Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

SMSC Supports Bridging’s Mission By Washing Blankets, Donating Linens


Prior Lake, MN – Each Christmas generous donors give gently used blankets to the local charitable organization Bridging. For the past nine years, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Laundry Facility has quietly washed those blankets to prepare them for distribution to local families.

This past holiday season, about 5,000 blankets were donated to Bridging through the Bring a Blanket drive held each year in conjunction with Subway Restaurants. Of those, 529 were slightly soiled and in need of washing so they were sent to the SMSC Laundry Facility in February 2012 where staff washed, dried, and hand-folded them at no cost.

“There are thousands of people in the state that can’t afford to sleep with blankets, even in the winter. Bridging doesn’t have the facilities needed to launder so many blankets. If we didn’t have this resource, these blankets wouldn’t be going to peoples’ homes. The SMSC has saved thousands of blankets over the years for people in need,” said Bridging Operations & Procurement Manager Jim Elfering.

In addition to laundering the blankets, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and its Gaming Enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino) has worked with Bridging for years, providing thousands of items: linens such as bed spreads, curtains, blankets, comforters, mattress pads, sheets, and pillow cases; furniture such as tables, chairs, bed frames, couches, lamps, mattresses, and box springs; and other items like shower curtains, ironing boards, pillows, and dishware. Several times a year Bridging drops off large loads of linens which the SMSC Laundry also washes at no charge.

Bridging’s mission is to provide families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness and poverty with a gift of quality furniture and household goods to stabilize and improve lives while effectively using community resources. Through a network of more than 125 social service agencies, eligible clients are referred to Bridging to pick out needed furniture and household goods to transform their house into a home.

Now in its 25th year, Bridging has fulfilled its mission with 57,000 households in need. Every year, Bridging serves more than 12,000 individuals in 4,000 households from the Twin Cities at its locations in Bloomington and Roseville. By accepting quality, gently used furniture and household good donations, Bridging also supports the community by reducing landfill space by millions of pounds every year.

The SMSC Laundry washed 3.6 million pounds of laundry last year for several SMSC enterprises, including Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, and more. Each year they also launder more than 575,000 uniforms for employees at the SMSC Gaming Enterprise. The SMSC Laundry employs 51 team members. Since opening in August of 2006 they have processed more than 16,200,000 pounds of linen and cleaned more than 2,800,000 garments.

To learn more about Bridging, accepted donations, and volunteer opportunities, please visit


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