Community Spotlight: Heath Miller

It doesn't matter what city, what stadium, or even what country the Steelers play in, when Heath Miller takes the field, makes a catch, does just about anything it's a guarantee you are going to hear cheers of "Heeeeath."

And it's not just because of the strong, consistent player Miller is on the field. It's also because of the solid, caring, giving person he is off the field.

Heath Miller is active in a variety of ways throughout the Pittsburgh community. Check out some photos of Heath supporting his favorite charities.

Miller, in his 10th season with the Steelers, is quiet and unassuming, shying away from talking about himself, while always preferring to deflect the attention on others. Even when he is out in the community, which he is frequently, it's not about him. It's about others.

"If you are a part of the Steelers organization, the Pittsburgh community embraces you," said Miller. "If we have the chance to contribute back in a positive way we try to take advantage of it.

"It's encouraged by the whole organization. Guys learn that is the way things are done in the Steelers organization. To be a part of the Steelers is to be a part of the Pittsburgh community."

Miller has been involved in countless community events over his 10 seasons, but two that he has a special affiliation with are the Salvation Army/WTAE-TV Project Bundle-Up and Glimmer of Hope Foundation.

Every year Miller hosts a Mini-Golf Classic for Project Bundle-Up, an evening which includes a fun round of mini-golf and a dinner with local companies in an effort to raise money for the charity that provides winter outerwear for those in need in the community.

Miller has been honored by the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania, receiving the organization's Project Bundle-Up Award that is presented to an individual or organization that has made a difference in the organization's efforts.

"Our guests enjoy having dinner with Heath and talking about everything from school and upcoming summer plans to of course, football," said Melissa Fereday, Director of Project Bundle-Up. "There is always a smile on his face as he talks to the guests and plays a round of mini-golf with each team. He takes so much time talking with each guest.  

"We all know Heath is a great player on the field, but his contributions off the field in support of The Salvation Army and WTAE's Project Bundle-Up help so many needy children and seniors score big right along with him."

But it doesn't stop there. Miller also takes part in the team's Project Bundle-Up shopping night, getting a first-hand look at where the money he helps raise goes as he assists wide-eyed kids pick out coats, hats and gloves.

"It's a cool organization that is able to help in so many ways," said Miller. "We do the mini-golf in the spring which raises the money and in the fall we are able to go shopping with the kids. You don't just raise the money, you see where it goes. That is the most enjoyable part for us.

"It's more special for us than it is for them. It's encouraging, it's inspirational, and it reminds you why you took the time to go do it."

Steelers players show their support for Glimmer of Hope and finding a cure for breast cancer.

Miller's community commitment will be on display later this month when he hosts the annual Bid for Hope on Oct. 27, benefitting Glimmer of Hope's breast cancer research programs. Miller and his teammates sign autographs for fans at the event, which helps to fund under-40 breast cancer research.

"It's surprising and crazy to think how many people you know who have been affected by breast cancer," said Miller. "Any way I can help out or we can help as a team, we are all for it. Our job is easy. We just show up and smile. The people behind the scenes do the hard work. They are out trying to raise money on a daily basis to make sure the money goes to something beneficial. They are the ones who deserve a lot of the credit for this."

Those behind the scenes, though, know it wouldn't be possible without Miller.

"Heath is genuinely concerned about this cause, and it's great to see that," said Diane Napper, founder of Glimmer of Hope Foundation. "Heath stepping up meant a great deal to the organization. Every year the money from Bid for Hope creates some new avenue that helps young women with breast cancer. It's with grateful heart that we thank them for doing this for us.

"When you have the Pittsburgh Steelers participate with any organization it helps out tremendously. Having them on board is a tremendous asset for us. When you are talking about the Steelers they help us achieve our goals at the end of the day. It's heartwarming, and Heath is a huge reason for that."

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