As I sat with Matthew Morrison from the Augusta chapter of the Salvation Army today at Ruby Tuesday, I was very pleased at the friendliness of the staff and patrons alike.  Shelby Potter who served us our food at the bar was good company throughout our broadcast...

In addition to having good conversation with Shelby and Jerome (the manager on duty), I talked with and learned a lot about Matt and the Army.  I learned about the many, many hours he and his wife, Wendy (who is also an officer for the Army), put in.  With two young children they sacrifice personal time for three reasons...God, family and their community. They have been here for three years and have done an outstanding job running all facets of the local organization.  From the church on North Pearl Street, which could be a full time job itself, to making sure the hungry are fed, the cold are properly clothed and have heat and children have toys at Christmas.  Theirs is a daunting task and all they ask for is a little help like maybe a few bucks or a toy from each of us who feels the need to do our part.

Matt and Wendy have seen a lot and been to a lot of places so far in their stint with the Salvation Army.  In just twelve years, they've been to Connecticut, Germany, Africa and even the World Trade Center right after 9/11.  Matt remembers how raw the emotions still were.  He (and the Salvation Army) were cranking out more than 20, 000 meals a day for firefighters and rescue workers.  To put it in perspective, all they're asking from us is a few bucks or an unwrapped toy.  Think about that for a minute.

After having said all that, Matt and Wendy's time may soon be up in this area as they are called upon to move every several years to a new area with unique needs.  Selfishly, I would like to see them here for a much longer time, but that's not how it works.  Hopefully, they'll still be here when their new chapel/distribution center opens next year.

Although they're ready to go if called upon, Wendy told me that of all the places they've been and seen, this (the Augusta area) is one of the most generous they've experienced. Coming from such well traveled people, we should wear that as a badge of honor.

Getting back to Ruby Tuesday now...the salad bar is awesome! It should also be noted that Melissa Coutts (Ruby's manager) and the restaurant do a lot for the community and were eager to get involved with the Army's Christmas campaign this year.

Shelby Potter sharing her pretty smile at Ruby Tuesday