Operation: Clean Start is a hands on way families can remember the poor while they are doing their weekly shopping. We at The King’s Jubilee have been serving homeless people for over twenty years. We want to do more to help those who are transitioning off of the street into permanent housing. It is a difficult social and psychological transition to move indoors after more than ten years on the street, not to mention the economic challenges. It is not enough to just be given a key and a bag of food. When you clean something, you take some pride in it, and you make it your own. It is something to do; something to occupy the hands, so the mind can calm down. What you are doing when you assemble one of these cleaning kits is filling a bucket full of hope.
We have started giving one of these kits to each of the men who we know from the street as they have moved into housing. We hope to be able to provide them for every homeless person in Philadelphia as they enter permanent housing. Eventually, we would like to help replicate this around the region and around the nation. Operation: Clean Start could become the Welcome Wagon to the formerly homeless. But we are getting ahead of ourselves, talking about the Gulf of Mexico and we’re still at Lake Itasca. (Google it.) Speaking of bodies of water, we want to make both versions as environmentally friendly and as hypoallergenic as we can.
Some may want to do this all at once. Others may want to buy an item a week until they have it together. Whatever you can handle. We are hoping for some faithful people who will take this on and commit to making one kit each month or one kit each quarter. Try it first and see if it’s for you. Thanks. May God bless you.
Let’s get started. There are two versions of the kit.
This is the version where you purchase everything, rather than make them from recipes. It is a little more expensive, but takes a whole lot less time.
Comet (or generic equivalent)
eco friendly dish soap such as Simple Green or Seventh Generation
white vinegar – quart size bottle fits well
eco friendly all-purpose spray such as Simple Green or Sun & Earth
eco friendly window cleaner such as Simple Green
All Free & Clear Small and Mighty (3x concentrated laundry detergent)
The DIY Bucket:
The DIY bucket is for those who want to make some of the cleaning products themselves. The recipes for making more then go into the kit. This is especially helpful for those who want to put real effort into being frugal. This version is more time intensive to put together. Well supervised children can help with this.
big box of baking soda
white vinegar quart size bottle
eco friendly dishwashing soap or bottle of liquid castile soap
plastic jug of homemade laundry soap (recipe here)
spray bottle full of homemade all purpose spray (recipe below)
spray bottle of homemade glass cleaner (recipe below)
jar of homemde bathoom scrub (recipe below)
Both buckets will contain the following items also:
package of dark green type Scotch Brite scrubbing pads
4 or more washcloths (dollar store is a good place)
toilet brush with stand
dustpan and brush
floor scrub brush with hole for attaching handle (wooden preferred)
small item to personalize their home or a favorite edifying book
large sturdy bucket (Home Depot’s orange buckets are $2.60 each- best price found so far)
We request a $10 donation to The King’s Jubilee with each kit to cover the costs of transport, storage and delivery of the kit. Thank you.
AllPurpose spray recipe
In clean empty sprayer bottle, pour 2 cups warm water, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, 1 Tbsp borax and 1 Tbsp lemon juice or 20 drops lavender or citrus essential oil
Be sure to write the kind of cleaner on the bottle with a Sharpie.
Glass cleaner recipe
In clean empty sprayer bottle, pour 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, 5 drops essential oil(optional)
Mark sprayer to denote type of cleaner.
Bathroom scrub recipe
In a jar, combine 1/2 cup each baking soda and borax, plus 1 Tbsp salt. While mixing, add very slowly, one drop at a time, 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
Shake well to mix some more.
Mark jar with what type of cleaner it contains.