Friday, October 03, 2023 Press Release
Ziker Cleaners in Partnership with Neighbor to Neighbor
By David Ziker and Lisa Oglesbee
SOUTH BEND, Indiana—Ziker Cleaners, South Bend’s largest dry cleaning and laundry service, has recently engaged in partnership with Neighbor to Neighbor, a non-profit organization in South Bend that provides a friendship-based network for refugees and immigrants.
The inspiration for owner David Ziker to reach out to Neighbor to Neighbor came from his family’s longtime interest in helping to find good jobs for immigrants in the South Bend-area community. David’s grandfather Joe Ziker was a Russian immigrant back in 1914 and founded Ziker Cleaners in 1917 as a very young man. Under Joe’s entrepreneurship, the company grew over its three generations of family leadership partly by honoring the value of supporting local immigrants. When the Afghan Refugee crisis occurred in 2021 and a group of Afghans landed in South Bend, David reached out to local organizations and was soon introduced to Andrea Cramer, the founder of Neighbor to Neighbor, to whom David expressed his interest in offering employment to the refugees at Ziker Cleaners. Due to the complexities of the immigration process and the vast culture differences, it took a while to find a fit for both organizations, but this past July, Ziker hired Ruth Paul, a friend of Neighbor to Neighbor originally from Pakistan. Ruth now works full-time with benefits as a garment pressing specialist in Ziker’s Mishawaka production facility. This facility produces the work for all Ziker locations and its Home Pick Up and Delivery Service. Ruth quickly took to the job and the Ziker culture to become an integral part of the Ziker production team.
David says, “Ziker Cleaners is proud to be able to continue to make a difference in our community as part of its 106-year legacy. Partnering with Neighbor to Neighbor this year continues to allow Ziker Cleaners to change people’s lives.”
Pictured: John Mertes of Ziker, Lisa Oglesbee of Neighbor to Neighbor, Ruth Paul, and David Ziker at the Mishawaka production facility