After collecting, cleaning and delivering over 40,000 donated coats in the past six years, the management team at Best Cleaners wasn’t sure what to expect when it kicked off its 7th Annual COATS FOR CONNECTICUT campaign on November 6. Had people already “cleaned out” their closets by donating their gently used winter coats and jackets in past years? Would the donation counts be down because of the unseasonably warm weather? None of those concerns became a reality as the family-owned Connecticut dry cleaning business delivered over 1900 freshly cleaned and wrapped coats in the first week of the eight week campaign that ends on January 2. Customers and the general public are asked to drop off gently-used winter coats for all ages at any of Best’s 11 locations for free cleaning and ongoing delivery to Salvation Army centers in Bridgeport, Bristol, Hartford, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London and Waterbury. “We actually have people dropping off coats throughout the year now so we started this year’s campaign with 500 coats ready for delivery. The fact that we collected close to 1000 more in just a few days is exciting,” commented Best Cleaners’ President Shawn McCann, “But that has been our experience with this effort each year. Our customers and the general public seem to have no limit to their willingness to help out those in need.”
COATS FOR CONNECTICUT campaign partners include The Salvation Army, Eyewitness News WFSB-TV3, The River 105.9, YZ 92.5, and Young’s Printing/Fast Signs. Their participation and support of the campaign has been the driving factor in increasing awareness of the growing need in the community and the relative ease of donating to the program; People can donate freely without having to incur the expense or time to have items cleaned. Many schools, churches and businesses will conduct their own coat drive and bring the donations to Best for cleaning and delivery. Ultimately, more coats get to more people, more quickly, helping keep Connecticut warmer.
According to the Salvation Army Program Secretary, Captain Janet Gonzalez, “As cold weather approaches, people turn to The Salvation Army for help. Many are struggling families trying to get through the hardships of winter. Best Cleaners' Coats for Connecticut drive continues to help us in our mission to alleviate human suffering and we are thankful for them."
Best Cleaners has locations in Berlin, Bristol, Canton, Farmington, Glastonbury, Middletown, North Haven, Plainville, Rocky Hill, and Windsor. For more information on the COATS FOR CONNECTICUT collection drive and Best Cleaners locations, go to www.coatsforct.org or call 1-888-950-BEST.