Libertyville Rotary Sunrise is launching its annual "Coats for Vets" collection drive this month. The goal is to collect winter coats, jackets and other seasonal apparel for veterans throughout the Northern Illinois area.
Donations can be given to any member of Libertyville Rotary Sunrise or dropped off at either of Zengeler Cleaners two Libertyville stores, 539 E. Park Ave., and 1401 Peterson Road, the official collection locations for the 2013 drive.
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While many people associate Veterans Day in November as the distribution date, the first key date is "Stand Down Day" on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
According to Mike Peck of the Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County, that's the day 900 at-risk local veterans and their families can receive a variety of services, including health care screenings, financial assistance, as well as both food and clothing.
Additionally, employment assistance will also be available to help vets find jobs. This is a critical need, as unemployment among veterans is typically higher than that found in the general population.
Libertyville Rotary Sunrise has once again teamed up with Zengeler Cleaners' two Libertyville stores to assist in the collection of clothing items. All donated clothing items will be inspected and cleaned at no charge by the family-owned cleaner.
"We owe a big debt to the veterans who have sacrificed for the freedom and lifestyle we enjoy," said Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners.
"Now more than ever, we need to support those returning from duty. Many are in need of jobs, food, clothing and housing. 'Coats for Vets' is a great opportunity for each of us to show our appreciation and support in a very meaningful way."
While the drive is called "Coats For Vets," all types of clothing are welcomed, according to Zengeler.
"In addition to coats and jackets, veterans also need blankets, gloves, hats and other seasonal apparel. This is a great time to look through your closet and donate items our vets need very badly. We welcome donations of all kinds, and with the help of generous individuals in the community, we're confident this year's drive will be a huge success."
Donations will continue to be accepted after Stand Down Day, through Thursday, Oct. 31. Once the donations are gathered, the Zengeler team will inspect, repair as needed and clean every single item. Zengeler Cleaners will deliver all remaining items to the V.A. Hospital in time for Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
For more information about the 2013 "Coats for Vets" drive, contact Tom Zengeler at (847) 272-6550, ext. 14, or visit www.zengelercleaners.com.
In addition to two Libertyville stores, Zengeler Cleaners has locations in Deerfield, Hubbard Woods, Northfield, Winnetka, Northbrook and the company's newest store in Long Grove.