I live in the middle of the country in Springfield, Missouri, the Queen City of the Ozarks! I actually grew up just outside of Springfield in the small town of Fair Grove, but took on big-city life for college. I graduated from Drury University in Springfield in 2010 with a degree in Religion and Philosophy, and am currently finishing up my Master’s in Religious Studies at Missouri State University (also in Springfield). I’m always up for a good philosophical conversation and talking about big, lofty, theory-gushing topics that don’t often lead anywhere. Reading is something I really like doing, and I also like to swim, attend baseball games (I bleed St. Louis Cardinals red!!) and, well, bike!
I heard about Bike & Build when one of my best friends did the Northern US route in 2011. Hearing him talk about his experiences, I knew it was something I really wanted to do. I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity, especially since I just turned 25 and barely meet Bike & Build’s age limit! While I don’t have a lot of experience with the affordable housing cause, I have done some service work in Uganda, Africa. Being exposed to extreme poverty really opened my eyes to the needs of others and the responsibilities we all share to those around us. While Uganda put the issue of extreme poverty in a very global context for me, I also realized that poverty and homelessness are real issues right here at home in America. Where we dwell and call home are such crucial concepts to our human experience, and I am excited to be involved with a cause that seeks to meet affordable housing needs.
Where I grew up, there was this huge hill at the end of our driveway. My brother and I loved to ride down it on our bikes when we were little, but would walk our bikes back up to the top each time. I always remember thinking how I would never be able to actually pedal up to the top. The more I bike the more I have moments like that hill. But every time, with the right motivation, I am able to go a little bit further. And what better motivation than the combination of taking an awesome trip while also getting to be a part of an amazing cause that changes lives?
This past summer I went on a bike trip down the west coast, from Vancouver to San Francisco. It was a great trip in a beautiful part of the country, and I loved being able to see so much from a bike, a way that allowed me to really take everything in. Leading up to it, that ride seemed like a pretty big hill—just like biking across the country seems like an even bigger hill. But I’m ready to start pedaling and make it to the top!
|Matt has currently raised $4,600.|
That's 102% of his $4,500 fundraising goal.