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Edmonton non profit issues urgent plea for washers and dryers

Washer and dryers are displayed at the Home Depot store in Londonderry, N.H. on July 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Krupa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Krupa

A not-for-profit organization that helps women across Western Canada who have to leave home for cancer treatment issued a request for help Tuesday.

Michelle Okere, CEO of Compassion House Edmonton, said all the organization’s washers and dryers were out of commission.

“All three of them are down at the same time right now,” she told Global News.

Read more: ‘Fashion with Compassion’ goes virtual; highlights strength of cancer survivors

On Twitter, Okere shared that these are commercial appliances and the company came out to diagnose the issue.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be a quick fix,” she wrote.

Okere said Compassion House was told it could be at least a month and a lot of money for parts.

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“Because the cost is so significant to get the parts in to fix it… it just doesn’t make sense to continue with them.”

Compassion House is hoping for a donation or deal to purchase new appliances, Okere said.

Compassion House provides safe, comfortable and affordable accommodations to women fighting cancer.

The group also offers programs and services post-treatment.

Currently, the home is full. Sixteen women are staying there.

“As you can imagine, there’s a lot of laundry that comes with having 16 women staying in a house, and because treatments differ for each of the women that are staying with us, we have people checking in and checking out at various times, so we have to obviously get new bedding in place, new towels, all those types of things,” Okere said.

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Click to play video: 'Fashion with Compassion fundraiser celebrating 25 years'
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Okere said the response to her initial ask for help has been incredible.

“I’ve had many people reach out to ask how they can support — whether that’s financially, making a donation — people have offered to take our laundry home and do it for us.

“We’ve had many dry cleaning agencies reach out as well to offer to provide support with dry cleaning in the meantime, while we’re waiting to replace the washer-dryer.

“We’re really seeing the incredible spirit of Edmontonians and the way that they really do come together to support in times of need,” Okere said.

“It never ceases to amaze me.”

To offer your support, visit Compassion House’s website or email Okere at michelle@compassionhouse.org.

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