BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - They say big things come in small packages and Millie Brignone is proof of that. The Bay St. Louis third grader may be tiny but her heart is as big as it gets.
Millie is on a mission to make Christmas dreams come true for other children across the Coast. She’s doing it by selling wristbands at three bucks a pop. The bands say “Millie’s Movement” on one side and “Saving Christmas One Band at a Time” on the other.
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this. I want kids to feel the joy that I feel on Christmas morning, just like me and my brothers,” said Millie.
But Millie didn’t always have customized bracelets. Her movement started off slowly but quickly gained momentum.
After realizing she wouldn’t make money with a lemonade stand in a cul de sac, Millie decided to make bracelets instead. Soon, the orders were pouring in and the seven-year-old couldn’t keep up.
“We didn’t realize how much time it would take to put each little bead on those bracelets, so I had to help her out,” said Millie’s mom Blair Brignone. "We decided to order the bands this year. It’s made it a little bit easier so people can actually get the band as soon as they pay for them.”
With so many people helping, word began to spread about Millie’s Movement. Millie’s third grade teacher at North Bay Elementary soon got in on the project, showing her class a YouTube video Millie made with her dad.
The students were then asked to write down what they think of the project. The responses were overwhelming.
Millie’s classmate Benjamin Blaize said: “I think Millie’s idea is amazing on so many levels, and I like it because I like how you are trying to help kids in need. And I will try to get as much bracelets as possible for my family, so you can raise your money.”
But the small child is not just Santa’s helper. Her friends and teachers say she is everyone’s helper, always pitching in to help out her peers.
“I’m very proud of Millie," said Millie’s teacher Tammy Raymond. "She’s a remarkable child, not just with her movement but when she sees a student struggling or she sees that I need something, she’s right there.”
Perhaps the most inspiring thing about Millie’s Movement is the contagious spirit behind it. Through Millie’s journey on YouTube and Instagram, other kids are reaching out to her with ways they are starting their own movements to help others.
“I got a message the other day on social media that there was a young boy who saw Millie’s video and he’s now making fishing lures to start selling to make some kind of profit to give back to kids," said J.C. Brignone. "I think that’s the bigger picture, is setting an example for more kids to do something special.”
Initially, Millie set a goal of $1,000 but she quickly met it. Then, she set a goal of $2,000 and exceeded it. At last check, she has raised more than $3,500 for kids in need this holiday season and she’s not done.
Local businesses soon started reaching out to Millie and her family on ways they could help. On Nov. 7, Sicily’s will donate a portion of their sales between 6 and 8 p.m. to Millie’s Movement and on Nov. 10, Dan B’s will donate some of their proceeds for sales made between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
To follow Millie’s Movement as she continues on her journey to help other kids this holiday season, check out her Instagram page HERE.