Eastpointe boy behind annual pajama, book drive asks community to help amid his battle with illness

Dominic’s Christmas Wish drive donates items to local shelters, adoption agencies

Dominic Miller, now 13, sits with donations collected by his annual pajama and book drive called Dominic's Christmas Wish. (Dominic's Christmas Wish)

EASTPOINTE, Mich. – For the past 10 years, a young boy from Eastpointe has collected pajamas and books to donate to Metro Detroit children in need in time for Christmas.

Dominic Miller, 13, focuses every year on his goal to donate hundreds, if not thousands, of new pajamas, books, toys and other clothing items to children at local shelters during the holiday season. He spends time out in the community advocating for his goal and working to collect donations because he feels it’s “the right thing to do.”

“No one should be left (without) presents during Christmastime,” Miller said.

But this year, the 13-year-old behind the Dominic’s Christmas Wish drive hasn’t been able to prioritize his annual mission due to his own personal struggle with illness.

Miller, who was born with cerebral palsy, has been in-and-out of the hospital since this summer due to pancreatic failure. The boy’s grandmother says he also suffered from seizures, including grand mal seizures, which caused him to fall and “break his face.”

With him visiting the hospital six separate times, Miller has been spending his free time recovering more than anything else these last few months.

“His face has not been out there; he has not been able to hand out flyers, go to tree lightings,” his grandmother, Rose Miller, told Local 4. “He’s just really been struggling this year to get it going with him being sick.”

But even while in the hospital, the boy’s grandmother said he was more concerned about getting donations in time for Christmas than he was about his own recovery.

And now, with Christmas right around the corner, the family is asking for the community to help.

“We’re in panic mode at this point,” Rose Miller said.

As of Thursday, Dec. 8, the family has been able to secure 1,000 pajamas and more than 800 books -- but Rose Miller says her grandson was “pushing close to 2,000 this time last year.” In fact, Dominic Miller donated about 2,100 items to local shelters and foster children agencies in 2021.

The Miller family is dropping off their donations on Dec. 16, and they are hoping to collect many more items before then.

“(Dominic) is very concerned he will not be able to help as many children this year,” Rose Miller wrote on Facebook. “No matter how much I try to explain it to him it just doesn’t matter ... His goal is very important to him.”

The family is asking anyone who is able to donate the following items (must be new):

  • pajamas,
  • books,
  • toys,
  • socks,
  • mittens,
  • hats,
  • scarves,
  • underwear,
  • and/or other clothing.

The new and unwrapped items will be donated to children and teens at three local shelters and two local foster children agencies. The family is accepting clothing in all sizes, from newborn to 3X, that can benefit infants through 18-year-olds.

Donations can be sent to or dropped off at 15325 Evergreen Avenue in Eastpointe.

Rose Miller says they are also willing to pick up any donations. She can be contacted by phone at 586-945-6852, or by email at Dominic’sChristmasWish@yahoo.com.

Click here to visit the Dominic’s Christmas Wish Facebook page, where you can ask questions, share information and keep up with Dominic Miller’s progress.

The boy tells Local 4 that he can “use all the help” he could get right now.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.