On the window of the modest storefront for First Professional Dry Cleaners on the East Side, where Yuki Lin carefully folds and hangs each garment brought in, is a sign that does not advertise one day service. It's a quote about service to others. Lin lives it.
"We just try to help the neighborhood," Lin said.
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The pandemic has not been kind to First Professional or any dry cleaning business.
Working from home does not produce much dry cleaning. Lin can take her time as she works these days, there's so much less to do.
"Right now, it's maybe one quarter or one third as before the pandemic," Lin said.
But it hasn't stopped her from helping out.
This is the East Side, home to a lot of hospitals, and First Professional is giving frontline health care workers a deep discount. But there is an even better deal for people with no job.
"It's really been a hard time ... people are losing their jobs," Lin said.
So, if unemployed residents have a job interview coming up, Lin will give their outfit the same attention she gives her other customers, for free.
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"They need a nice outfit, you have to look good," Lin said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted out a photo of Lin's storefront on Wednesday, with a caption that read, "New Yorkers will always look out for each other."
For Lin, she's just paying the rent.
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