Milt & Edie’s Drycleaners & Tailoring Center, a family-owned dry cleaning business, has been a fixture in Burbank since 1988. In honor of Father’s Day, it is teaming with the organization Hope of the Valley to provide clothes for the homeless population of the San Fernando Valley.
As part of the “5 Garment Campaign,” when customers donate five garments to Hope of the Valley, Milt & Edie’s will take $50 off their dry cleaning bill. This isn’t the first time it has raised money for the organization. Every month, it donates abandoned clothes and for the past three years it has sponsored a major fundraiser, “Broadway to the Rescue,” featuring Broadway performers singing tunes they sang on Broadway.
Milt & Edie’s also services many of the shows filmed in the Burbank area, including “The Voice,” “Ellen” and “Criminal Minds.”
Milt Chortkoff, who died this past December, began working in the dry cleaning business at 17, when he delivered clothes around Los Angeles for his father’s business, Hollyway Cleaners. He then consulted for Regal Cleaners in Burbank. Eventually, he purchased Regal Cleaners and renamed it Milt & Michael’s, for his son-in-law. In 2004, he changed the name to Milt & Edie’s to honor his wife. It is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and offers free popcorn, cookies and coffee to customers every day, as well as free hot dogs on weekends.
Milt’s son-in-law Michael Shader is Milt & Edie’s CEO. Together with is wife, Beth, they have been running the family business since 2014. They originally connected with Hope of the Valley when one of their long-time customers, Michael-Leon Wooley, a Broadway performer and board member at the organization, suggested a collaboration. He asked for clothing donations because he knew people often forget to pick up the clothes. The Shaders began donating clothes every month, selecting pieces that were never collected and that had been in storage for over a year.
“My father never passed an individual asking for money without giving. He would even pay for meals for individuals in a restaurant, never wanting to be identified by the waitress.” — Michael Shader
Shader said he learned about giving back from his own dad. “My father never passed an individual asking for money without giving. He would even pay for meals for individuals in a restaurant, never wanting to be identified by the waitress. My dad would buy sneakers and give coats. He became friends with individuals living on the street.”
Shader added he felt it was important to provide for his community through the family business.
“The evidence of the homeless is all around us,” he said. “We have a few homeless individuals who frequent our store and come in for the coffee or hot dogs. It’s heartbreaking to see individuals struggling, and Hope of the Valley is dedicated to helping the homeless in the San Fernando Valley.”
Hope of the Valley CEO Ken Craft said, “[We’re] thrilled that Milt & Edie’s is conducting the ‘5 Garment Campaign’ for Father’s Day. All clothing donations will be used to provide essential services to the homeless in the Valley. We are so thankful for the generosity and compassion of the most iconic dry cleaners in the Valley.”