When I think of “Reaching Within To Embrace Humanity” together with the Rotary International Vocational award – my mind goes directly to our member Ray Rangwala and Coats For Kids.
“Coats For Kids” is a joint project effort with the Southern California Cleaners Association and our club; the project was implemented by our member Ray Rangwala, an owner of a local drycleaner. Our than new Rotarian Ray sat next to Dave Woods at the Bishop Safari about a dozen years ago. His club was doing Coats For Kids for a few years & Ray volunteered to clean the clothes for THEIR Coats For Kids project. A few years later, the Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club took on the project with the help of the Glendale Unified School district and it has benefited many low income children in our community that are quite a bit warmer this winter due to this project.
The project works like this: A total of 56,000 letters are sent to parents throughout the Glendale area in the children’s folders from school requesting a donation of coats, jackets, warm clothing that their child have outgrown be delivered to the school for collection. Rotarians then go to each school and collect the items that were donated and stores them at a designated location.
The donated items are then collected by the Southern California Cleaners Association (of which Ray is a Board Member) and refurbished – cleaned, replacing zippers, buttons, pressed, basically making them "like new"
A local school in one of the lowest-income area is then picked to make this distribution. A letter goes out to the parents of this area and lets them know that will be distributing coats on a date and time…All the recipients of the low/no cost breakfast & lunch program get the letters in 3 languages. English, Spanish & Armenian. Rotarians from GSR meet that morning, set-up and give out the coats to some very happy children and parents.
The COST for this project is $0.00
ALL the dry cleaning, laundry, including pick-up & delivery is done for FREE by the cleaners.
We donate $1000 to the Glendale School district for the printing of 56,000 flyers
Over the years, we estimate over 30,000 garments were given to the needy. This project is completed each year during the month of October – Vocational month.