Henderson dry cleaners pay-it-forward for first responders - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Henderson dry cleaners pay-it-forward for first responders

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Mahamed Youssef browses through a row of dry cleaned uniforms (FOX5). Mahamed Youssef browses through a row of dry cleaned uniforms (FOX5).
HENDERSON, NV (FOX5) -

On Tuesday, you could find dozens of freshly pressed uniforms from first responders across the valley in the back room of Green Cleaners in Henderson. 

"Henderson PD, the school district, even North Las Vegas," Green Cleaners owner Mahamed Youssef said while clothes went whizzing by on the equipment. 

Youssef has been taking care of people's clothes at the valley dry cleaning shop for more than 30 years and said while he appreciates all of his customers, he's especially proud to clean for those who serve. Last month, one of Youssef's regular customers showed that pride too, when the client offered to foot the bill for first responders getting their uniforms cleaned. 

"He came in, offered a reasonable amount of money to cover all their expenses," Youssef said. "It just kind of lifted me up."

Youssef said it also inspired him to match that donation and all the other donations that started to come in as more and more customers found out about the 'pay it forward' campaign.

"It's a small gesture, but it can reach everybody's heart," he said with a smile. And Youssef said that small gesture is the least he can do to thank the officers for protecting his community and his freedom, two things the Ethiopian refugee and former political prisoner hasn't always had.

"I came as a political refugee with $50 in my pocket from refugee camps in the 1980s. So the value of freedom, that says everything. Once you have freedom you have to appreciate it."

Youssef and his customers are showing that appreciation through the dry cleaning bill. And when officers find out their bill is already paid?

"It's incredible, the smile, the kindness," Youssef explained, while adding that he hopes the effort continues for weeks to come. 

"This is my hometown and how people band together, how they stick together, that is unheard of. So I want to keep that momentum continuing," he said.

Youssef wouldn't say exactly how much as been donated, but said since the first donation on Oct. 6, no first responder has paid to have their uniform dry cleaned, and he expects the donation fund to last another 4-6 weeks. 

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