One of the great things that my dad taught me is that it is always better to give than receive, that to give unconditionally brings true happiness in life.That lesson has stuck with me. I volunteer for a charity here in Metro Detroit called Yatooma’s Foundation for the Kids ( It assists families who have lost a parent with anything from grief counseling to bill-paying  It touched my heart that there are so many families struggling.

I was called the week before Christmas by Kristin, one of the dedicated Yatooma workers. She needed someone to be a shopper for 1-3 families in the area. Immediately I thought, “Oh geez, I am going to have to go to the mall.”  I like going to the mall as much as I would like eating a peanut butter and sardine sandwich.  I think I am allergic to it.

When I called Kristin back, she needed help with going to the grocery store for three families in the metro Detroit area as part of their Extreme Christmas Makeover .  At the end of three phone calls with Kristin, I volunteered for all three families. I had no idea how I would do this since we had a $400 budget for each family and a boatload of stuff to get.  Thank God, my wife is a patient person and has a big vehicle!

My wife and I had so much fun shopping for those families. The two of us were like an assembly line loading and unloading groceries into the car, garage, back into the car.  It was a lot of fun because you were doing something selfless.  I watched the video as they delivered the groceries and staples to the families as it was filmed by the local news channel, and I smiled wide.

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Eric Tomei

Eric Tomei is a physical therapist residing in the metro Detroit area. He has a B.A. in Psychology, a B.S. in Health Sciences and a masters degree in physical therapy from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. I Miss My Dad…is his first book with the hopes of uniting everyone who has lost a Dad or loved one to share their stories. His mission is to let people know that they are not alone in dealing with the loss of a loved one and you will always have a friend to talk to. He has a passion for charity work as 15% of each book sold will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. His goal is to raise $1 million for this charity through donations and the sale of I Miss My Dad… Eric appeared on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart with hosts Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, to discuss Father’s Day Without a Father. To listen to this show, go to the following link:

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