Miller answers vets’ ‘wish list’
MADISON – Shelby Dean Miller, a seventh-grader in Student 2 Student (S2S) at Liberty Middle School, organized a “wish list drive” for residents at Floyd E. ‘Tut’ Fann State Veterans Home.
Miller’s idea grew from S2S’s monthly visits to Tut Fann to play bingo with the veterans. Miller presented her idea to students at Liberty and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham – Huntsville Medicine Center for further donations, S2S sponsor and nurse Benita Tunstill said.
At UAB-Huntsville with her mother Saundra Miller, Shelby Dean explained her wish list drive at two employee meetings, UAB quarterly staff meeting and UAB Family Medicine Center quarterly meeting. Shelby Dean discussed the S2S organization, items on the wish list and sacrifices veterans and their families make, Tunstill said.
In her speech, Shelby Dean said the veterans “deserve so much, so the least we could do is meet their basic needs. These men and women fought for our country and our freedom … There are 148 male veterans and two ladies. Some of them don’t have a family so help us be their family.”
The veterans’ wish list included hats, scarves, socks, sweat suits, pajamas, toiletries, blankets and boxes of candy bars for Bingo prizes.
“Everyone was really excited about all of the items collected, especially the chocolate bars for bingo,” Shelby Dean said. “The veterans love to get chocolate when they win a game.”
Fulfilling the wish list “was great. I was so excited to see how generous everyone was,” Shelby Dean said. “I just loved going through everything that was donated and couldn’t wait to give it to the veterans. I just love to help people and make them happy.”
Shelby Dean’s parents are Dave and Saundra Miller The Millers moved to Madison in May 2001 with Dave’s job.
At Liberty, Shelby Dean also participates in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Priority One. She plays volleyball and is a member of the seventh-grade All County Volleyball Tournament Team 2016.
S2S raises awareness of needs of military-connected and civilian students who are transitioning to and from a new school, district counselor Cindy V. Davis said.