Matt is a man who you can always trust will do the right thing. He's loyal, dependable, honest to a fault, always willing to help, full of integrity, and generous with his time and resources. He ends up being a leader in whatever he's involved with, but he has a servant's heart and humbly does whatever is needed. He's a faithful husband, devoted father and true friend. You'll never meet a harder worker or a better team player - and he'll make you laugh (and maybe sing or dance) the whole time.
I would say Matt's personal mission is to love people the best he can with the time he has been given on this earth. He doesn't selectively love - he loves whoever is in front of him, wherever there is an opportunity. And he doesn't just love with words - he loves with action. I think that is why he uses his time so well...there are so many people all around us who need to see and feel love in action.
Some people are remembered for one big thing, others are remembered for a life time of smaller things. I think Matt will be remembered for both. In 2008, he donated his kidney to our pastor, which is heroic, brave and selfless. But he's also lead construction crews to build houses for families in Mexico, served in homeless ministries, and been on countless mission trips to Russia, Mexico and Germany to visit the orphans, prisoners and marginalized. He teaches Sunday school, leads children's programs, has been a foster parent, and served every year at a camp for foster kids in addition to monthly club mentoring. He led "Men-in-Black" for 3 years, which is the dad volunteer group supporting our daughter's marching band/drumline with logistics, props, etc. He currently is on the board of OC United and ministers to aged-out foster youth twice a month, plus whatever other help they need. Everyone has Matt's number and he's the first one they call when something needs to get done.
In a word, commitment. It doesn't matter what it is, if Matt decides to do it, he is 100% committed to it. A promise from Matt is a promise forever, regardless of circumstance. He doesn't back out when things get tough, he works harder. For obvious reasons, as his wife, I am the beneficiary of his unwavering commitment to me and to our family, but it's part of who he is in every relationship and every role he plays in life. I know I can trust him, and so does everyone else.
OC United has several initiatives in our community: foster care, homelessness, domestic abuse and neighborhoods. All those initiatives have needs, but right now there is an overwhelming need for housing and programs for aged-out foster youth. Often when a child in foster care reaches 18, they find themselves homeless because the state funding to their foster home has ended. The statistics for homelessness, incarceration, prostitution and unwanted pregnancies are staggering for those that come from a history of foster care. OC United fills the gap by providing temporary (2-3 year) housing and life programs for these young adults as they are transitioning into adulthood. The houses are staffed by a loving guardian who serves as a mentor. OC United is looking to add a 2nd home for boys within the next several months, and this assistance would be extremely helpful.
Matt is the best person I've ever known. He will probably nominate someone else, because he's blind to his own amazing-ness, and because he cares about these struggling kiddos who come from hard places and have overwhelming needs.
(Your app won't let me upload the last picture. I have one of him with our pastor right after the kidney donation surgery in hospital gowns. Also have a picture of him with our foster daughter upon her graduation.)