After being robbed at gunpoint twice, Matthew Hunt believed he needed to do something to make a difference.It was then, in 2007, that he created A Rose of Thanks, a program that designs greeting cards of support for people to complete and send to those serving the military overseas.“Since Valentines Day of 2007 we have sent out over 35,000 cards and have touched countless other lives,” Hunt said. “It is pretty amazing how something so simple as a black-and-white outlined card could make so much of a difference in people’s lives.”Now, after creating seven card designs and supporting service members overseas for five years, Hunt has made it his goal to raise money for the Flight 93 Memorial to honor those who died in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. The memorial is the only one for those lost on 9/11 that is still not fully funded.His way of helping raise money to complete the memorial will be to drive the entire length of Interstate 40 in what he is calling “I-40 for 40.” He is asking others to donate or drive at least 40 miles along I-40 and donate 40 cents per mile they drive. Hunt will leave for his journey over Labor Day weekend.“Everybody was focused on New York and Washington. The National Memorial (in Pennsylvania) is $10 million short. We put our design up as a billboard in Shanksville, Pa., last year for the whole month of September,” Hunt said. “I thought there had to be a way to do something to make a difference.”According to Hunt, only 10 of the congress members in office at the time of the attack on the U.S. have donated to the memorial.“Do the congressmen not realize that they are alive because the people on Flight 93 saved their lives?” he said. “I don’t really care how they donate, as long as they do.”Hunt will begin his journey in Wilmington and will pass through about 15 states and 23 cities. He will travel about 5,800 miles, staying overnight in Nashville, Tenn.; Oklahoma City; Albuquerque, N.M; Los Angeles; Indianapolis and Shanksville, Pa.Those who are unable to make the drive are asked to donate at least $10 by texting “memorial” to 90999.Besides A Rose of Thanks cards and “I-40 for 40,” Hunt also has worked to create care baskets for women serving in the military during holiday seasons. He is asking for donations to fill the baskets with items such as lotions, skin care products, feminine products and more.Last year only 10 or so baskets were sent out, but this year Hunt has his sights set higher: “We would like to send out 50 this year,” he said.
Friday, Aug. 24, 2012
‘Rose of Thanks’ founder to drive all of I-40
Raising money for memorial to 9/11 victims on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania
Want to help? For more information or to see what you can do to help, email Matthew Hunt at Matthew@ARoseOfThanks.org.