Successful Coats For Vets Drive Nets 1,742 Coats Valued at Approximately $175,000
Libertyville Rotary Sunrise, Zengeler Cleaners very pleased with results from 2020 campaign
It’s become a fall tradition. For the past several years, Libertyville Rotary Sunrise and Zengeler Cleaners have teamed up to collect coats, gloves, scarves and other winter clothing in support of the Nation’s Veterans. It's our way of saying “thank you” to our Vets for providing the freedom we enjoy every day. With surviving Veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, along with thousands more who’ve more recently served in the Middle East and in other conflicts, there are literally hundreds of thousands of Veterans in the United States, too many of whom have fallen on hard times since their return to civilian life.
The response to the annual collection drive has been tremendous, garnering 1,742 coats and jackets, in addition to gloves, scarves and other winter apparel. The donations have a retail value of approximately $175,000, but there is no meaningful way to measure the value of how much these donations mean to our Vets in need. Additionally, the campaign received a donation of 100 brand new hooded sweatshirts from Tim Kelliher and Image Apparel Solutions of Wheeling, one of Zengeler Cleaners’ business partners.
“There are many challenges facing Veterans when they return from active duty,” noted Tom Zengeler, President of Zengeler Cleaner. “Easy examples include readjusting to civilian life and returning to the workforce. Now more than ever, many jobs they held before leaving to serve are no longer available, and the COVID-19 pandemic makes prospects of finding meaningful work even more difficult. To help in this time of need, Libertyville Rotary Sunrise, Zengeler Cleaners, its customers and many others want to make a difference in their lives as one small way of showing our gratitude for the sacrifices these heroes have made on behalf of all Americans.”
For out-of-work Veterans, food, shelter and clothing are often quite difficult to come by, particularly when it comes to seasonal items, such as winter coats and jackets. That was the motivation that launched our first collection drive several years ago. “Support for this worthy cause has grown each year,” continued Zengeler. “Many people came together with timely donations to show how much we care about our Veterans.”
Zengeler Cleaners’ two Libertyville stores once again served as drop-off locations for the donations. After the items were collected, Zengeler Cleaners inspected, repaired as needed and cleaned every donated item. They also supported the effort by delivering the clothing in time for Veterans Day on November 11.
The Libertyville Rotary Sunrise Club chapter was founded in 1987. Being an active Rotarian is a Zengeler family tradition, with the late Bob Zengeler serving for more than 60 years, while Tom is a Charter Member of Libertyville Rotary Sunrise. Rotary International is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and works to build peace and goodwill in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 35,000 clubs across the globe.
A picture of Icela Chavez providing loving care to some of this year’s donations is pictured here. For more information about the Coats for Vets drive, please contact Tom Zengeler, President, at (847) 272-6550, ext. 14, or visit Zengeler Cleaners’ website at www.zengelercleaners.com. Zengeler Cleaners has eight locations, with stores in Deerfield, Hubbard Woods, Northbrook, Northfield, Winnetka, Long Grove and two stores in Libertyville. Zengeler Cleaners – America’s first family of drycleanersTM!