Not just a crossing guard
Most people only know Miller from their quick interactions before and after school, but he is also involved extensively in causes throughout central Florida. Donating to the Jackson Heights food pantry, the Girl Up Club’s menstrual drives and similar donation-based charities at schools, Miller takes monetary donations from others and then matches it out of his own pocket, supporting community and school organizations.
Once Miller went to a school play after learning a student had purchased a ticket for him and his wife. Wowed by the performance, he and his wife gave a donation to the theater department before they left the auditorium.
Other examples of the Millers’ generosity can be seen when they donated $200 of canned goods to a Jackson Heights food pantry, and they had so much food that they were able to share it with other schools.
Miller and his wife also send money to schools in Okahandja, Namibia each month to pay for students’ education and important supplies, such as food and water. They chose to fund these students while on mission work with their church, the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. As a result of this generosity, Gracia Miller Kindergarten, located in Vyf Rand, Namibia, was named after Miller’s wife.
“Mrs. Miller laid a solid foundation for education and commitment. A number of the children she connected with have been able to secure good work because of the encouragement to persevere we received from Gracia. She continues to encourage and support the school,” Namibian Early Childhood Development Specialist Joan Morsbach said.
Miller also does other work with his church outside of religious work. Miller and his church have close contact with hotels in Orlando, near Disney, so that when they want to revamp the look of their rooms and replace the furnishings, such as shower curtains or chairs, he will come by in a van owned by the church, pick up these furnishings and drive them directly to a local senior-assisted living facility. On the holidays these hotels are even more generous, donating things like Thanksgiving meals which he also helps distribute.
It should be noted that both Millers teach. Mr. Miller teaches Sunday School classes and goes from school to school teaching bike safety and other safety laws, even fitting and donating helmets to students who don’t have one. His wife also worked as a school teacher and counselor before retiring.
“We understand what Matthew 28 says: ‘Go and take the gospel and teach,’ I know a lot about the Word of God. And you know, it drives me and my wife. Talking about Jesus really drives us,” Miller said.
Miller has even gone to Daytona Speedway, where he and three others worked to fit helmets on 200+ children and worked with an insurance company to donate bikes.
“Our motto is safety, teaching kids safety skills, one child at a time,” Miller said.
He continues to work with the Seminole County Police Department to donate helmets to students in need.
Miller started missionary work in 2005, while his wife started in 2002, and they have traveled to places such as Africa, India and Haiti, as well as throughout the United States. During their travels with their church, The Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, his wife mostly leads prayer walks, while Mr. Miller does most of his missionary work as volunteer service, asking people if they would like him to cut their lawn, clean their house, or help care for the elderly.
“I’m capable of stepping up to the plate because of the knowledge God has blessed me with. Some of the things that we do locally, stems from what we have learned how to do by going to church and being good servants of God and all we do is recognize that we are supposed to be God’s hands, the eyes and ears. But the Holy Spirit equipped me and my wife to be able to do the things we do,” Miller said.
During these Mission services, particularly the ones in South America, the residents were shocked to see a dark-skinned person there on mission work.
“They thought that she was one of them, but didn’t they realize she’s from America. They could see an American black up close and personal and were able to touch her and see she was the same as them,” Miller said.
Through all of his work and awards, he has stayed humble and works hard every day to help others and give them the tools to be successful.
“I’m having too much fun. The key is I should be out there motivating young kids. Somebody inspired me—I didn’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden I was inspired. Somebody pushed me and I’m gonna keep pushing y’all so y’all can do the best that you can do,” Miller said.