Coronavirus News: Brooklyn dry cleaner making and donating masks

Lucy Yang Image
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Dry cleaner making masks for free as 'love letter' to NYC
Lucy Yang has more on the owners of a dry cleaning business in Brooklyn who are now making masks and giving them away for free.

COLUMBIA WATERFRONT DISTRICT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The owners of a dry cleaning business in Brooklyn, shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, are now making masks and giving them away for free.

La Dry Cleaners shut down almost a month ago, but owners Lily La and Tony Trinh have not stopped working.

The two owners have sewn and given away more than 2,000 masks for free, to anyone.

"Everybody asks me where I get my mask and I say right here on Union Street," mask recipient Franny Cherry said.

After three decades of running a successful small business, La and Trinh say they are now down to one meal a day. They say their son has lost 15 pounds and they have no idea how they will pay the rent.

So why not just sell the masks?

"That's one way for us to say thanks America," La said. "We came here with bare hands, we raised our three kids, go to college. This is one way for us to say thanks."

The couple figured they had two choices. They could either stay at home and despair, or go to their store and give.

Trinh is known as Tony in the neighborhood. This is Brooklyn after all.

He says he uses his son's lacrosse stick to hand the masks to customers.

The owners say they won't turn down a tip or extra fabric for more masks, but they say their goal is now simply to protect their neighbors.

"It's a love letter to the community," resident David White said.

The owners say they just want to help people.

The couple won't actively solicit donations, but if you would like to help them, tips/donations/food would be humbly and gratefully accepted at their store:

Lily La and Tony Trinh

La Cleaners

130 Union St

Brooklyn NY 11231



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