Today (Thursday, November 18, 2010) Five Star Cleaners kicked off its annual “COLD DAYS, WARM HEARTS Winter Coat Project” to benefit the hundreds of homeless and needy who are suffering more than ever because of this recession.
For the last 30 years Five Star Cleaners has been collecting gently used winter coats and to date more than 30,000 coats have been collected, cleaned and distributed. Again this year all donations are earmarked for SAMMinistries and Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM). The program was formally named “COLD DAYS, WARM HEARTS Winter Coat Project” in 2005.
“COLD DAYS, WARM HEARTS” runs from now through January 31, 2011. Donors are invited to drop off men, women and children’s coats at any of the 18 Five Star stores. For locations, visit www.myfivestarcleaners.com. As a gift for donating, each person receives a receipt for IRS purposes and a $5 gift certificate good toward any future dry cleaning order courtesy of Five Star Cleaners.Even though the official launch was not until today’s kick off news conference, students from San Antonio Christian Schools adopted the charitable coat drive in late October and have been hard at work ever since. Today the students proudly delivered the 1,294 coats they have already collected, in a school bus no less!
Sharlene Thum, vice president and co-founder of Five Star Cleaners, said,
“Collecting and cleaning coats for the homeless and needy is an outreach program very close to our hearts. We don’t think we have ever faced such dire times, but we are very blessed to have the support this year from San Antonio Christian Schools and Fiesta Texas. However, we still need for the entire community to get behind “COLD DAYS, WARM HEARTS.”
Alan Axtell, superintendent of San Antonio Christian Schools, explained why the
private school chose to become involved in “COLD DAYS, WARM HEARTS.”
“The mission statement of San Antonio Christian Schools is…to provide a Christ centered education to prepare students for works of service. “COLD DAYS, WARM HEARTS” fit our mission statement perfectly! What a great opportunity for all of our students to serve our community,” he said.As an added bonus, this year’s donors can drop a coat at Six Flags Fiesta Texas any operating day from November 26 through December 23 and enjoy “Holiday in the Park” for the child’s admission price of $39.99 (plus tax). (Admission discount coupons will be provided at a special Main Gate/Guest Relations donations area; please visit sixflags.com/fiestaTexas for exact operating schedule).
Visitors to “Holiday in the Park” will marvel at how Fiesta Texas is transformed into a winter wonderland with live entertainment, tasty holiday treats and thousands of colorful lights. Sydne Purvis, APR, communications manager for the park, said, “We are extremely pleased that Six Flags Friends is now a partner in this project to share the warmth of the season with so many who are in need.”President and CEO of SAMMinistries, Navarra Williams, said, “Due to these difficult financial times, SAMMinistries is experiencing a huge increase in the number of men, women and children that we serve on a daily basis. In fact, the number of families receiving our help has tripled from a year ago, making this effort by Five Star Cleaners, San Antonio Christian Schools, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas even more important and extraordinary. We are thankful to have such caring partners in the community.”
Dawn White, CAM executive director added, “CAM is so grateful to Five Star Cleaners and the community for this support. Over the last three months, we have seen more than 1,000 clients than we normally see. Many individuals who traditionally have not needed additional help are facing financial crisis. CAM has provided this kind of support to over 45,000 individuals annually for more than 30 years. We could not do it without community donations.”
Thum added, “We are hopeful that everyone in San Antonio will join us as we lend a helping hand to the needy and homeless.”
About Five Star Cleaners:
Five Star Cleaners is a locally-owned family business for more than 30 years. As leaders is the dry cleaning industry, owners Richard Thum, Sharlene Thum and Bryan Newbold currently have 18 locations serving San Antonio.
SAMMinistries, an interfaith ministry dedicated to helping the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless, was launched in 1983. The ministry is ready to assist over 1200
individuals including more than 300 children every day of the year with emergency services, transitional and supportive housing, as well as an after-care program.
SAMMinistries is a leading agency in homeless prevention and in fiscal 2010 over 1,000 families were assisted and avoided becoming homeless.
Last year the agency cared for more than 4,400 individuals and provided more than 258,673 bed nights of shelter and services to the area’s homeless.
About Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM):
Christian Assistance Ministry is a cooperative ministry founded in 1977 by nine downtown San Antonio churches to offer temporary assistance to people in crisis who have an immediate need for food, clothing, emergency financial aid, showers, laundry facilities and a day shelter for the unemployable homeless. Assistance is provided in a caring and compassionate manner and is designed to stabilize the client and to make them more self-sufficient. CAM is supported by numerous churches and volunteers, and serves more than 64,000 individuals on an annual basis.