NORTHBROOK, Ill., OAK BROOK, Ill. and TEWKSBURY, Mass. — As cold weather starts to descend on much of the nation, many drycleaners are stepping up with drives to help those underprivileged in their community obtain warmer clothing.
Coats for Vets
Zengeler Cleaners is teaming up once again with Libertyville Sunrise Rotary for its annual “Coats for Vets” collection drive. The goal is to collect winter coats, jackets and other seasonal apparel for veterans throughout northern Illinois.
“It’s far too common for veterans returning from active duty to face a variety of problems while trying to readjust to civilian life,” says Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners. “As long as U.S. troops are deployed in ‘hot zones’ around the world, we’ll continuously have a new group of veterans returning home every month – many of whom will be in desperate need of jobs, food, clothing and housing. ‘Coats for Vets’ provides a great opportunity to show our appreciation for the sacrifices our troops unselfishly make on our behalf.”
While the drive is called “Coats for Vets,” Zengeler Cleaners and Libertyville Sunrise Rotary welcome all types of clothing, especially blankets, gloves, hats and other seasonal apparel, in addition to coats and jackets. “With the help of generous individuals in the community, we’re confident this year’s drive will once again be a huge success,” Zengeler says. “And remember … every donated item will be put to good use! With that in mind, the ‘Coats for Vets’ drive may be a great time to look through your closets and donate all those items you no longer need.”
Donations will be accepted through Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Once the donations are gathered, the Zengeler team will thoroughly inspect, repair as needed and clean every single item, then deliver the renewed items for distribution prior to Veterans Day on Saturday, November 11.
Chicago Coats for Kids
For the 13th consecutive year, CD One Price Cleaners and the Infant Welfare Society (IWS) of Chicago are helping local children stay warm this winter with the launch of the “Coats for Kids” partnership.
“Coats for Kids” is a charitable coat-donation program benefiting underserved children and families of the Angel Harvey Family Health Center. The program is running from now to November 11, 2023.
"Many families struggle to get appropriate outerwear for the harsh Chicago winters,” says Jennifer Horan, coat drive co-coordinator, Infant Welfare Auxiliary Board, Lake Forest Chapter. “If we can help lift this burden for them, we are dedicated to doing so. CD One Price Cleaners is so generous to offer to clean these coats to get them ready for distribution in November.”
For the drive, CD One Price Cleaners will collect donated, gently used coats at all 38 locations in Illinois and Indiana, including Chicago city and suburbs. Donated coats will be cleaned at the CD One locations and picked up by the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago.
“CD One is profoundly dedicated to making sure the less fortunate youth in our community is well-equipped to handle Chicago's cold winters," says Jonathon Reckles, Vice President of Marketing at CD One. "We're eager to join hands with the Infant Welfare Society again to deliver these coats to those who need them most."
Caring Partners in Massachusetts
As New England’s largest coat drive for nearly 30 years, Caring Partners’ Coats for Kids & Families collects gently used coats of all sizes and for all ages from Oct. 2 through Jan. 7. After collection, the coats are professionally cleaned by Anton’s and given to local nonprofits, social service agencies, and schools for distribution. This year, their goal is to collect 50,000 warm coats for those in need.
School groups, corporations, communities, neighborhoods, and kind individuals are all welcome to donate coats for children and adults at all Anton's Cleaners, Jordan's Furniture, and Enterprise Bank locations.
Sponsored by Anton’s Cleaners, Enterprise Bank, and Jordan’s Furniture, Coats for Kids & Families has collected, cleaned, and distributed 1,212,369 free coats at more than 70 collection locations and events since the program began in 1995.
Coats for Kids & Families accepts warm winter coats that are new or gently used, good quality, and all sizes (especially XL and infant/pre-K sizes). The drive does not accept coats with rips, tears, broken zippers, or permanent stains, nor does the drive accept sweatshirts, vests and spring coats, boots, scarves, or gloves.
“For nearly three decades, Caring Partners has had one mission: anyone who needs a coat will have one,” says Arthur Anton Jr., COO of Anton’s Cleaners and founder of the program. “Local schools, companies, clubs, and nonprofits collaborate each year to collect, clean, and distribute 50,000 winter coats — a miraculous feat. This program gives back directly to the communities we serve, and we are proud to keep this program going as we approach three decades of service.”
School groups are critical to the program’s success. Each year, more than 200 dedicated school groups are responsible for half of all coat collections. Local public, parochial, and independent schools experience the rewards of community service and get incentivized through the School Rewards Program offering six $1000 prizes to schools that collect the most coats per capita — leveling the playing field so everyone has a chance to win.
Partners for this year’s Coats for Kids & Families drive include Anton's Cleaners, Enterprise Bank, Jordan's Furniture, Boston 25, KISS 108, JAM’N 94.5, 101.7 The Bull, 100.7 WZLX, WRKO, and WBZ News Radio.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].