Eleven-year-old Gives Up Birthday Presents Every Year to Raise Money for Nonprofits

Now to a story that’s sure to pull on your heart strings.  For the past six years on his birthday Dominik Glorioso has asked for donations to non-profit organizations instead of presents.  This year he sponsored a benefit ride for a group called Songs of Survivors.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey spoke with the 11-year-old and his mom about how they got started and why they do what they do.

“I saw all kids in domestic violence, child abuse, homeless kids and I just felt I could help out the community.”

Dominik Glorioso is a unique youngster to say the least.  Ever since he was four years old, he and his family have used his birthday to raise donations for various non-profits in the area and to help bring awareness to problems facing kids his age as well as adults.  Here’s why he does what he does.

“I would rather help other kids than help me because I feel like I’m more fortunate than other kids.”

Dominik’s mom Jessica tells me how they got started.

“He came to me six years ago and we were working with another organization, and he saw kids that needed help.  So, we started this and he came and said mom I want to do something.  So, I said what do you want to do, and he said I want to raise money. And I said OK we can do that how do you want to do that?  So, the first year we collected items for a center here in central Louisiana.  And then the following year we did a raffle, and it just kept getting bigger and bigger.  And he wanted to keep doing it every year.  So, it makes me proud that at that time he was four going to be five and that we’ve kept the tradition going and we’re branching out to other organizations that need help.”

Dominik has mainly been working with the Family Justice Center whose mission is to stop family violence and help domestic victims feel safe.  He has raised more than 10 thousand dollars total for his nonprofits. This year Dominik chose Songs of Survivors to help.  David St. Romain is the Executive Director of the group based out of Baton Rouge.  He has known Dominik and his family for years and things of him as a godson.

St. Romain said, “We want to serve the local community there and so Dominick, he’s an example of a young man who is just making a difference and really making a big difference.  He’s a great example for other young people and I’m really honored to be a beneficiary for his work.”

“Songs of Survivors is a non-profit focused on helping the community through music and healing arts taking music creation, taking song writing and using that as a tool to give people the opportunity to take life experiences or through the song writing aspect of it and create songs out of that or take their experiences in life to put it into creating a song or a beat in the form of a loop in a classroom.”

Songs of Survivors first started helping veterans with music therapy.  Recently St. Romain spent six hours writing a song with a group at the VA hospital in Pineville.

“We had seven veterans come into the Pineville VA auditorium and we wrote a song called Armor up. And it was a huge success from my standpoint in being able to prove again that this really does work you bring veterans together and you leave there with such a positive feeling of community and support.”

Taboo Harley Davidson was one of the sponsors of the ride which went from Alexandria to Marksville and back.  They raised almost $2000 and about 20 bikes and cars participated and revved up their engines for a good cause.

Jessica said, “So the support of the community is getting bigger and bigger.  And we ask for everyone to come out and support.  See what a young child is doing in central Louisiana to help central Louisiana.”

St. Romain is helping Dominick start his own nonprofit to better be able to distribute funds to causes helping children and vets.  The 11-year-old says that everyone can be an impact for good in their area.

“I would just ask for everybody to do their part in their community and stop gun violence,” said Dominik

In Baton Rouge, Songs for Survivors has expanded from veterans’ services to working with high school students.  They partnered with the mayor’s office there to start beat lab for students in an effort to reach kids through music and create a positive outlet for their creativity.

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