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Spencer Evans enjoys a break during the True Cost of Washington Tour, where he'd been hearing from families how rising inflation was affecting them.

‘And that journey is one I will hold forever in my heart’

Nov 11, 2022 by AFP

True Cost of Washington Tour logo that reads, "Pay More, Get Less" - a reference to Washington's failed policies that are driving inflation, gas prices, and the high cost of living in 2022.

“That journey is one I will hold forever in my heart,” said Spencer Evans of his time on the True Cost of Washington Tour.

Evans, who is one of Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana’s grassroots engagement directors, was sharing with us his reflections on the tour and the time he spent crisscrossing the country to hear from everyday Americans how inflation was affecting their families.

He, along with several other teammates working behind the scenes, were joined by Americans for Prosperity staff and volunteers to host more than 130 True Cost of Washington events at gas stations and grocery stores in more than 30 states.

The goal of these events was lower prices and connect Americans to Washington’s role in causing inflation and the solutions for our current economic woes.

Of the people he met on tour, Evans said:

“These are the same hardworking individuals who worked their whole lives to come to a point where they can enjoy life, and inflation just stripped that away from millions of individuals.”

How do you feel now that the True Cost truck is retired?

SE: Very sad actually. There are so many memories of mine that are tied to that truck. So many people, places, and perceptions that I never would have dreamt of seeing.

Before the tour, I had never gone farther north than Colorado. But that truck, that truck made that possible for me, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Spencer Evans stands with the True Cost of Washington Tour truck and van, the vehicles that powered AFP's effort to help Americans fight inflation.

You went to a lot of cities. Was there anything in common from stop to stop?

SE: Honestly, the people. Not in the sense of the way they spoke or dressed, or even the food they ate. Rather, the hospitality and generosity that illuminated from them.

It always seemed to amaze me at every stop along the road the appreciation that people had for what we were doing on the True Cost Tour. The lives we were affecting and the impact it had on tens of thousands of families. It was truly a blessing to see in person, and I hope everyone might have a chance to witness that in their lives.

What did you hear most from the customers you spoke with along the tour? 

SE: Appreciation, hands down. The number of heart-breaking stories I heard truly struck me to my core. The struggles people are going through and experiencing was horrifying to hear. It made me realize how much I take for granted in life.

But, through the heartbreak and struggle, appreciation rang true. I truly believe the reason for that is that we were changing the lives of millions. Helping them in ways I never thought imaginable. I couldn’t imagine not having enough money to buy food or even medication.

But, we were able to help the lives of thousands to afford those items and buy food for their families or save them enough money to buy their medication for the week. Appreciation was at the core of every conversation I had with every single individual we helped.

How did you see inflation and high prices affecting people? Was there anything that stood out? 

SE: The biggest factor that stood out was retired individuals on a fixed income. With the amount of inflation that surged through the Biden administration, retired individuals couldn’t keep up.

These are the same hard-working individuals that worked their whole lives to come to a point where they can enjoy life, and inflation just stripped that away from millions of individuals. It is truly heartbreaking to see that happening in real-time. That is the reality of the True Cost of Washington.

Spencer Evans holds a sign that reads "Inflation sucks" on a stop along AFP's True Cost of Washington Tour to lower prices and connect people to how Washington's wasteful spending is driving historic inflation.

What was your most memorable experience on the tour? 

SE: My most memorable experience was all the jokes, laughter, and fun times I had with the True Cost team. The people that were on the ground day in and day out were the best individuals I could have ever asked for. At the end of the tour, it felt as though we were a family and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

How many miles did you drive? 

SE: Honestly, too many to count! If I gave you a number, I would be lying.

But, I would say that the best thing to sum up that question is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” And that journey is one I will hold forever in my heart.

Spencer Evans enjoying a break on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, one of the many towns he and the True Cost of Washington road crew drove through to reach Americans with solutions for historic inflation.

What is one thing you’d like people who can make a difference to know about what you saw or heard from folks along the tour?

SE: “Whatever your gift may be, you can use it to help others improve their lives.” – Charles Koch

Read our interview with Spencer’s True Cost Tour teammate Greg Dowell to get more behind-the-scenes details of the True Cost of Washington Tour.