NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — North East Cleaners is extending a thank you to our veterans. The North Tonawanda location is providing free patriotic masks to those who have served our country.
Veteran, Paul Schultz is helping deliver the masks to veterans across the area.
“It’s very gratifying to know that one, we have these available for veterans and two the veterans will greatly appreciate it,” said Schultz.
He served in the Marine Corps in the Vietnam War and says this effort means a lot to him.
“The Vietnam War wasn’t a popular war and when we came back there was no recognition. It’s been many years since people have finally recognized veterans and are giving a lot more appreciation to the veterans,” he said.
Fourth-generation dry cleaner, Matthew Lee of North East Cleaners says he’s happy to pay it forward.
Each mask has been handmade, locally. In fact, Aurora Sewing Center is donating all the Stars and Stripes fabric.
“This isn’t your ordinary mask,” said Lee. “It’s washable and reusable. So it’s not a mask you’ll throw out. You’re going to keep it for months,” he said.
The patriotic masks are only for veterans, but if you need a mask, or even hand sanitizer, North East Cleaners is selling both. Thousands of each have already got out to the community.
To directly order a mask, head here.
“We have trucks out all the time so we’re going to go the extra mile for people that need masks just contact us,” said Lee.
It also has another community effort underway. One of every 10 mask sold is donated to St. Luke’s Mission.
“We’ve already donated over 500 to St. Luke’s and there’s still a need so we’re going to keep going with that. “
Purchases of masks for the general public can be made at any location or online at www.northeastcleaners.net/facemask.
The free masks for veterans are only available at 78 Oliver St. in North Tonawanda.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.