Emery Miller to expand Team Emery after high school


Being able to positively influence children and their families is leaving one’s mark on the world. Senior Emery Miller has already accomplished this through his creation of Team Emery, a non-profit organization which collects teddy bears during the holiday season for children in hospitals around the country.

As a newborn he had rare heart disease, Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect, and spent most of his holiday seasons in the hospital. In the 5th grade, he was challenged by his church to give back to the community, and out of that came Team Emery.

Now, Emery is entering into his final year of high school, but the spirit of Team Emery will continue on at Perry, in the community, the state, and will follow him wherever he ends up. Lori Miller, Emery’s mom said, “We are hoping long term to have Team Emery impact every state and even go international.”

Emery said, “[my sophomore year]  we had five states, it was Phoenix, AZ, Fort Worth,TX, Milwaukee, WI, Kansas City, MI, and Las Vegas, NV. We added San Diego last year, and we’re hoping to have eight states this year and we’re adding Poland which is incredible.”

The opportunity to expand his work to Poland rose from a very simple trip. “I was on a mission trip [in Poland] last summer… when i was there I met [Tomasz Jezyk, a man who wants to coordinate a Team Emery branch in Poland],” Emery said. “He heard about it and he goes ‘hey I’m all behind that kind of stuff, let me help you out.’”

Though it is entirely confirmed yet, Emery believes Team Emery will go international. He said, “it’s defining that Team Emery isn’t an Arizona thing, it’s not even a United States thing anymore, it’s an international thing which is more than I ever could have imagined.”

Between the prospect of going international, and spreading across the United States, Team Emery continues to grow exponentially. Emery has a plan for how the growth will continue and he said, “this year I am having more of a leadership role, so when I do leave and go wherever I go, I am able to have confidence with whoever is helping me out.”

Clayton Ribbel, Vice President for Team Emery, is a former Basha student and now attends college in Wisconsin, and he helps to run the Team Emery Bear drive there. Ribbel said, “Our plans for the Wisconsin division are very similar to that of the Arizona one. We will begin collecting bears around the same time and to do that, I will ask my family members up here in Wisconsin, who have helped in the past, to help get the word out with the delivery.”

The goal of Team Emery is to make a lasting impact on those children and families who need it, but the impact also affects those who run it. Lori said, “I am incredibly proud that is able to offer hope and encouragement- to many in a helpless and hopeless state. When I see a family or child impacted by Team Emery – pride and proud is an understatement.”

When you’re able to go into the hospital and see those kids and see the families it’s incredible. It’s priceless”

— Emery Miller

Ribble said, “I believe that it has made me a much more humble and better person. It really opens your eyes and shows you how much of a blessing life truly is, and how lucky we all are.”

Emery along with many others,  have put blood, sweat, and tears into Team Emery, and in the end the payoff is worth all the hard work. Emery proclaims, “when you’re able to go into the hospital and see those kids and see the families it’s incredible. It’s priceless.”