Two years ago, after finishing his first semester at Purdue University, Alex Radelich didn’t like his major and was feeling down and out about college.
According to an Elkhart Truth report, while waiting for his parents to pick him up, he was watching “Evan Almighty,” the Morgan Freeman/Steve Carell comedy in which Freeman plays God.
Near the movie’s end, when Carell’s character, Evan, asks God how he can change the world, God replies, “One act of random kindness at a time.”
The then 19-year-old Elkhart, Ind., native said he felt incredibly inspired at that moment. He hasn’t been back to school since.
Within a day he posted a video online, and within another day he was contacted by people from Brazil, Russia, Canada and the United States asking how they could help. He and some friends started a Facebook group and website, which grew quickly.
Radelich and a handful of his closest friends founded ARK Project Now, with ARK standing for “acts of random kindness.” The nonprofit corporation travels the country, mostly during breaks from college, doing whatever it can to make people smile. Sometimes that means helping people in crisis, such as an Indianapolis family who lost their belongings in a house fire shortly before Christmas, or cooking a meal for 30 families whose children are fighting cancer.
A group of local companies has combined to give ARK a brand new motorhome from Thor Motor Coach. The day they were on “Today,” Radelich said the group somehow scored a meeting with Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components Inc. They never planned on asking for a new vehicle, Radelich said. They simply knew that Lippert is heavily involved in charitable projects, such as The Boys and Girls Club, and hoped for a “foot in the door” to somehow help out.
But when Jason Lippert asked if they needed a new RV, they weren’t about to say “no.” Lippert talked to Thor Industries Inc.’s CEO Bob Martin, whose daughter knew some of the guys from Northridge High School.
Also donating money to buy the roughly $100,000 motorhome are Patrick Industries Inc., MITO Corp. and Dicor, Radelich said.
Ted Thatcher said the new RV “changes the game for us in a massive way.”