Robby Eimers; mom, Rachel, left, and volunteer Diane West hand out food June 22 near the Tumaini Center in Detroit. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)
New Haven— Robby Eimers’ mission to end homelessness is gaining momentum.
Calls of support and offers of donations to the 12-year-old are pouring in from across the country, from Illinois to Colorado, and locally, from Armada to Yale. And there’s talk of turning his work into a nonprofit organization named after him to further his mission.
Metro Detroiters also are volunteering their time to help Robby during his visits to Third Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard every weekend, where he hands out meals, cold water, clothing and kind words.
The Detroit News wrote about Robby’s mission last month, and he said he’s been overwhelmed by the help he’s been receiving since his cause became public.
“I think it’s amazing that so many people want to help,” said Robby, who attends New Haven’s Endeavor Middle School. “I feel a lot more successful now, and the future looks good.”
Deputy Clifton Morgan of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit donated cash and toiletries, and is offering to bring mostaccioli dinners with his family for the homeless.
“I grew up in New Haven, so that makes me extra proud of him,” said Morgan, 33, of Lenox. “I think it’s awesome; absolutely great what he’s doing.”
He has already donated $400.
“A person who wanted to remain anonymous handed me some money some time ago, and asked me to help the homeless with it,” he said. “But I didn’t have that kind of contact with them, so when I read about Robby on Facebook, I knew I wanted to donate it to him because that’s what the anonymous person would have wanted.”
Morgan said Robby has “so many good ideas, you’d think you were talking to a young adult.”
“He inspires other people,” Morgan said.
Sheilah Clay, CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization, which provides services for the homeless and houses the formerly homeless, said they will continue to help Robby, who, with his sister Emma, 8, was honored with an Inspired Life Award by the organization last month.
“We are planning to help Robby establish the Eimers Foundation as a nonprofit organization,” she said. “We also want to help Robby establish a strategic plan for his dreams and discover other ways we can help him fulfill his mission.”
Clay also said they want to help him expand his influence with other youths who want to make a difference.
“Robby is a very determined and level-headed old man in a young man’s body,” she said.
Even Robby’s mom’s boss wanted to help.
“My boss came up to me and said it was amazing what Robby was doing, and he offered to supply 10 cases of water each week for the next three weeks,” said Rachel Eimers, 32, who works at the Chesterfield Wal-Mart.
Robby’s grandmother, who drives him from New Haven to Detroit every weekend to serve the homeless, said the overwhelming response is helping make his dream come true.
“There’s always a question about humanity nowadays, and sometimes we get frustrated about it,” said Cindy Kostukoff of Clinton Township. “But we’re learning that so many people want to help.”
She added, “Robby said to me, ‘Now we won’t have to turn away so many people.’ ”