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Two Minute Stories

Full-service laundromat

What laundromat offers free coffee and donuts or a summer reading program for kids? Raise the bar higher. What laundromat offers classes to help customers  largely immigrants  understand the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program?

“Good business is doing good by your customers,” says Mark Benson, Comm ’00, manager of the World’s Largest Laundromat in Berwyn, Ill. “We treat them like family, and they love us for it.”

The laundromat hosted sessions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service agents answering questions and conducting mock naturalization interviews. More than 100 customers came to learn the standards for deferred action.

“The idea that this deferred action program was real, was going to be a benefit, carried a lot of excitement. But, as one can imagine, interacting with the federal government, let alone USCIS, stirs fear in a lot of people,” Benson says. “Our customers know us. They trust us. They’ve seen us do lots of good things in the community. When we put our name on something, the fear recedes just enough to get some information through. We will do these events again. Absolutely.”

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