St. Joseph’s confirmation class in Sequim brought in more than 35,000 laundry pods through a fundraiser for Serenity House of Clallam County. It was their service project as part of the class. (Morgan Nolan)

St. Joseph’s confirmation class in Sequim brought in more than 35,000 laundry pods through a fundraiser for Serenity House of Clallam County. It was their service project as part of the class. (Morgan Nolan)

Serenity shelter receives 35,000-plus laundry pods from youths

PORT ANGELES — Guests at the shelter at Serenity House of Clallam County are well-supplied for laundry detergent for a few years, thanks to Peninsula youths.

Five students in St. Joseph’s confirmation class in Sequim led a campaign as part of their service hours to bring in laundry pods for people without housing using laundry services at Serenity’s Port Angeles shelter.

In total, they brought in 35,418 laundry pods, according to class leaders deacon Dan Powers and youth minister Morgan Nolan. Their original goal was 7,300 to cover laundry pods for guests in a year.

“It was really a surprise,” said 11-year-old John Nolan II. “It’s crazy how good this turned out.”

Powers, a board member with Serenity House, said executive director Sharon Maggard mentioned in 2023 that the organization had a need for laundry pods, and the Sequim church’s confirmation class stepped up to bring in 3,600 pods in a short amount of time.

In October, Maggard asked if they’d be willing to help again.

The five students met at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings since September and will receive the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults on May 25, when Nolan said the students are considered adult Catholics.

In the classes, she said they teach basics of the Catholic faith and understand how the church works.

Included is 30 required service hours, so they can “take some ownership and make a difference,” Nolan said.

“We’re trying to focus on kids learning to do service and help people in our community,” she said.

The laundry pod campaign launched in mid-March and featured a Bingo event, announcements at Mass, and students reaching out to family, friends and neighbors.

“It was just wildly successful,” Nolan said.

“Everyone was shocked. We could not believe the laundry pods and money coming in.

“Deacon Dan and I were counting ... it just got bigger and bigger.”

Powers also set up a Gofundme account that received donations from around the world.

Parishioners donated about 7,700 laundry pods, leaders said, and with fiscal donations, they purchased the remainder from a wholesaler.

All pods went to the shelter, class leaders said, with 23,000 delivered a few weeks ago and the rest on April 17.

Maggard said shelter staff used powdered soap for laundry per night for 105-119 people and found pods work much better.

“Imagine measuring soap out for all of those people,” she said.

“They were able to give us five years of soap pods. It’s incredible.”

Powers, who was homeless for a time as a teenager, said it’s “difficult having much without a place to live and clean clothes are almost impossible.”

“It was an amazing accomplishment for the kids, and for the church as a whole,” Powers said.

Class leaders said the confirmation class will continue to do service hours. What they seek out will be up to Serenity House leaders.

Last year, students donated nearly 400 coats to people in Forks, and they raised funds for hats, gloves, scarves and toiletries in 2022.

St. Joseph in Sequim, 121 E. Maple St., can be reached at 360-683-6076 with more information on Clallam Catholic at

Maggard said leaders haven’t decided what they might partner with students on next, but said the shelter always need pillows, single bed sheets and blankets at Serenity Lodge on 18th Street in Port Angeles. She said donations are welcome through the Serenity Thrift Store, 551 W. Washington St., with some donated clothes sent to people without proper clothing, and furniture, dishes and linens given to people who have just been housed through the nonprofit.

Maggard said shelter tours are available any time; visitors just need to go to the front desk.

For more information or to donate, visit serenity To make a check donation, mail to Serenity House of Clallam County, P.O. Box 4047, Port Angeles, WA 98363.

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