Local companies offer free services for the unemployed

By Matt Boyce - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -  The recession has left many unemployed people in it's wake but some companies are stepping up to the plate and offering a helping hand.

There are some fabulous freebies cropping up for people finding themselves without a steady paycheck.

The staff at Puritan Cleaners noticed the recession taking the steam out of their sales.  But even in tough times they are still giving business away.

"One of our customers wasn't coming in, they lost their job and when we checked back with them about the service, they let us know they'd lost their job," said Gary Glover, president of Puritan Cleaners. "So we offered to do some cleaning for him for an interview and that expanded into a good idea for our community."

Puritan Cleaners is offering free dry cleaning to anyone who is currently unemployed and needs freshly cleaned and pressed clothes for a job interview. Puritan will clean a suit and slacks and two dress shirts, or two regular dresses per week.

"We've had dozens of people sign ask for help and we're glad to do it. The program runs through August 31st  and we'll reevaluate it at that time but to help people now, it's good," Glover said.

To qualify for the "good interview" program just bring receipt from the employment commission to any of the thirteen area Puritan locations.

The Richmond Animal League is offering vouchers for free spaying and neutering for area pet owners who are unemployed.

"You know, when people take a hit in a family income it certainly is a major hardship for them, but especially when these people still have pets, you always have to think about your animal as well," said Susan Kelly of the Richmond Animal League.

"You think about how much a puppy or a kitten can cost you in that first year you could be looking at thousands of dollars from spaying and neutering and vaccines and food and training if you need it or housing."

The Richmond SPCA started it's "Pet Pantry" in January of this year after noticing an increased need in the community.

"You can come to the Richmond SPCA Tuesday and Friday, it's by appointment only.  And the pet pantry distributes food during certain hours," said Tamsen Kingry of the Richmond SPCA.

In addition to the Pet Pantry the SPCA also offers low cost wellness clinics, behavior help, and temporary boarding for your four legged friends.

"For anybody facing fire, eviction, or foreclosure that is offered at an off-site location.  And again all of these programs are designed to keep pet united with their families," said Kingry.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is also offering to ease financial pain with their new "maintain" program.

The maker of popular drugs like Lipitor and Viagra is allowing people to continue to get their Pfizer medicine free of charge for up to 12 months or until they become insured.

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