In Australia, one in six children live below the poverty line and with the rising cost of living, it’s likely the number of families struggling to make ends meet will only continue to increase.
As a result, clean clothes and school uniforms aren’t a reality for every child – a basic need that helps build self-esteem. To support Aussie families, OMO and Orange Sky – the world’s first mobile laundry and shower service – have teamed up to expand the amount of free laundry services to reach more families and ease the cost of living.
We spoke with Gemai, a local Cairns ‘friend’ of Orange Sky and mother of five who has been accessing Orange Sky’s services in Cairns for three years. She has felt the effects of the rising cost of living and uses the service to wash her whole family’s clothes, helping her to save on weekly household expenses.
How often do you use Orange Sky laundry?
“I have been accessing Orange Sky’s services in Cairns for three years helping to wash my whole family’s clothes. I have five children who age from 6 years to 16 years old, so it’s important for me to come on Saturday’s so I can get my children’s uniforms washed for the week ahead.”
How has it helped you?
“If I couldn’t access Orange Sky’s services, I would have to fill up two big buckets of water and do a hand wash, or I’d have to save up around $40 to take the washing to a laundromat. It’s really convenient because when the Orange mob comes, they set up right near my front gate.”
“I really like the staff – they are incredibly friendly, and I have spent time getting to know everyone for the last couple of years. It’s so nice to have a conversation with adults instead of kids all the time, so I appreciate the friendships I’ve made.”
The Confidence Cycle and how they plan to help Aussie families
The Confidence Cycle is an initiative by OMO and Orange Sky Laundry to bring confidence to Aussie kids through the power of clean clothes.
For school-aged kids, popping on a fresh uniform every day can go a long way in building self-esteem and good hygiene habits in adulthood. But this isn’t the reality for every school child.
Through access to free laundry services, the goal is to lighten the load for Aussie families and ensure that school kids can take on the week with the confidence that comes with fresh and clean uniforms.
Supporting families in Cairns and beyond
To support Aussie families, OMO and Orange Sky are encouraging families in Cairns to visit an Orange Sky service to access free laundry services.
The Orange Sky service supported by OMO is located at Cairns Villa and Leisure Park, 28 Pease St, Manoora, Queensland, 4870. The location was chosen to be in close proximity to local schools, to provide better accessibility to families. To find a service near you, visit https://locations.orangesky.org.au/
1ACOSS, Poverty in Australia 2020 Report, here.
2 Raising Children Network Australia, 2022