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Pinellas County dry cleaners offers to help the unemployed with free outfit cleanings

Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 03:17:17-04

DUNEDIN, Fla. — A Pinellas County dry cleaners offered to help anyone who is unemployed.

A sign in the window of Causeway Cleaners says, "If you are unemployed and need an outfit cleaned for an interview, we will do it for free."

Steve Milby owns Causeway Cleaners on Bayshore Blvd. in Dunedin.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused his revenue to drop by nearly 50%. He also knows many families and small businesses are struggling.

"Business has slowed down a whole lot. We went to processing clothes five days a week to three days a week... 80% of my business is from working people. The other 20% is people getting something cleaned because they want to go out to dinner. I would call it a leisure thing," said Milby.

Milby said he placed the sign in the window of his business about 7 years ago. He got the idea after one of his customers had been unemployed for a while and had scored a job interview.

"He says, 'I can't believe it Steve. I got a job interview.' He goes 'clean up this suit for me' and we did. He came to pick it up. I just said, 'you know, don't worry about it. Go get this job. I'll take care of it.' He said, 'wow okay,'" recalled Milby.

Milby said the sign has remained in the window of his business since his interaction with that customer.

He also said someone anonymously left him a note and two $5 bills. The note said, "It is a wonderful thing you are doing for the unemployed. It isn't much, but I would like to help. Maybe it will pay for one. Keep paying forward."

Milby said the note is a reminder that a small act of kindness may spark something bigger.

"If we can help them out, if we can help them look good on their interview and they don't have a job...dry cleaning is not one of the things on their mind probably paying their electric bill and putting food on the tables is probably number one priority or paying their house payment or rent," he said.

"I believe in Karma. Do good things, good things will come back to you. That's what I believe," he added.