Two North Huntingdon, Pa., residents are heeding the call to help others by taking a monthlong cross-country road trip and serving others along the way.
Adam Kunes, 24, and Andrew Blythe, 22, hope their journey, dubbed “The Call to Serve,” shows others that two people in a RV can help change the lives of others, according to PittsburghLIVE.com.
Blythe said they plan to turn the Call to Serve into a nonprofit organization with a fleet of RVs traveling the country to help others.
“We want to provide an outlet for other young adults to help people that is unique,” Blythe said. “Young people are always looking for something new and that’s what we’re providing — I think it will help do great things.”
The trip began this week, but the idea took shape in October.
Kunes and Blythe met in 2007 while helping Catholic Charities with rebuilding homes in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Since then, they have worked on other projects and became roommates.
“Ever since New Orleans, we’ve been best friends and thought everything happened for a reason,” Blythe said. “We were always trying to think of ways to keep that spirit and drive going, and he had the idea and it’s been snowballing ever since.”
Kunes has helped others around the world, going to India, Vietnam and Burma. He saw a need and realized how privileged he was.
“We’re so blessed and lucky to have what we’ve got and this is our way to give back,” he said. “Being in those areas for a short amount of time, you feel like a part of something that is bigger than yourself.”
After talking about what they could to help people across the country, Kunes said he had a vision, which led them to buy a RV and plan their trip.
Kunes and Blythe plan to start in Pittsburgh, traveling to New York City, New Orleans, Galveston, Texas, and San Diego. Projects on the trip include working with pediatric patients in Brooklyn, providing disaster relief in New Orleans and Galveston, Texas, and working with refugees in Phoenix.
Kunes and Blythe raised about $9,500 to buy the RV and put some money away for the trip by holding kickball tournaments, hosting open mike nights and other events.
“It’s been pretty crazy, because I’m trying to run my own business and do it all at the same time,” said Kunes, who owns Rewind Memories, a Shadyside-based media services company. Blythe is a student at the University of Pittsburgh who majors in athletic training.
The 30-day trip allots five days for each city, with one day of travel in between.
“It’s not for the faint of heart, especially since this is our first trip,” Blythe said. “It’s going to be a lot of traveling in a short time.”
But the trip is bigger than both of them, Kunes said.
They hope it is an inspiration to others, not only to help their new organization, but also to serve others.
“We’re not just two guys taking a trip — this won’t stop,” Kunes said. “We want to send out crews across the country.
“We could just join another organization, but we want something unique. We want to build bonds within the RV and within the people we’re serving.”