Tag Archives: Katherine “Pearl” Miller

“Help Santa!” Katherine Miller Asked. Westport Delivered.

Less than 2 weeks ago, “06880” followed up on the story of Katherine Miller.

The longtime Westporter was delivering Uber Eats last winter, to supplement her income. She was assaulted picking up an order, and suffered a head injury. Residents donated $33,000 to help defray medical and rehabilitation bills.

This month, Katherine wanted to pay it forward.

In 2020, she had written a book. “Help Santa!!!” is a clever, light-hearted and rhythmic story about kindness, in which children get a chance to help St. Nick with a chimney problem.

Each book includes a “Magic Key” that — when young readers hold it in their hands and think “magical thoughts,” then hang on their door on Christmas Eve — can help them “help Santa.” She offered them at $12.99 each (far below the price on Amazon, and her website) — with every sale a donation to Bridgeport elementary schools.

“06880” readers responded at warp speed. This week, Miller and Trammi Nguyen — a Westporter who coordinates volunteers in Bridgeport — delivered scores of books to the Bryant and Luis Muñoz Marín Schools.

Miller visited pre-K, and 2nd and 4th grade students.  “They were over the moon with happiness and joy,” she reports. They adored her necklace — the same “magic key” that every child received with the book.

Excited students with Katherine Miller — and their “magic keys.”

The book was read to the pre-K and 2nd grade students.

Younger kids were read to …

The 4th graders took turns reading out loud, with great enthusiasm.

… while older youngsters read “Help Santa!” themselves.

For all, the chance to get a new book was special. Nearly always, schools in need receive donations that are “pre-owned.”

A second grade boy told his teacher it was the best day of his life.

“There is so much love in this world,” Miller says. “I honestly feel so blessed. My heart is so full, being given such an amazing flow of kindness from our community.

“This experience has completely changed my life. It made me realize my bad experience was not a tragedy. It was a window to see a whole new beautiful world.”

Thanks to Katherine Miller, and all those in Westport and beyond who helped open that window — with “magical” books — for all those Bridgeport boys and girls.

(A special hat tip too to Danielle Dobin. She created the original GoFundMe for Katherine, then helped make the book drive a reality.)

More joy (and love) at the holidays.

 

Paying It Forward: Uber Eats Assault Victim Can Now “Help Santa!”

The story last March was grim. One Saturday night, a 64-year-old Westport woman supplementing her income by driving for Uber Eats picked up an order at Golden Pizza, in Westfair Plaza.

Inside the restaurant, she saw someone enter her unlocked car. When she went outside to prevent the theft, she was brutally assaulted. She suffered a serious head injury, and was intensive care for days.

Westporters were outraged. Quickly, a GoFundMe campaign was created. It raised over $33,000. The money paid for medical bills — she had no health insurance — and her long rehabilitation, as she learned to walk again.

The outpouring of support was “life-changing,” the woman says.

But that’s not the end of the story.

The woman’s name is Katherine “Pearl” Miller. She’s a watercolor artist, whose paintings and prints of richly detailed whimsical character hang in kids’ rooms throughout the US and Italy.

Katherine “Pearl” Miller

In 2020, she wrote a book. “Help Santa!!!” is a clever, light-hearted and rhythmic story about kindness, in which children get a chance to help St. Nick with a chimney problem.

Each book includes a “Magic Key” that — when young readers hold it in their hands and think “magical thoughts,” then hang on their door on Christmas Eve — can help them “help Santa.”

Each book comes with a “magic key.”

But this is not a story that suggests you buy “Help Santa!!!” for your child.

It’s far better than that.

Pearl has agreed to sell 250 of the books for $12.99 each. (The price on her website is $19.95; on Amazon, they’re $16.95.)

Right now, the books are in a storage unit. They can be distributed this Friday at 5 Bridgeport elementary schools: Curiale Elementary, Geraldine Claytor Magnet Academy, Barnum, Skane and Luis Muñoz Marin.

Bridgeport school administrators are thrilled. Usually, donors offer used books. This will provide brand-new hardcover books to 250 children, right before Christmas. And they’ll feel empowered “helping” Santa get down the chimney.

The book — and the magic key.

This is where “06880” readers come in. The books can only be distributed if we cover the cost.

That should be easy. As noted, each book is just $12.99. Ordering one (or more) for a Bridgeport child could not be easier.

Venmo $12.99 (per book) to @katherine-miller-177.

A year ago, Westporters banded together to help a woman. We did not know her name. We knew only that she’d been beaten on a Saturday night, while delivering meals to supplement her income.

Now we know her name. We know her back story. We know how far she’s come — and how eager she is to help others.

The next step is easy. Once again, here’s the Venmo: @katherine-miller-177.

Happy holidays!