There are several reasons why I choose to serve on the board of M.A.T.S. Some of those reasons include, giving back to the community, arm twisting the other board members, the joy of all the dogs chasing me because of the way I smell after the turkey smoking, but the biggest reason that I serve comes from my visits to the shelter. When a friend asked me to serve around 1989, I agreed because of our friendship, and I did want to get involved with what seemed to be a very worthwhile organization. What I did not realize at the time was how much of an impact that going to the shelter and seeing the lives that were being changed and rebuilt would have on me. I can still see the faces of some of the residents over the years; the tears, the smiles, and seeing the hope come alive in their eyes. I still hear the cries of the babies, and the squeals of the children that were fed, warm, and safe. Knowing that I was a small part of helping that to occur still warms my heart today. Being a part of this ministry has helped me realize just how very blessed that I am, and how easily that I could have found myself living in that very same situation. So many of the folks that come through the shelter have just had some bad luck and had no family support systems to give them a hand. These people find safety, encouragement, and learn essential life skills that help ensure they don't find themselves in this situation again.
Another reason that I serve is that I love seeing the outpouring of support from this community. Fundraising is always a struggle for non-profit organizations, but I have been amazed by some of the generosity from individuals and businesses in our area. I continue to serve because God has and continues to bless me through the ministry of M.A.T.S.