Wash Authority is cleaning the playground equipment at 10 Mid-Missouri schools free of charge.
In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17, Wash Authority owners Karen Loaiza-Wulff and Eric Wulff created a Facebook post asking people to nominate local elementary schools for the service. The schools receiving the most mentions won a free power wash and sanitization of playground equipment on their playgrounds.
About 50 schools were mentioned in the comments; the post had 543 shares and nearly 1,500 votes.
Originally, Loaiza-Wulff and Wulff planned to select the top four schools. But given the response and close votes, they decided to make it 10.
"We just kind of realized that there really is a great need for this, but a lot of the schools don't have the extra money for cleaning like that," Loaiza-Wulff said.
The winning schools were California, St. Peter, Russellville, Belair, River Oak, Pioneer Trail, Moreau Heights, Blair Oaks, New Bloomfield and St. Martin.
Loaiza-Wulff and Wulff have four daughters — three in elementary school and one in middle school. Some classes at their schools had only 10 students last month because of a flu outbreak, so she thought cleaning the playground equipment would be a great way to get rid of these germs and raise awareness of where germs hide.
"The playground is something that a lot of kids are exposed to daily, but it's a source for germs that just gets overlooked," Loaiza-Wulff said.
Loaiza-Wulff said they do a random act of kindess every year to give back to the community. Last year, they cleaned the playground equipment for the HALO Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and education to homeless and at-risk children.
"We're grateful because it is kind of a light into our world, like we're able to kind of see where germs are hiding in different places around the community and be able to educate people in that way," Loaiza-Wulff said. "It's an opportunity that also helps our business because a lot of people just don't realize what can be cleaned and what it can do."