Everyone matters: Army Veteran in Bowie spreading love in the form of a shower

Publication Date: 2024-05-16

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Sometimes it's the simple things like taking a shower some can take for granted. Not realizing that something like a bar of soap becomes a treasure. Bernadette Fobbs saw this in those living without a place to call home, during her time of serving in the Army.

"Everyone matters, that's Fobbs' motto. I love people, I love caring for people because it was demonstrated for me and I saw the impact of it on a community. One person can make a difference," said Fobbs, who is an Army veteran.

At nine-years-old, she watched her grandmother care for those less fortunate.

"I watched my grandmother give sandwiches out of her front door to people walking down the street and giving half her groceries to a lady down the street who you know didn't have as much," said Fobbs. It was something she wanted to mimic.

"Making a difference where you're at, you don't have to make a big splash but you got to get in the water," said Fobbs.

It was when she turned 18 she took the leap.

"I wanted to do something different than my siblings, they had graduated from high school and gotten jobs but I wanted to do something different, I told my mom I want to join the army and she was like ok," said Fobbs.

She served for 37 years but it was her 12-month deployment to Afghanistan that changed her life.

"I was with the Task Force 62nd Medical Brigade and we managed all the medical assets," said Fobbs. "There were some tough times, I saw a lot. A lot of pain, but we got through it and we got through it together.

The struggles she saw people face during her time in the military brought her to where she is today.

"As I traveled around the country around the world I saw homeless persons at every duty station," said Fobbs. "When I was bold enough to ask them what they would like, most of them said they would love to be able to take a shower in a safe, secure place. It left an impact. While I was in Afghanistan we did use shower trailers and I remembered that when. I got back, I was like I can do this, Ive been in those shower trailers I know what it takes to maintain one," said Fobbs.

That's when Apryl Showers was created. "I developed my company Apryl Showers and bought a two stall shower trailer and I said you know what Im going to take it to them Im going to take it to where the need is," said Fobbs.

Why the name you may ask. "I chose the name Apryl Showers because when you think of the month of April its a refreshing, renewing," said Fobbs.

She started in Bowie. Now two years later, she and her husband travel from DC to the most northern part of Maryland to set up the mobile trailer.

Fobbs said, "So I have several people who have told me about different pockets of homeless persons that they've seen either on the side of the road or they know about. Each person has access to a stall that includes a sanitized toilet and a shower.

"We use the COVID-level cleansers," said Fobbs. Once they're clean, they get to pick a new outfit and get a bag full of basic necessities.

"Being homeless is a circumstance it's not the end," said Fobbs.

On May 18, the Apryl Showers Foundation will be providing showers to the unhoused right here in Baltimore. For more information, click here.

Baltimore News


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