EASTPOINTE, Mich. – An Eastpointe boy who spends every year collecting donated clothes, books and toys for local children in need was worried about reaching his goal this Christmas. But thanks to a collective effort from the community, Dominic Miller surpassed his 2022 goal and is donating thousands and thousands of items in time for the holiday.
The 13-year-old boy is behind the annual Dominic’s Christmas Wish pajama and toy drive, which provides new and unwrapped clothes, books and toys to children of all ages at local shelters and foster agencies. He spends time out in the community year-round, advocating for his mission and collecting donations for the holidays because he feels it’s “the right thing to do.”
“No one should be left (without) presents during Christmastime,” Miller said.
But this year has been a particular challenge for Miller and his family, as he has struggled with his own illness and hasn’t been able to prioritize collecting donations like he usually would.
The 13-year-old, who was born with cerebral palsy, has been in and out of the hospital since the 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. But even in the hospital, the boy spent more time concerned about getting donations in time for Christmas than he was about his own recovery, according to his grandmother Rose Miller.
At the beginning of the month, Rose Miller said they had only been able to secure about 1,000 pajamas and around 800 books -- nowhere near Dominic Miller’s goal for 2022. But thankfully, after a push from the family and from Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit, community members came to the rescue, donating thousands and thousands of items to the drive.
“There is not enough thanks for all the help, to help Dominic change his world,” Rose Miller wrote on Facebook. “Feeling the love just fills our hearts!”
According to the Miller family, as of their Friday, Dec. 16 deadline, they were able to secure the following items:
- 3,129 pajamas;
- 3,002 books;
- 2,097 socks;
- 2,035 mittens;
- 703 scarves;
- 297 hat sets;
- 75 coats;
- 51 blankets;
- 179 stuffed animals;
- 697 underwear;
- 8 bras;
- 1,799 toys;
- 2,068 clothing;
- 1 bike;
- 35 crayon;
- 75 coloring books;
- 71 activities books;
- 89 slippers;
- 7 shoes; and
- 15 purses.
Rose Miller says the family and volunteers are delivering the donated items on Friday so that they can be sorted and provided to children in time for the holiday. The donations are dropped off at three local shelters and two adoption agencies.
Dominic Miller was unfortunately too sick to help deliver the donations on Friday, his grandmother wrote, but the support from the community this year has meant “the world to him.”
Any donations that did not arrive on time for the drive’s Friday deadline will still be kept and donated in 2023, the family said. After they’ve finished with their deliveries, the Millers will begin collecting donations foe 2023 starting Dec. 17.