #LaundryForAfrica now’s your chance to join the […]

  11. […] Phase 1: Community Vegetable Garden {watered by the water point you all built last fall} […]

  12. […] Phase 1: Community Vegetable Garden{watered by a water point that Lisa-Jo’s community built last fall} […]

  13. […] Phase 1: Community Vegetable Garden {watered by the water point you all built last fall} […]

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