CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A local man is collecting care packages and letters to be delivered to soldiers overseas just in time for the holidays.
For 10 years, Matt Hunt has been sending cards to troops overseas. He was a Sergeant in the Army and says a little card can make a world of difference.
"Being away from home when you get that mail call and they say, 'Matt, you've got mail' or 'Sgt. Hunt you have mail,' it's a real blessing when you get something from loved ones, " Hunt told FOX 46 Charlotte.
Hunt started a Rose of Thanks in 2007. At the time he was working as a pizza delivery driver.
"At the end of 2006 I got robbed twice at gunpoint working for Dominos in the UNC Charlotte area and realized I'm blessed to be alive, let's do something to make a difference and give back," he said.
So he sent his niece to school with a car. Ten years later, Hunt said they've sent 50,000 personalized cards, some of them from children who aren't even teenagers yet.
The generosity goes both ways. Soldiers send cards back.
"We don't have it taught very well in schools on how the community can fall in line with active duty and veterans so in this case we didn't see a bond, there's a bond now," said Curtis Drafton with the U.S. Army.
Hunt is now working at Flow Toyota in Statesville, North Carolina where they are collecting goods for care packages and cards to send over to troops.
"It's been an amazing journey and it's been because of people who have gotten involved," Hunt said. "You can read these cards and you start tearing up that they beauty of what this is all about. It's about making a difference in someone's life."
On Thursday, December 7, Hunt and others will be packing care packages at McGill Baptist Church in Concord, North Carolina. They also need donations in order to help with the shipping. You can help by visiting this link: https://www.gofundme.com/aroseofthanks