Skip to content

Kamloops tailor offers free laundry service to wildfire evacuees

Thompson Cleaners and Tailors also created masks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Thompson Cleaning and Tailors
Thompson Cleaning and Tailors owner Alex Zalmai and staff created thousands of masks at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Now, in the summer of 2021, the shop is offering free laundry service for wildfire evacuees.

A Kamloops tailor shop is offering free laundry service for wildfire evacuees.

Thompson Cleaners and Tailors owner Alexander Zalmai said the initiative began when Lytton residents came to town to seek refuge after a fire swept through the Fraser Canyon village on July 30 and reduced much of the community to rubble.

Since then, Zalmai said his machines have been running non-stop, some days until 1 a.m. It’s not the first time the shop — which is located in Sahali Mall — has lent a hand during an emergency.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when personal protective equipment was scarce, the shop crafted thousands of cloth masks and sold them for cost and gave them away to those in need.

“That was something that made me very happy and my team, as well,” Zalmai told KTW. “Now it feels very good helping others and that’s why we do it.”

Zalmai praised Kamloops for being a “very supportive community.” He said his shop struggled during the pandemic, as his industry was hit hard without events such as weddings. He said he is grateful for support he has received and wants to pay it back.

“This door is always open,” Zalmai said.

Evacuees in need of laundry services can drop by Thompson Cleaners and Tailors with proof of evacuation. The store can be contacted by phoning 250-682-2084.