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GCC proud to honor our Central Coast military families on Memorial Day

California has more military bases within its borders than most states, with a whopping 32, some from every military branch. From the Naval Postgraduate School and The Presidio Army Base in Monterey to Camp Roberts and Camp San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo County, there are countless military families living under the umbrella of Goodwill Central Coast.

As we honor the men and women who have died while serving our country this Memorial Day (Monday, May 30), Goodwill Central Coast honors our fallen heroes year-round by providing their families with the support they need through tailored job training, and career and services to help them find jobs and support their families.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War but only became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Many of us observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and barbecues and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

On Monday, May 30, we honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. There are many ways to celebrate and honor this courage and sacrifice, and Goodwill can help make the day more memorable and meaningful.

  • A quick roam down any aisle at a Goodwill Central Coast store will reveal a wide array of Americana. From flags, flag-themed items, dinnerware stamped with the stars and stripes, tiki torches and red-white-and-blue decorations, you can let your imagination loose.
  • There is plenty of patriotic clothing in just the right shades of red, white and blue. Memorial Day attire also needs to be relaxed and free. Dress up some blue jeans with a white shirt, a blue blazer and a red handkerchief. Or pick up a blue summer dress with red shoes that pop.
  • When it comes to decor, be sure to check out one of our local GCC stores. Decorations don’t have to cost a fortune. While a red and white gingham tablecloth can certainly work all year round, it’s a fun accent that’s especially fitting for the holiday. For Memorial Day breakfast, layer the checkered tablecloth with blue and white dishes, fresh flowers, and your favorite foods.
  • When it comes to grilling, experts say all you really need is a meat thermometer, a large platter and a good pair of tongs. Goodwill shoppers have also found amazing deals on new grills, and you may be surprised at the quality of our outdoor dinnerware, flatware and shatterproof glasses.

Goodwill Industries International is now collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs to raise awareness of eBenefits (ebenefits.va.gov), a joint effort of the VA and the Department of Defense that allows veterans and their dependents to apply for benefits, view the status of their claims, and access VA documents online.

With more than 20 million veterans now living in the United States and more returning from overseas conflicts every day, many people depend on VA benefits to make a smooth transition into civilian life and to get themselves and their families on the path to financial success.

This is all designed to help veterans and their families obtain financial stability and a route to economic independence as quickly as possible.

The Goodwill for America’s Heroes and their Families program is the nonprofit’s multi-pronged commitment to help veterans access integrated services. Goodwill maintains that veterans’ access to their earned benefits is a key strategy to help them obtain financial wellness.

Goodwill Central Coast couldn’t be more proud to serve our military families, and we honor their commitment and sacrifice for our country. On this Memorial Day, join us in celebration, yes, but in solemn remembrance of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.