Two Cranbrook Kingswood sophomores are determined to make a difference for people in need this Thanksgiving. They’re not doing it for credit or to meet some volunteer requirements for school. They simply have big hearts and want to change the world one small act of kindness at a time.
Bree Gross, 15, of Franklin, did a dance-a-thon to raise money for Heart 2 Hart Detroit for her bat mitzvah project. The charity remains close to her heart.
Heart 2 Hart Detroit is a small nonprofit that goes out into the streets of Detroit and hands out life-sustaining items to hundreds of homeless Detroiters. The nonprofit also connects homeless people to community service organizations, rehab facilities, estranged family members and even potential employers.
Bree told her friend Emma Sable, 15, of Bloomfield Hills about the charity’s work. Bree and Emma then took on the commitment to provide warm coats, socks and food gift cards for the many homeless people in Detroit to brighten their Thanksgiving.
“Once I heard about Heart 2 Hart Detroit and how they come to the city to feed the homeless, I knew right away that I wanted to get involved and help because these people deserve a second chance. I am just so happy to help support this great cause,” Bree said.
By enlisting their families and friends’ support through social media and a Crowdrise campaign, Bree and Emma are on the way to reaching their goal of raising $10,000 to purchase 100 winter coats, 100 pairs of socks and 100 $10 gift cards.
“Being homeless isn’t a choice and many unsuspecting people find themselves on the streets,” the girls wrote on their Crowdrise page. “They are moms and dads, brothers and sisters and grandmas and grandpas. They are people like us, but somewhere along the way they encountered terribly bad luck.”
With two weeks to go, the girls have raised nearly $9,000. They plan to raise funds annually to “remind all of us at Thanksgiving of all that we have to be thankful for,” Bree said.
On Nov. 21, the girls will go to Hart Plaza with other Heart 2 Hart volunteers and pass out the coats, socks and food gift cards. Also joining them will be Chef Zack Sklar and his staff from Peas and Carrots Hospitality Group, who will be passing out hot soup, lunches and toiletry kits.
To donate to the cause, visit www.crowdrise.com/raise-money-to-help-the-homeless-in-detroit/fundraiser/Emmabree.