Carlos Vasquez shows his gratitude by cleaning clothes for the unemployed for free. Why he started doing so is a sad story
Because first impressions really do count, Carlos Vasquez decided to help unemployed people to make a good one. He owns the upper East Side's 'First Professional Cleaners' dry cleaning establishment and he taped a sign in the window that reads, "If you are unemployed and need an outfit clean for an interview, we will clean it for FREE."
"It's just something I do to give back to the community," says Carlos, who owns the business together with his wife, Arelis. "It's to thank them for the support that I get around here, for letting my business keep going by bringing me their clothes."
He put the sign up after he heard that some of his regular customers were laid off work. Vasquez sees the sign as some form of lucky charm and believes it brought some customers good luck. "Two of my customers, they used that sign," he said. "When I gave them their clothes, I said, 'Good luck, you're gonna get a job.' And they did."
It is not the first time Carlos has put the sign up in his window. The first time was after 9/11 when he lost at least 32 clients. Asked why he does this, he responded, "We do it for the community because I consider myself lucky just to own a business in this city."