DJ's Hope

Giving hope to others through the spirit of one child

Our Mission & Vision

“Giving hope to others through the spirit of one child.”

Our Mission is dedicated to carry on the enduring influence of DJ’s legacy by providing unwavering support and assistance to individuals facing various challenges, including families with sick children, our elderly friends, veterans, and those with disabilities. Our mission is rooted in lessening the burdens of those in need and fostering a community filled with healing, love, and happiness.

Our Vision at DJ’s Hope is to see our non-profit organization thrive and grow in its mission to provide essential programs such as Home Preservation, The Children’s Hospital Backpack Program, and the Visit from a Friend initiative. We envision expanding our programs to reach a wider audience, engaging volunteers, supporters, and donors in our cause that enable us to make a lasting impact in the lives of those we serve. Through strategic growth and collaboration, we aim to uphold DJ’s legacy and values, and to create a lasting legacy of compassion, care, and empowerment that resonates with individuals, families and communities.

*DJ’s Hope is proud that we give back 85% of all funds raised and has been a volunteer run nonprofit since 2012

Our Story

“Always helping anyone in need”

DJ’s Hope was founded in 2012 to honor the memory of its namesake, DJ Merriman. DJ’s heart was damaged by a virus when he was an infant, and from the time he was 17 months old, he was dependent on a pacemaker to keep his heart pumping. DJ was a well-loved young man who tried to make a difference in the lives of others, always helping anyone who was in need. His gestures of kindness could be as simple as a smile, or as grand as raising money every year for his favorite hospital Rainbow Baby & Children’s “Radiothon” that he participated in starting.

In January 2012, 17-year-old DJ passed away in his sleep from cardiomyopathy, also known as an enlarged heart. He took with him the hearts of many,but inspired those of us left behind to make a difference in the lives of others.

Meet DJ

On the Saturday prior to his death, DJ noticed an elderly woman standing in the checkout line in front of him at a Giant Eagle store. The woman didn’t have enough money to pay for her groceries and in a typical generous gesture he provided the lacking funds. “That’s just the way he was,” Merriman said.

Our YouTube channel features videos about DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts and DJ.