Daisy Cleaners is Serving the CommunityDecember 6, 2013
submitted by Daisy Cleaners
Though a business can be small, through service and support, it can make a large impact in the community. In New Hampshire, small businesses are the backbone making up a successful economy and state government.
Service is important to help the local community thrive according to Jim Desjardins, owner of Daisy Cleaners in Salem. When not at the shop, Desjardins devotes his time to serving the community. And that service is not being ignored. Desjardins has been recognized for his work and company’s service multiple times over the past year.
Daisy Cleaners is located in the heart of Salem’s Depot, and works to serve the community surrounding it. “If the community is good to you, it’s good to give back to the community,” he said. “It goes full circle.”
Desjardins is an avid supporter of the Greater Salem Boys & Girls Club. “It’s important for the kids to have some place safe to go after school,” he said.
By the time he was in third grade, Desjardins parents had divorced and he spent most of his time after school home alone. He wants children to have a place to go and people to interact with while their parents are at work. When students arrive at the club after school, there is a great energy that fills the building. “You need to be there at 2:30 p.m. to watch the kids come off the bus,” Desjardins said, and that energy is what makes his service worth it.
But, his volunteerism extends far deeper into the community. As an active member of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, Desjardins serves as a liaison between small business owners and the Town of Salem Economic Development Department. “Many times there’s a disconnect between local businesses and the town,” he said. “I’m glad to help bridge that gap.”
Daisy Cleaners has been in the depot over 50 years and has been in the family since 1963. First purchased by his father, Desjardins has been working in the shop over 30 years. Until recently, Desjardins commuted from his hometown of Concord, but moved to town about five years ago. “I dove in feet first,” Desjardins said about his involvement.
His company is also able to support the community. Daisy Cleaners offered free dry cleaning for Benchmark Office Systems’ recent coat drive. “We cleaned 125 coats which will help keep people in need warm this winter,” he said. The company also cleans coats collected at Ski Haus for their annual coat drive.
It’s not just Desjardins helping the community; his wife Sue is also actively involved. Working with the Salem Animal Rescue League, Sue arrives at the shelter early in the morning to prep dogs and clean the cages. “I felt that others had volunteered and put themselves out there for our dogs, and I would like to do the same,” she said. “I absolutely love it – taking care of animals on their way to their forever homes is sometimes painful, but always hopeful.”
The couple’s service is being recognized. Desjardins was named Man of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club for his dedication to making the club a better place for children. He was also awarded the Small Business of the Year Pillar award by the Chamber of Commerce. Sue took home an award this year also, being honored as the Emerald award winner for by the chamber for her work with the rescue league.
For the couple, it’s not about winning awards but rather helping out the community wherever possible. Desjardins continues to increase his involvement and recently joined the Boys & Girls Club’s annual auction committee and donated $2,500 worth of cleaning for to be auctioned off.
“The town has been so good to us and it’s only natural to help out anyway possible,” he said. “We wish we had an endless supply of funds, but being a small business, we don’t. That doesn’t stop us from donating our time.”
Serving the community has become an important part of the couple’s lives. The two encourage more people to get involved and seek opportunities to serve. “This is our community and we want to help make it the best it can be,” Desjardins said.