College student helping the homeless surprised by WISH Patrol

ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) – For most, college is a time for self-discovery. For Darrius Mitchell, his time in college has been about helping others.

Darrius is a junior at Anderson University and is also a running back on the school’s football team. For the past several years, he has been using his own money to buy bottled water, food and personal hygiene items he then passes out to the homeless around Indianapolis. Darrius said the idea came to him one day while mowing his yard in the scorching summer heat.

“I was like ‘dang, it’s hot.’ I know the homeless are hot so I just went out and started handing out frozen waters,” said Darrius.

His efforts came as a surprise to his mother.

“At first I’m thinking, ‘Why are you putting so many waters in here for us to drink?’ He’s like, ‘No, I’m giving these to somebody,’ and I’m like, ‘Who are you giving them to?’ He says, ‘I’m taking them to give to the homeless. It’s hot outside,’” said Nicole Henderson, Darrius’s mother.

When the WISH Patrol learned of what Darrius was doing, we teamed up with Coca-Cola Consolidated and Kroger to give him the tools to keep making a difference in the community.

“His story needs to be told because he’s going to inspire other people, and it inspires me,” said Brad Keinsley, director of retail sales for Coca-Cola Consolidated.

Coca-Cola Consolidated and Kroger presented Darrius with:

  • Two pallets of bottled water
  • Boxes of personal hygiene kits
  • VIP passes to an Indianapolis Colts game
  • T.Y. Hilton jersey
  • $5,000 Kroger gift card

Darrius is no stranger to hardship himself. He lost his father to cancer three years ago. His dad told him on his deathbed not to use his death as an excuse to get off course.

“I’ve always taught him to meet people where they are,” said Henderson. “Put God first and keep a good heart and watch what God will do.”

Is there someone you think is deserving of a WISH Patrol surprise? Nominate them! You can also nominate them by sending an email to or by calling 317-956-8528.