NORTHBROOK, Ill. — The Coats for Vets collection drive, sponsored by Zengeler Cleaners and Libertyville Sunrise Rotary, set a new record for collecting coats for veterans in the Lake County, Illinois area this year. The drive collected 7,148 coats and jackets, along with hundreds of scarves, gloves and other winter clothing. The organizers say that this is double the number of items donated in any previous year.
“The Lake County community sent a clear message of appreciation to our vets, thanking them for providing the freedoms we enjoy and, too often, take for granted,” says Tom Zengeler, President of Zengeler Cleaners. “The U.S. has surviving veterans of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, those serving in the Middle East, as well as other conflicts. Far too many of our heroes find it challenging to transition to civilian life and find meaningful work in an ever-evolving employment environment. I am extremely proud of our veterans and extremely proud of the support members of Libertyville Sunrise Rotary, their families and businesses demonstrated this year.”
Zengeler pointed out that COVID-19 has been an additional challenge for many veterans.
“When you add the complications of a pandemic to the difficulties veterans already face, it’s more important than ever to support them in any way possible. While support for this cause has been strong through the years, the local community really stepped up this year. Hopefully, our veterans can see how much we really care about them. The record-setting response to the collection drive has an estimated retail value of more than $8,000, a number that pales in comparison to how much these donations mean to our veterans.”
Zengeler Cleaners has two stores in Libertyville that served as the drop-off locations for donations. After the items were collected, Zengeler Cleaners inspected, repaired as needed and cleaned every donated item. The clothing was delivered in time for Veterans Day on Nov. 11.