One idea. One spark. One act. That's all it takes to initiate something that impacts the world. Over and over again in our history books it’s proven to be true, and the same can be said today. For my best friend Alex Radelich, a 19-year-old college student at the time, it came from a film. Not just any film, but a parody. In “Evan Almighty,” Morgan Freeman, who plays the role of God, answers the question: How do we change the world? He replies, "One act of random kindness at a time."
In that cheesy, yet somewhat profound moment, something awoke in Alex. He felt a great potential for change. Immediately, he recorded a video as an experiment to see if anyone else would want to join him in an attempt to spread kindness. Within the next 24 hours, he was contacted by people in countries across the globe, including Russia, Brazil and Canada. Alex then sold some personal belongings, ordered some ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) cards, and started a website aimed at creating a community of people dedicated to spreading kindness. As all of this was happening, a team began to form. A team of four close friends, of which I am one, bent on impacting the world through kindness. And, just like that, ARK Project Now was born.
A lot has happened for our nonprofit since its inception in December 2012. We've been working hard to get the word out by organizing events, fundraisers, and much more. One thing we set out to do last summer was travel 6,000 miles across the country to inspire an epidemic of kindness. With a last-minute fifth addition to the team, we needed something big to haul us and our equipment for six weeks.
Through some connections, we acquired a ’94 motorhome, slapped some decals on the sides, and set off to show the nation some kindness. This road trip was an adventure from start to finish. From the hot, sleepless nights in the desert with no A/C, to the constant engine malfunctions, it wasn't all smooth sailing, but every struggle we overcame was worth all the lives we were able to touch.
We aim to take an even bigger trip this summer. Luckily, this time around we have a better ride lined up! Thanks to the generosity of Thor Motor Coach, Lippert Components, and more, we will be traveling the country in a brand new Thor ACE 30.2! The guys and I are extremely grateful for the donation of a new mode of transportation and a new temporary home. We know this RV can serve our organization well this summer and beyond.
For ARK Project Now to make a worldwide change, we need as many people involved as possible! Because this idea of sharing acts of random kindness, at its core, is quite simple, it’s very easy to get started. Everybody has a unique perspective on kindness, so we love to see creativity expressed through ARKs. Just make a conscious decision to show more kindness to others, whether that looks like paying for someone's coffee, providing meals for the homeless, or going out of your way to hold the door for someone. We believe that no act is too small, or too big!
To engage with us, all you have to do is visit us online at ARKprojectNow.com and commit to kindness. You can sign the pledge to Just Do One and join the tribe! Discover our vision, find kindness ideas, and more while you're there! Remember, all it takes is the power of one to make a difference.
10 Ways to Spread Kindness Today!
- Purchase a meal/coffee/groceries for the person behind you in line
- Volunteer your time
- Go out of your way to help someone out today
- Haven't called your family in a while? Give them a call!
- Leave coins at a vending machine
- Write a compliment on a card and leave it on a windshield
- Take the stairs today (be kind to yourself)
- Be a listening ear for a stranger
- Leave $10 on a random pump at the gas station
Companies that donated products for the new RV
- Thor Motor Coach
- Lippert Components
- Dicor Corporation
- MITO Corporation
- Patrick Industries
Jacob ThatcherJacob Thatcher is a founding member of Ark Project Now, a not-for-profit organization based in Indiana committed to changing the world one act of random kindness at a time. Born and raised in the RV capital of the world — Elkhart, Indiana — Jacob finally got his chance in 2014 to travel 6,000 miles across the United States by motorhome, inspiring an epidemic of kindness along the way. Jacob attends Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, CA, and creates dynamic content, including blog and social media posts for ARK Project Now.