APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (CBS 5) - It's the small town store making a big difference for Valley veterans.

And Sean Hardy is one of the reasons why.

"If I can make a veteran's life, their daily life a bit better, then that's good," said Hardy. "If I can do it on a continual basis, that's even better."

[WATCH: Customer Pays It Forward to AJ thrift store owner who helps vets]

A couple of years ago, Hardy and his wife gave up their air conditioning business to open the Helping Heroes Thrift Shop in Apache Junction.

The store is devoted to helping vets in need.

Every veteran who walks in gets 50% off all merchandise.

But the generosity doesn't stop there.

If there's something a vet needs, Hardy will gladly give it to them.

"If they need clothes to go for a job interview, they can come in to get clothes," said Hardy. "I'll give them clothes. They don't have to pay for them. Just go out and get yourself that job."

Laura Kelly met Hardy a couple of months ago when Hardy helped her boss, who's a veteran, get a new water heater.

Kelly was so impressed that she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to a man who always puts others first.

"As readily as he helped us, I felt that he should be rewarded for that, and appreciated and thanked," said Kelly.

CBS 5 followed Kelly to the thrift shop this week where she surprised Hardy and gave him $500.

"From all the help you did with my boss and connecting all the people and everything, and the fact you do so much for the vets," Kelly told Hardy. "I contacted Channel 5 because they have that program Pay It Forward. So on behalf of everyone here, we are giving you $500 to Pay It Forward."

"These are our heroes that (sic) fought and bled and died for our freedoms," said Hardy. "Anything I can do to help them I will."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.




Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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(2) comments


What is the address of this place? I can't find them with a Google search.


I had the same question.

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