“Loads of Luv” laundry program helps kids have clean clothes; benefactor honored
Children needing access to laundry facilities and clean clothes are better off because of the contributions of a Flint businessman, Sheldon T. Banks of the Sheldton T. Banks Funeral Chapel.
Banks was honored Tuesday by the Genesee Health Plan (GHP) for contributions to the “Loads of Luv” laundry program to ensure students and their families have access to clean clothes.
The program was started by Genesee Health Plan community health worker Melody Relerford at Freeman Elementary School.
“As a Flint native, living, working and owning my own business in Flint, I want to do anything I can to help the community succeed,” Banks said.“It’s an honor to give back to the children who will be the future of our community because I feel they deserve the opportunity to thrive.”
According to Communications Coordinator Shannon Ciszek of the GHP, in 2018, Relerford approached Banks telling him some students and families at Freeman Elementary School needed clean clothing and access to laundry facilities.
That inspired the “Loads of Luv” laundry program, which then “blossomed through the partnership between Genesee Health Plan and Banks,” Ciszek said. Banks also purchased over 200 pairs of socks for students.
The laundry program is just one of Banks’s many community contributions. He sends 20 Flint children to Cedar Point each year and has helped place dumpsters throughout the city for clean-up efforts.
Banks is a member of the Society of Minority Firefighters and is a firefighter for the City of Flint, where he donated thermal imaging cameras so firefighters can identify “hot spots” for fires on the inside of buildings before the firefighters enter, Ciszek said. .
He also does a turkey giveaway each Thanksgiving, and throughout the water crisis, he volunteered his business as a water distribution site.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Mr. Banks and his generosity in helping those in need,” said Jim Milanowski, GHP President and CEO.
“There are so many heroes in our community who work behind the scenes and go unrecognized, and these people are selfless and give of their time, passion and heart back into the community to see it flourish. Mr. Banks is one of those community heroes, and we’re proud to honor him for his continued commitment to the community.”
—Edited by EVM Staff