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article imageL.A. lawyer loans his home to homeless family for a year

By Brett Wilkins     Jan 3, 2013 in Lifestyle
Los Angeles - A Hollywood entertainment lawyer is being lauded for his selfless act of charity after he moved in with his mother so that a homeless family could live in his house for a year.
Tony Tolbert, 51, is handing over his fully-furnished house to a homeless family he'd never even met for an entire year. The Harvard-educated attorney will move back into his mother's home for the duration of his generous act of kindness.
"He is so giving, and he's always been that way," mom Marie Tolbert told CBS News.
Tony says he was instilled with values that taught him to help others in need by his father, who often let down-on-their-luck people stay in the family's spare bedroom.
Although he's found success as a Hollywood lawyer, Tolbert isn't rich. But he stresses that you don't have to be wealthy in order to create positive change in the world.
"You don't have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah," he told CBS. "We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.
Tolbert found Felicia Dukes at Alexandria House, a transitional shelter for homeless women and children in Los Angeles. Dukes was sharing a room there with three of her children and was living apart from her oldest son because the shelter only accepted youngsters.
Dukes was stunned and elated when she learned of Tolbert's offer.
"They had a young man who wanted to donate his house for a year," Dukes said of an Alexandria House staffer, "and I'm looking at her like, what? Are you serious?"
Shortly after Dukes and her three children moved into Tolbert's home, her oldest son showed up too. The security of a united family with a roof over their head has resulted in a huge improvement in their quality of life.
"My heart just fills up... I'm just really happy," a teary-eyed Dukes told CBS.
Tolbert was also emotional as he told CBS about the life lessons he's learned from his father, who has been stricken with Alzheimer's disease.
"Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love," he said. "And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that's a better world."
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