Dominic Miller, of Eastpointe, is again collecting items — books, pajamas, toys, coats and more — for his Dominic’s Christmas Wish organization.

Dominic Miller, of Eastpointe, is again collecting items — books, pajamas, toys, coats and more — for his Dominic’s Christmas Wish organization.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Making spirits bright this holiday season

By: Maria Allard | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 3, 2023

 St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, School & Early Childhood Center in Eastpointe will hold an outdoor Nativity scene from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Dec. 6.

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, School & Early Childhood Center in Eastpointe will hold an outdoor Nativity scene from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Dec. 6.

Photo provided by Caitlin Gerds Habermas


EASTPOINTE — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

With charity drives and holiday events scheduled throughout December, the Christmas spirit is jingling all the way through the local community.

If you’re looking to support a charitable cause, check out Dominic’s Christmas Wish. Several years ago, Eastpointe resident Dominic Miller, 14, created the nonprofit organization to benefit children in need.

Through the charity, Miller collects new pajamas, books, coats, slippers, toys, socks, hats, mittens, scarves and more that are distributed to local shelters. According to the Dominic’s Christmas Wish Facebook page, donations are down this year, and books and pajamas are needed most.

The deadline for donations is Dec. 14. Items can be dropped off at 15325 Evergreen Ave. in Eastpointe. For more information, call (586) 945-6852 or email Dominic’

To help Miller, the Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce has set up a drop box in the lobby of its building at 24840 Gratiot Ave., Suite C, in Eastpointe.

Another charity providing a merrier Christmas for others is Eastpointe Cops Care. The organization’s third annual “Cops For Kids” benefits underprivileged children from infancy to age 12.

Donated toys can be dropped off until Dec. 12 at Cloverleaf Bar & Restaurant, 24443 Gratiot Ave. in Eastpointe. On behalf of the program, the Chamber of Commerce is accepting Walmart, Target, Kroger and Meijer gift cards, which can be dropped off — just call first at (586) 776-5520.

Families in need can apply to the program by Dec. 12 at the email address The following must be included: a parent ID with an Eastpointe address, names of the children up to 12 years old only, birth certificates and requested gift ideas.

With help from Santa Claus, the gifts will be distributed at 5 p.m. Dec. 19 at Cloverleaf. The evening will include pizza and cake for the kids, raffles and a disc jockey. For more information, visit Eastpointe Cops Care on Facebook.

Other events in town will celebrate the holidays.

On Dec. 6, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, School & Early Childhood Center will hold an outdoor Nativity scene from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Along with live animals and Christmas carolers, performers will highlight the biblical story of Joseph, Mary, Jesus and the three wise men.

“We have been doing this for the last few years,” congregation member Caitlin Gerds Habermas said. “It’s just a nice low-key event, and the kids love seeing the animals. It puts you in the Christmas spirit.”

The church is located at 23000 Gratiot Ave. in Eastpointe. All are welcome, and admission is free. For more information, call (586) 777-6300.

Dashing through the snow will be the fourth annual Roseville Holiday Lights on Wheels parade set for Dec. 16, rain or shine. The parade will depart at 5:30 p.m. from the staging area in the north lot of Roseville High School, off Normal Street.

Organized by the Roseville Neighborhood Watch Group — Michigan, the parade has become a Christmas tradition with local residents and businesses decorating their cars and trucks with holiday lights, Santa Claus blow molds and other festive decorations. Roseville’s Public Works, Police and Fire departments participate, as well as Roseville Community Schools with its Grinch bus.

“People can expect to see cars that are brightly lit,” said Matt Belz, one of the organizers who will drive his family in a Chevrolet Suburban with “all sorts of lights you’ll be able to see from space.”

It’s an event the entire community gets caught up with.

“A lot of people will sit or stand on lawns and watch us go by,” Belz said. “There’s people everywhere smiling and waving.”

Belz said the parade started a few years ago.

“It was mimicked after St. Clair Shores,” he said. “We saw their success and within a week we put on a parade. We have a lot of really good people that help this event thrive.”

One thing organizers really wanted to do was to spread cheer to older residents who don’t get out much. On this year’s route, the procession will drive in front of five adult care facilities.

“They know we’re coming, and the senior directors give the residents glow sticks to wave at the parade participants,” Belz said. “It’s really cool to see the expressions on their faces.”

The  parade lasts about three and a half hours and stays organized with a police escort.

“The Roseville police does a really good job keeping us safe while going through intersections,” Belz said. “They have set up the route really well.”

At press time, 50 entries had registered, and the limit is 100. Organizers have to keep the vehicles down to single axles. As long as there are spaces available, organizers will take entries up to the day of the parade.

Participation in the parade is free, but all must fill out a registration form at The parade route is available online at

The holiday festivities will continue Dec. 17 when Santa Claus comes to town for the Live Rite Recovery Resource Center’s free community Christmas party from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The jolly man in the red suit is scheduled to arrive by helicopter at 2 p.m. with gifts.

Live Rite offers several services for individuals recovering from substance and/or alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, grief, and depression. The nonprofit organization is located at 27700 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville. Call (586) 217-5899 for more information or visit

Anyone who has a soft spot for military veterans is encouraged to participate in the Michigan Veteran Homes’ “Make a Veteran Smile Campaign.” Residents can send a letter, card, banner or food tray liner with personal messages to veterans.

“Sending a letter to our members is another way the community can share appreciation and support for veterans around the holidays,” Tiffany Carr, community engagement coordinator for Michigan Veteran Homes, said in a prepared statement. “For some of our members who do not have close friends or family, this might be the only message they receive around the holidays.”

MVH representatives suggest placing a personal note in each card but do not include envelopes. It’s also recommended to write in large letters with dark ink. Large cards or banners that can be displayed or hung are welcome, and the standard paper food tray liners with coloring or personal messages work well because they are used during every meal service.

Letters can be addressed to ATTN: Make a Vet Smile and hand-delivered or mailed to Michigan Veteran Homes at Chesterfield Township, 47901 Sugarbush Road, Chesterfield Township, MI 48047.

Michigan Veteran Homes provides day-to-day operational oversight of the state’s veteran homes on behalf of the Michigan Veterans Facility Authority and is a branch of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.