It’s a fall tradition. When the weather turns cold, Libertyville, Illinois Rotary Sunrise and Zengeler Cleaners team up to collect coats, gloves, scarves and other winter clothing in support of the nation’s veterans. We’re happy to announce that the 2019 Coats for Vets drive was once again a huge success, with 2,378 coats and jackets, along with hundreds of other articles of clothing, donated this year. The items were delivered to the North Chicago VA Hospital in conjunction with Veterans’ Day, a day set aside each year so a grateful nation can recognize and honor our veterans.
“Veterans returning from active duty face a myriad of serious challenges as they readjust to civilian life,” noted Tom Zengeler, President of Zengeler Cleaners, “perhaps none more daunting than trying to return to the workforce. Too often, jobs held before leaving to serve our country are no longer available, making it very challenging to find meaningful work. Libertyville Rotary Sunrise, Zengeler Cleaners, their customers and other concerned citizens contribute to Coats for Vets to show our gratitude for the sacrifice’s veterans have made on our behalf. It’s a meaningful way to thank our vets for providing the freedom we enjoy.”
The response to the annual collection drive was tremendous, resulting in thousands of coats, jackets, gloves, scarves and other winter apparel. While the donations have a retail value exceeding $325,000, there’s no way to measure how much the donations mean to vets in need. With so many surviving veterans of conflicts from World War II through the present time, there are thousands needing assistance for basics such as food, shelter and clothing, particularly seasonal items, such as winter coats and jackets.
Zengeler Cleaners’ two Libertyville stores once again served as drop-off locations for the donations. After the items were collected, the Zengeler staff 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. “Thankfully, support for Coats for Vets continues to be very strong,” said Zengeler. “People really care about our veterans.”
The Libertyville Rotary Sunrise Club chapter was founded in 1987. 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 currently belong to more than 35,000 member clubs across the globe.