Comfort Anderson-Miller of Richmond, Virginia is a Liberian-American who runs the Robert and Mary Anderson Charitable Organization. This 501(c)(3) organization is named after her parents and has a mission to comfort thousands of needy Liberians. Through her regular mission trips, Anderson-Miller has delivered food, clothing, computers, medical supplies, school supplies, toys, agricultural tools and other necessities to those that would otherwise go without. Despite the country’s overwhelming poverty – 80% live below the poverty level – there is a shortage of humanitarian aid because of the instability there. Her mission has provided much needed help and hope.
This special mission began in March of 1991. That year, she went to Liberia to visit her mother and brought over a few boxes of toys and clothes to distribute to those in need. She was shocked, however, to see the poverty and devastation that had been wrought by the civil war; and she decided she had to do more. Since then she has regularly distributed thousands of pounds of rice, which is the staple food of Liberia. She was able to get donations from Uncle Ben’s in 1998, and they have donated in excess of 120,000 pounds of rice since that time. In addition to running the foundation, Anderson-Miller has been instrumental in helping Liberian children receive medical attention. She has arranged for the corrective surgeries of five Liberian children.
Anderson-Miller’s most recent mission took place in April of 2003 and continued into June when the fighting began. She still transported two large containers of 40,000 pounds of rice and an additional container filled with 100 computers donated by Sun Trust, $6,000 of school supplies and 40 boxes of shoes donated by a local church. While other Americans were being airlifted out, Anderson-Miller stayed because she knew the need was particularly dire this year. Even though her mother’s house had been looted several times and a shell destroyed a truck she sent overseas; she stayed. Some people had no food in their homes except the rice she gave them.
Another amazing part of her mission was a young boy named Edward. She met him in 1995 while distributing books to a school. His face was deformed due to a bacterial infection he caught while living in the bush with his family, and rebels beheaded his father and older brother. Because of his appearance, Edward was treated as an outcast; but Anderson-Miller corresponded with the young boy and his mother. In 1996 when she returned to Liberia, she took Edward to the United States and obtained donated services from plastic surgeons to reconstruct his face. Edward’s mother was thankful and impressed by her care of her child, so she asked Anderson-Miller to adopt him. She and her husband, Elijah, did adopt Edward and now he is a healthy, well-adjusted 14-year old.
More than 10,000 people benefit from Anderson-Miller’s service. Her son is now also taking trips to visit his homeland of Liberia. He has learned a life of service from the example set by his new mom and as a teenager is ready to help others live better lives.