The pandemic challenged Aetna Medicare community outreach teams to find creative ways to positively impact seniors in low-income areas. Enter Hope & Soap, where we sponsor senior appreciation days in local laundromats.
“It’s a unique way to help our neighbors in need and meet them where they live,” said National Director for Medicare Community Outreach Ricardo Maldonado. “Having clean clothes is a part of wellness. It provides a sense of humanity and helps people feel better about themselves. It’s an opportunity to show how we can support their wellness.”
Ricardo witnessed seniors’ appreciation firsthand while helping Aetna Medicare Community Lead Generators Quiche Jones and Karen Rodriguez at their weekly Hope & Soap events throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively. Karen brought the idea last year to Ricardo, who shared it nationally. Since then, Aetna Medicare teams have held events in Nevada, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, West Virginia, California, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Florida.
“Although most people have laundries in their homes or apartments, we know active seniors still go to laundromats,” Quiche explained. “Especially during COVID-19, it gives them a chance to get out and go to a safe place where they can relax, watch tv and use the free wi-fi while they wait for their laundry. Laundromats are becoming community hubs, and through them we’re making a difference.”