The Impact of 12

How much of an IMPACT can you make in 12 Months on the road?


Matthew Phillips

12 cities, 12 months, 12 hours, 12 miles

Second Half FUNraiser: Checkers on The Shortest Day for the American Heart Association

It is hard to believe I have just 1 month left in my journey. The trip has been an amazing experience. The second half seems to somehow have flown by even faster than the first half. After such a great event at The Longest Day, I unfortunately pushed my blog and my fundraising to the back burner. With just one month left, I will put forth my very best effort to reach my fundraising goal for the second half of the year just as we did for the first. It will not be easy, but with your help we can do it!

For the second half of the year, I will be raising money for the American Heart Association. The first half was in honor of Grandpa Harry and the second half will be in honor of Grandpa Jack. This time I will be playing Checkers (a game I learned from Grandpa Jack) for an entire day on The Shortest Day of the year. I chose the Shortest Day of the year because heart attacks can shorten the lives of those we love. I have officially surpassed 12,000 miles, so I will be donating the full $1,000 to charity on the year (this is $1.00 for every 12 miles). You can read more about my second half campaign and donate directly at my donation page here:

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Shout out to the donors we already have on board!! Donations are for every 12 miles traveled…I know I am missing some people (apologies)!

DOLLAR CLUB: Matthew Phillips

HALF DOLLAR CLUB: Fan Interactive Marketing

QUARTER CLUB: Tom and Sharon

DIME CLUB: Brad and Jane; Patti; Jamie, Loren and Gage; Trish and Rick; Linda, Sue

NICKEL CLUB: Pam and Sean, Maria, Mike and Lisa, Patti, Rick

PENNY CLUB (Just a $10 Donation!): Monika, Beth, Grace, Phyllis, Matt, Neil and Judy, Bobby, Ryan, K-Webb

How can you help make an impact? There are 2 options:

  1. Visit my page (The IMPACT of 12 Miles) and make a donation. A donation of just $10.00 will put you in the PENNY CLUB. A donation of $50.00 will put you in the NICKEL CLUB.
  2. Make a pledge to donate at the end of my journey (money will go towards the American Heart Association). A pledge of just 1 penny for every 12 miles (up to 12,000 miles) will result in a $10 donation in December.

Thanks in advance for your support!

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Fishing with Family on The Longest Day to #ENDALZ

The Longest Day is an event to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association. This unique event is held annually, on or near, the summer solstice. The longest day of the year was chosen to honor those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, for whom every day is the longest day. This past year I fished all day on The Longest Day in celebration of my Grandpa Harry who battled Alzheimer’s during the last years of his life. Fishing is something he taught me and an activity I enjoyed sharing with him. This is my exact replica of the events with complete precision. I’d tell you to close your eyes so you can feel like you were there, but it might be tough to continue reading…


11:26 AM – You finally depart for the lake. Behind schedule as usual.

11:32 AM – The cat is moved to the back seat as he clearly can’t handle riding in the front. Meowing subsides. Continue reading “Fishing with Family on The Longest Day to #ENDALZ”

The Indy 500 Parade Ushers in Sections 29 & 30: Same Orange Shirt, Same Last Name

I’m certain I stiff armed a clown at some point and grabbed a Frisbee just before contact with my patrons.

After almost 5 months on the road without seeing my family, the last place you would think we would meet is in a parking lot all wearing orange shirts to stand out from the crowd as ushers at a parade. That is exactly how it happened though. This would be the first day we would all volunteer together, and I was excited for the experience. It should be noted that my Mom and brother are very active volunteers at the Humane Society and the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, so they have volunteered together often. Any other times I can remember were as Cub Scouts or in school. This would certainly be the first time when we were all adults (or as much of an adult as one can be while living out of his car…). Continue reading “The Indy 500 Parade Ushers in Sections 29 & 30: Same Orange Shirt, Same Last Name”

Playing Semi-Truck Tetris with Goodwill Columbus

“Oh yeah that will fit” – every Goodwill Columbus team member describing any situation that involves trying to fit one more thing in to a space that you can’t imagine it fitting in.

As the doors closed on the semi-truck we had just filled with donations, I started kicking myself for not grabbing a picture of the truck. I often end up so engulfed in the event that I forget to take a picture, since me describing how full the truck was to you the loyal reader simply wouldn’t do it justice. Moments later another car pulled around the corner…with a couch and a table. Despite saying we wouldn’t take any more donations, sometimes it is just hard to say no. So as they asked if we could take it, the Goodwill team said yes. They would make it fit. They would find a way. And I would get one more shot at that picture of the now even a little more full semi-truck. Continue reading “Playing Semi-Truck Tetris with Goodwill Columbus”

Lessons from the Charles River: Always have your rope ready

I would have been less confident of who I was seeing if Michael Jordan was getting out of his Mercedes with a Bulls #23 jersey on and 6 championship rings gleaming in the sun.

After a successful race day experience in Boston at the marathon, I thought why not give another race a try. Again using Volunteer Match (it is becoming my go to), I found an opportunity. The key to volunteering on short notice off of volunteer match is writing your quick response, then calling when they give you the contact information. I learned that one from my Mom…she always favored getting someone on the phone. In this case, it was easily the better option. In no time I was on the phone with Meg, the race director for the Run of the Charles, discussing the volunteer options for the day. The Run of the Charles is put on by the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and is the largest flat bottom boat race in New England. It highlights the importance of how water quality improvements and clean-up efforts during the past few decades have transformed the formerly-filthy Charles (even the subject of a song called “Dirty Water“) into a remarkable city recreation area.

Of course, where Meg needed the most help was at Bemis Dam just after the biggest rapids of the race. The task? Continue reading “Lessons from the Charles River: Always have your rope ready”

At the Boston Marathon 25,383rd can be just as impressive as 1st

“I’m going for the hug.” – me

As the most recent Run to #ENDALZ runner was headed our way, there was something entirely different about how he was embracing the crowd. Don’t get me wrong, the high fives were invigorating, but I was ready to step up my game. Most of the team runners lit up when they saw the purple people ahead. Some would stop to hug a family member or two, but the rest of us would greet them with high fives as they charged on for the remaining 10 miles. This runner (Jeff as I would learn later) was stopping for a LOT of hugs. As he approached, I told my new Keurig friends that I was going for it. I had so much energy watching so many people putting everything they had into this race. I went Continue reading “At the Boston Marathon 25,383rd can be just as impressive as 1st”

Books for America strives to put the power of reading in the hands of everyone

“Have you ever volunteered with us in the past? Have you ever worked in a library before? Shelved books before?” – Dennis

“No…no…no.” – Me

“Are you familiar with how the system works?” – Dennis (face showing he is getting a little concerned)

“I have read a few books and been in a library before…” – Me (sarcastic smile that drew a laugh)

How hard could it be? You pick up the book and put it in the right place. Those were my thoughts going into shelving books with Books for America. Books for America is a non-profit organization that donates new and used books and other forms of educational media to disadvantaged organizations and schools. They have now awarded grants of 1 million books to schools, shelters, and many other educational programs and organizations. I was working Continue reading “Books for America strives to put the power of reading in the hands of everyone”

Why you should occasionally road trip with no plan…

As I write this post, I just received a text “What’s your plan this week?” The short answer is…no plan. I will certainly admit that there is a great deal of planning involved with traveling around the country in your Sentra for a year, but it is the days that I leave unplanned that make me thankful I have this opportunity. Think back to the last trip you took and consider all the planning that went in to it. Now imagine Continue reading “Why you should occasionally road trip with no plan…”

Where do you stay?!? 12 things you should know about housesitting…

One of the first questions I get asked on my road trip is “Where are you staying?” If you ask me this question, be prepared to grab a chair and hunker down for at least a good 5 minutes. I have now slept in 12 different locations this year. Each one has come about in a unique way and no stay has been anywhere close to the same. One of the ways I have avoided “bumming” my way around the country is through housesitting. Housesitting is as it sounds…you sit (stay) in someone’s house while they are away. The trade off is mutual for both parties. The sitter gets a free place to stay and the owner does not have to worry about their house, pets, plants, etc. being uncared for while they are gone. After I mention housesitting for “random” people around the country, the questions come flowing. Here are 12 things you should know about housesitting for someone you have never met…

12 Things You Should Know About Housesitting Continue reading “Where do you stay?!? 12 things you should know about housesitting…”

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