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Matthew Hunt

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Matthew Hunt is the founder of the nonprofit A Rose of Thanks and has spent the last year sending thank-you cards to U.S. troops. After being robbed at gunpoint twice in the span of a few months, he realized he was blessed to be alive and wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. As a former member of the U.S. Army, Hunt decided to reach out to his fellow men and women in uniform.

Initially inspired as a Valentine's Day project, Hunt first thought to send real roses. "I called FTD and asked the price for 200,000 roses." The answer? "Dead silence."

So far, A Rose of Thanks has sent over 1,000 cards, and the number continues to grow.

A Rose of Thanks will be present at this year's Emmys -- Hunt will set up a table in the posh gift suite (you know, where the already filthy-rich celebrities get free Gucci bags?) bringing cards for the celebs to personalize and sign. "It's gone from zero to the Emmy's in 7.5 months!"

As a former dancer for the Detroit Pistons' Spare Tires (an all male dance team who aren't afraid to "shake what they've got" during basketball games), it's no surprise one of his favorite things to do is dance.

Feeling inspired? Hunt will be at the Starbucks inside Carolina Mall in Concord this Saturday, Sept. 8 from 9 a.m.--12 p.m. with cards ready to be personalized. Visit www.aroseofthanks.com for more ways to help. "It's not my project," he says. "It's everyone's. Everyone who is involved."

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