DETROIT - What makes a person want to give? Two years ago, Larry Oleinick decided to spend his lunch hour handing out food to the hungry.
"I drove down to Hart Plaza and I start sitting on the benches with the people, and they kind of looked at me like, 'What's this guy conversing with me?'" said Oleinick.
By the time the day was over, Oleinick had realized the enormous need in his city and had found a new purpose. He has since left behind his business in Farmington Hills and formed Heart 2 Hart, as in his heart to Hart Plaza.
"We generally start about 7:30 in the morning and sometimes a volunteer will be here to help prepare the sandwiches and basically get everything ready from the food standpoint, and then the person that works with me, Kenneth Levy, comes in and we kind of brainstorm what other products we want to take, like underwear and socks," Oleinick said.
"And then you load up your truck?" asked Mitch Albom.
"Right, and we are usually there by 12," said Oleinick.
The effect? Ask Lisa Zeldes, a regular volunteer.
"A lot of these people were very much like Larry and I, until an event or series of events changed their lives forever," said Zeldes. "There are always people waiting even in these incredible temperatures we had recently. They are ready for food. What they want is more important and what they want is human interaction."
Heart 2 Hart now operates three days a week and helps dozens of needy citizens, all because one man decided to spend his lunch break feeding someone else.
"We are doing 65 lunches per day. We have outgrown our vehicle. We're in need of a big van," said Oleinick. "We've kind of found a piece of this world that needs a little repairing. We are building relationships. To me, it is that simple."
Sometimes it is that simple, Heart 2 Hart in the heart of Detroit.Heart of Detroit
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