HARRIMAN — Harriman Army Navy hosted its annual Memorial Day Sidewalk Sale to benefit Disabled American Veterans (DAV) on Saturday, May 24.
The store began holding this fundraiser through a long-standing relationship they had with Pete Rollins and his wife, Laura. Rollins is a long-time advocate of the DAV and a disabled veteran himself. The Rollins' have been customers at the store for many years, according to owners Madelyn Goldberg and Jennifer Carrillo.
"Whenever Pete and Laura were shopping, people would always recognize them, shake their hands and would always comment, 'those are amazing people,'" said Goldberg and Carrillo. "We knew, but didn’t know how much they really give to their community."
After experiencing a loss themselves, and without asking, The Rollins' somehow knew they were needed.
"Pete and Laura showed up to help organize the Color Guard, find the right people, get the right answers," said the owners. "They showed up and made life easier like they do for so many others."
One year, the Rollins' asked if the store had any clothing to donate to the veterans hospitals. Rollins explained that so many veterans in the VA hospitals went without basics like T-shirts, underwear, socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste and the like.
"We were so disappointed in the system, that our veterans were in such desperate need. We sent over anything we could," said Goldberg and Carrillo.
That was when the pair knew they had to offer more support to the vets.
"We decided every Saturday of Memorial Day weekend we would have a huge Tent/Sidewalk Sale to benefit the DAV," they said.
As part of the day, the DAV Goshen Chapter sets up a table and members hand out “forget me nots.” They also offer information on the services the DAV offers.
"They are an amazing bunch of men and women," said Goldberg and Carrillo. "They go unrecognized so often. They fought in service for their brothers and sisters and these heroes fight here at home, on their behalf, never leaving anyone behind. It is our honor to stand beside them, do our part, so that they can have the means to fight for the interest of our veterans."
The DAV is the most long-lasting veterans' advocacy and assistance group in the country. Their mission is to ensure that the country fulfills its promises to the men and women who served so they can live high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It provides free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service and provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies of government.
For more information on the DAV, go to dav.org. To contact the Goshen chapter, call 845-321-7717.