In his 6th Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event for Open Arms, 10-year-old Joseph Miller not only left his goal for donations in the dust, but the rest of the walkers and runners too – in 4-inch heels.
During the Walk A Mile event, participants don high heels and hit the course at Riverside Park in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Open Arms, an organization providing domestic violence and rape crisis services. The event, in its seventh year, was held on April 25.
Miller’s goal was to raise $500, but he instead collected $2,040, making him the highest student contributor to Open Arms. He also pulled on his red 4-inch heeled boots decorated with OSU duct tape and whooshed across the finish line first.
“I sprinted – It was good but I got a bad blister,” Miller said a few days later. “I’m going to keep doing it, but next year I’m going to wear all of the socks I have.”
Miller is a 3rd-grader at St. Michael the Archangel School in Findlay. He spent many hours with his mom, Heidi Miller, to raise funds for Open Arms. They were moved by the outpouring of support from donors like Mayor Lydia Mihalik, the St. Michael Student Council along with teachers and staff from the school, Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut, Donatos, Subway, Planet Fitness, Smart Style Hair Salon, Ralphie’s and more.
Heidi said they support Open Arms because she received support from Open Arms for counseling, help in a divorce and other issues. It means a lot to her to give back, and that Joseph supports the cause as well.
“End the silence, end the violence,” Joseph said, reciting Open Arms’ slogan as he reflected on the race.
In his six years participating, Joseph has struck up a bit of fame. His mom said it’s fair to say it feels like he has become “the face” of Walk A Mile In Her Shoes.
“Everyone always looks for him,” she said.
Joseph’s picture appeared on a flyer for Walk A Mile, he was interviewed by Jerry Anderson of Toledo 11 News a few weeks before the race, Big Dave and The Big Kahuna of radio station 100.5 WKXA were there when he was interviewed by Anderson, and his picture also appeared in The Courier. Not bad for a 10 year old.
When he’s not raising awareness for Open Arms, Joseph loves to play with Star Wars toys, especially his light saber. He has his own bowling ball, loves trains and can often be found playing with just about any type of ball outside.